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4 Films That Defined What Girlhood is All About To Me

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 York U chapter.

When the release of Barbie happened, it quickly sparked this conversation and trend on tiktok about girlhood culture. Many women on tiktok were creating videos that included multiple snippets of their life edited together, labeling it girlhood, and showing off all the moments that they have experienced or the specific things they do in their life that they consider to be girlhood. 

To me, girlhood is going through awkward stages as you develop into a woman and learn to understand that it’s simply a part of life and, in the end, a general experience. It’s about female friendships and maintaining them. It’s about the universal connection between women of all backgrounds. 

More films have embraced these ideas of girlhood and what it means to be a girl in the last two decades or so, and here are four that will continue to resonate with me forever and have taught me so much about this culture.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging is a British coming-of-age film based on Louise Rennison’s books about Georgia Nicolson, a 14-year-old teenage girl as she enters the realm of crushes, first kisses, and first boyfriends. As she starts to have a growing concern about her parent’s marriage as well as attempting to win Robbie over, landing herself into embarrassing moments, Georgie quickly discovers the highs and lows of being a teenage girl.

If there was ever one movie that perfectly described all that consisted of my childhood, it would be this movie. I feel as though this movie is a rite of passage for every girl going through their young teen years. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve seen it, and at this point, I’m pretty sure I can quote the entire thing perfectly.

Apart from my apparent appreciation for the film, Georgie Nicolson, with all her quirks, awkwardness, and discomfort over her growing body always resonated with me. It reminded me that no matter how many uncomfortable experiences you go through or how peculiar you appear to be, everything will work out exactly the way it’s supposed to and the people in your life will love you because of the person you truly are, flaws and all. 

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, an ultimate comfort watch for me, is the 2005 American film about four best friends, Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget, who discover a pair of jeans that miraculously fit each of them perfectly. Given that they would all be spending their first summer apart, they devise a plan to stay linked to each other by continuously passing the jeans around throughout their summer break.

This is one of the first movies I remember watching that focused on the lives of women. It introduced me to the beautiful and comforting concept of female friendships and the value that comes from having them. The fact that a pair of jeans literally transcended through different parts of the world because of these women’s relationship with one another was heartwarming to me and still is.

This has undoubtedly added to the pride I now have in maintaining the female connections I do have surrounding me.


Rocks is a 2019 British coming-of-age film about Rocks, a teenage girl whose mother leaves her and her younger brother Emmanuel by themselves, compelling her to start looking for ways to protect and look after Emmanuel.

I think this is one of the first movies that I saw that depicted girlhood in a realistic and diversified way. These group girls were allowed to simply exist with one another, nobody was too overbearing or not enough. There was a genuine sense of freedom and real strength in a bunch of teenage girls coming together. No topic of conversation seemed off-limits, and everything was boundless.

It was refreshing to see girls who looked like me being confident in exactly who they were and also dealing with the universal teenage girl experience, especially living in a Western world. There was an extreme sense of loyalty they had for each other, which they held sacred, and always looked out for one another and for that, this film will always be my go-to recommendation.

now and then

The 1995 coming-of-age film Now and Then tells the story of four childhood best friends, Teeny, Roberta, Samantha, and Chrissy, who, as adult women leading very different lives, reunite in the town they grew up in as they recount the summer of 1970 that changed everything for them. 

These four women were once little girls who grew up into individuals who went down different paths; one’s an actress, one’s a sci-fi author, another’s a gynecologist, and another’s a housewife expecting her first child.

In the same way that The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants taught me, this film highlighted to me that we can grow up and become whoever we want to be but, even if you’re not actively in each other’s lives, one of things that will always remain constant is your female friendships.

Halima Osman

York U '25

Halima Osman is currently in her third year as an English major at York University. Since late 2022, she’s been a member of the Her Campus York University chapter. Within this diverse community, she’s been contributing as a part-time writer, crafting one article per month. She usually focuses her articles on entertainment and cultural topics, offering a unique perspective on these topics. Beyond her involvement with Her Campus, she’s taken on the role of a Wattpad Ambassador. As a now full content moderator, she dedicates her time to ensure the platform remains a clean, safe and inclusive space for writers and readers alike. This role not only aligns with her passion for literature but also allows her to contribute actively to an online writing community. During her free moments, she loves immersing herself in the world of films and TV shows, often sharing her thoughts and opinions on Twitter. She finds herself often sucked into a good romance novel, reveling and finding comfort in these stories. Through her diverse interests, from writing and moderating to consuming media and books, she’s consistently cultivating her passion for storytelling in all its forms.