During a recent chat with some friends, they shared, which to me were, some surprising thoughts. They said that I was what they considered a ‘girly girl’. I instantly responded in what was a state of horror and shock! I had automatically decided to take the label of ‘girly girl’ as an insult, ‘But I’m not dumb!’ I exclaimed. Of course, they quickly responded say that wasn’t what they meant by the term at all, and merely that I’m just girly in style and looks. Still, the thought of people thinking this of me, even my close friends, unnerved me and made me wish that I had another tag like, ‘street’, or even ‘tomboy-ish’, anything far from what I thought being a ‘girl’ connotated.
Now, I have studied a lot into the representation of both women and girls, and how ‘feminine’ is portrayed in the media. I’m also very much a feminist and try my hardest to stop my inner self from labeling people into groups, so why was I so offended? Of course I’m a girly girl! I’m also a bit of a ‘geek’, I’m a bit of a ‘surfer girl’ too and I also fall into the category of the ‘minimalist’ (even the maximalist) and ‘normcore’.
I think why it struck me so much was because for the majority of my life I’ve had to prove to people my intelligence, mainly and purely because of my hair colour. Because I’m a blonde, right? And I also aren’t aversed to the colour pink and I really enjoy wearing dresses. I’m also studying Fashion Journalism at University (although I did used to tell people I was just studying Journalism for fear of that judgement). I won’t tell you what I’ve got throughout my GCSE’s and A Level’s as I’m sure that would come across as ‘bragging’, but I don’t think it’s wrong for me to say that I am a straight A/A* student. Would it surprise you? It’s surprised many people ever since High School, and I realised that I need feminism because I shouldn’t have to prove my intelligence just because of my hair colour.
Now, choosing to be a feminist has nothing to do with your femininity, or for that matter, your masculinity. That’s the whole point and joy of it, that you can be accepted for whoever you are. And why is it that I had automatically felt so ashamed to say I was studying Fashion Journalism? That, yes, I had chosen to study in depth the history of clothes and analyse catwalks whilst also wearing heels and a skirt? After all, why is it that men can speak about a non-changing life event like Formula 1 and Football with passion and without judgement, yet women talking about their new found love for Gucci and the latest trend for SS16 seems somewhat, trival? Yeah… I don’t get it either.
I think that through writing this post I’ve come to a bit of a revelation. That I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. That, hell, yes I am feminine and a feminist, whilst also being part chameleon and enjoying taking on any other form of style tribe that I fancy whenever and wherever I fancy. Remember that you are you, and you enjoy what you like just because you like it, and if that means that that gives you this certain type of label then to hell, embrace it! You don’t have to explain yourself, you don’t have to feel restricted. There is no better or worse, and you are the only person who you need to feel comfortable with.
Now, I must go because I’m in dire need of shopping for some new summer dresses…