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Beyond Pink: Why It’s Okay to Like Girly Things

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at RIT chapter.

2023 has emerged as the year for the girls- from the Barbie movie to the Eras Tour, girl dinners to girl math- there’s a celebration of women everywhere. However, amidst the plethora of pink posters and glittery billboards, a lingering presumption exists toward stereotypically feminine traits: they are shallow, unimportant, and lame.

In literature and film, the spunky tomboy or modest bookworm is portrayed as virtuous, while the antagonist, often a popular figure, reinforces stereotypes that femininity is dumb and undesirable. Movie genres like rom-coms and chick flicks face ridicule, and liking pop music is considered superficial.

This ingrained stereotype not only divides women (#NotLikeOtherGirls) but also instills the idea that adopting traditionally masculine qualities makes someone superior and stronger, perpetuating the damaging notion that traditionally masculine traits are inherently more valuable.

The more we devalue characteristics attached to women, the easier it is to justify devaluing women as a whole.” -Mia Mercado

👯‍♀️ Related: Devaluing Femininity

As a woman in STEM, this is a challenge I face often. There’s a constant worry that if I wear makeup or if I’m ‘too dressed up’, I won’t be taken seriously; If I like pink too much, I’m too girly; If I like Taylor Swift, I don’t understand music.

As we navigate through these stereotypes, it’s crucial to challenge the narratives that limit women’s interests within predefined boxes. The dismissal of rom-coms, chick flicks, or pop music as superficial undermines the diverse stories and talents within these genres. 

Girly things do not diminish one’s intellect or capabilities, and it’s time to dismantle the notion that femininity equates to shallowness.

My passion and competence in my field should never be overshadowed by the presence or absence of the makeup I wear or the color of my attire. The dichotomy between being taken seriously and embracing my femininity is a false one–it’s possible to excel in a male-dominated field while proudly celebrating all aspects of my identity.

To challenge these preconceived notions is to recognize that intelligence and strength come in myriad forms, and the value of a person can never be reduced to a limited and outdated set of expectations. 

By deconstructing these stereotypes, we create a space where people can express themselves authentically without fear of judgment. It’s time to celebrate the diversity that comes with all aspects of femininity, breaking down the barriers that have confined women for too long.

References linked:

[1] Mia Mercado, Seven Ways Our Culture Devalues Femininity, Bustle, 2017 [https://www.bustle.com/p/7-ways-our-culture-devalues-femininity-40400]

I am a second-year Computer Engineering graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology from Pune, India. I enjoy reading, watercolor painting & Pinteresting in my free time. When I'm not busy with work and school, I love to unwind by watching animal videos. I have three cats back home in India that I miss, so the cute kitten videos always brighten my day!