Girly Girl

When I was a kiddo, I thought I didn't like being "a girl." Don't get me wrong, I've always been totally fine with my body parts. I just didn't like that being called "girly" was an insult. I didn't like that girly things were pink and glittery and rhinestones and unicorns and Barbies. I just wasn't into that vibe. I liked solid color t-shirts, and brightly colored bike shorts. Yes, I actually went though a phase in which I only wore bike shorts for a year or two.

My aunt understood that being a girly girl was totally not me, so her nickname for me still is "Girly Girl" in an ironic kinda way. It didn't really bother me because she knew the real me. What bothered me is that any grown-up I was meeting for the first time would automatically assume I was girly, simply because I was a girl. Distant uncles would send me a jewelery box for my birthday. Parent's friends at church would tell me they loved my flowery dress, assuming I was enjoying wearing it- hah.

In middle school, I don't think I through of myself as a "girl" much. I didn't date. I didn't wear feminine clothes or act stereotypically girly. I wore striped shirts every day, and didn't listen to popular girly music. My backpack was a solid burgundy Jansport that I made my mom take the logo off of. (Okay Jansports became cool like three years ago but they were NOT cool twelve years ago.) I finally reached a compromise with my mom about church clothes; she wanted me to wear dresses, and I wanted jeans, so we arrived at plain black dressy pants. I was just me, not very feminine, but definitely never really masculine either.

Enter high school- I was friends with all girls who were awesome and adventurous and smart and didn't care about dating much either. We liked learning and practicing music, making stupid music videos, and being all around goobers. I am forever thankful that like 80% of my friends were single at all times in high school. Being a girl was fun, and had nothing to do with the fact that we were girls.

I then attended a women's college. Not a girls' school. I finally began to identify as a "woman," not a "girl," and it became an empowering part of my identity. "Girly" is unfortunately used as an insulting word, but "womanly" is an amazing compliment. Being a woman is strong. Being a woman is smart. Being a woman is resilient. Being a woman is powerful.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to be proud of the fact that she's a girl, so I will never call her a girl. I will call her my little woman.

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