An Open Letter to all the “Girly Girls”

Collegiettes,

A lot of young girls, typically elementary or middle school age, tend to go through a similar phase— a phase where they don’t want to be like “other girls”. They refuse to like the color pink or purple, would never touch a makeup brush, and dress exclusively in pants. Whether it’s due to societal pressures, the desire to fit in as “one of the boys”, or the seeds of internal misogyny being planted early, a lot of girls go through this. I was one of these girls at one point.

Even after rediscovering makeup, skirts, and an affinity for dusty pink, these pressures to scale back on femininity follow us even up through college. “Who are you dressing up for?” and “Why so much makeup? You’re only going to class” are just a few examples of everyday comments that urge us to take a step back. 

So we take off our eyeshadow, change out of that skirt, decide not to do the little things that bring us joy and confidence.

When we hear people making those comments or hurling those words at you— words or phrases like basic, airhead, dumb blonde, high maintenance, etc. — it can completely alter your self-perception and change the way you conduct yourself. 

I’m here to tell you that expressions of femininity do not make you less than. Expressing yourself how you like, whether it be with your clothes or by wearing makeup or doing your hair does not have to be reserved for when you want to “impress someone”. It’s okay to feel pretty and wanting to look your best, even if you’re just headed to class or to study in the library. Enjoying things like fashion, makeup, or current trends doesn’t make you “airheaded” or “basic”, not only because you’re a multidimensional person with the ability to enjoy a variety of things (which you are), but because those things that you like aren’t inherently stupid or pointless. 

The bottom line? Being a “girly girl” doesn’t make you any less worthy or less capable. 

Your expression of femininity and your affinity for traditionally “girly” things is powerful and beautiful. Don’t feel discouraged the next time someone calls you “basic” or tells you not to do something that gives you confidence or sparks happiness within you. Instead, be encouraged to walk out the door with your head held high, ready to go about your day while looking (and feeling!) good about yourself and the way in which you express who you are.