I’ve always been familiar to the expression “you need to act like a girl” even till this day. However, now it’s more about my mindset oppose to the physicals. So what does that even mean? When I was a child I was your ride or die ‘Tom Boy’ that every male counterpart needs. Dressed like a awkwardly confused child and playing with the lads led to me hearing that expression every Eid, weddings, birthdays and family get togethers. However, it never really bothered me as when they preached that expression I automatically thought of the young females in the family, who played with Barbie dolls and were obsessed with self-appearance at such a young age. Something about that didn’t feel right either.
I believe from a theoretical perspective I had quite a alternative childhood as I defied all gender stereotypes. But I still haven’t answered my question. So how does one go about “acting” like a girl? Well first of all we need to understand what a “girl” means and what it means in society. Hence, the definition society places on the word. I found a wonderful article on Wikihow which gives us pointers how to be “girly” http://m.wikihow.com/Be-a-Girly-Girl I advice you all to read this loud in a light sarcastic tone (I’m amused easily). So, judging by this article being a girl involves carrying yourself in a delicate, tamed and modest manner. Nothing wrong with that. But then it gets slightly ridiculous when we come to points stating we need to “be nice”, don’t “stuff our faces” oh and for my personal delight “be romantic”. Yes, because you’re not a “girl” if you don’t wished to be “saved” by some chauvinistic pig. I realised my family members were pretty much referring to all pointers stated in this article when they used to plea for me to “act like a girl”.
It bothers me that is is these pointers that define what a girl means. Why not have, “feel empowered”, “allow yourself to come first like your male counterparts”, “embrace your imperfections” instead of empathising so much about how to take care of skin and what not. Or what about, “not to judge your worth based on a males opinion.? Why does no parent (really ever) preach these pointers instead. Surely, by installing this mind frame in our young girls we will raise a more confident and stronger female generation?
Furthermore, I’m sure anyone familiar to the internet has noticed how YouTube has gone Makeup tutorial crazy! Millions of young girls tuning in, in hope to master the latest makeup trend. It’s bizarre seeing how many products are being made to “enhance” every single facial feature. The overdone, irritating but no doubt the most popular makeup trend to hijack 2014 and the internet was the the “Contouring” trend. A trend that involves enhancing your cheekbones and giving more definition to your face. Or from my killjoy perspective a trend to make you look completely like a different person. Let’s just say I’m sure you would not be allowed to fly out with a contoured face as you would look nothing like you passport picture and could be done for fake ID.
Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoy makeup as much as the next gal. Its fun to beautify yourself. it makes you feel good. However, there’s something about the whole concept of makeup and especially the contouring trend I find deeply disturbing. Perhaps its the fact that we are no longer “enhancing” our facial features but actually attempting to look like a stranger to ourselves. This whole makeup circus has one clear agenda. Its the same old bullshit (excuse my french) repeated. Make you look like not you.
I admit, I have gone of on a bit of a tangent here, but it was something I needed to get of my chest. “You need to act like a girl” easily said but if you really think about this expression it may take more time to digest and make sense of. However since, we have already discussed what society means by that saying, perhaps its now time to revamp that expression. Give it a new modern definition. How about, “you need to act like a girl” can now mean going against the sexist and plain daft values and norms of society. Therefore, acting like a girl can now mean empowerment, embracing flaws, appreciating male counterpart competition ( and kicking they’re butts), demanding equality and loving not looking like a magazine cut out.