So I came across this tumblr post yesterday, and after chatting with one of my CPs about it, it got me thinking.
On one hand, I agree with the quote and the article it came from. I think oftentimes, in books and TV shows and movies, the women who are praised for being strong often do tend to be more masculine than the traditional “norm.” From Katniss to Arya, Mulan to Daenerys, Tris to Black Widow, the image of strong female characters almost always feature girls who (literally) kick ass, and hide their emotions, and rebel against gender conformity. Girls who, conversely, are more feminine tend to come under fire for being too passive, too “girly,” too emotional, too implicitly weak.
But being feminine and being strong are not mutually exclusive, and I definitely agree with everything said about Sansa in that post.
On the other hand, I don’t want to come down on gender nonconforming girls either, because they stand as a societal reminder that there’s no one way to be a girl. And that’s something that even now in my twenty-somethings, I’m still re-teaching myself.
|Photo credit: Jemimus on Flickr|
It wasn’t until recently that I really began to embrace myself, even when that person wasn’t as girly as years of dresses, skirts, and frilly blouses insinuated I should be. It wasn’t until a year or so ago that I realized I could like makeup, and nail polish, and earrings and yes, even dresses, but also like (very) short hair, and hoodies, and jeans, and blazers, and graphic tees, and beanies. For years I had this idea in my head that being a girl meant liking all the girly, frilly things and because the clothes I often wanted to wear were decidedly less feminine, there must be something wrong with my taste and style.
There isn’t one way to be a girl, and there isn’t a wrong way to be a girl, either. Girls can be feminine and masculine simultaneously. Girls can be emotional black belts, stoic fashionistas and make-up wearing sword-wielders. Girls can show strength in different ways—whether it’s through Sansa’s controlled political-savviness or Arya’s daring courage. Feminine, masculine and strong can all be used to describe girls—or even the same girl, and I want to see representation of them all.
There are limitless varieties of girls, and every single one of us deserve to see ourselves as a heroine. We are complicated, and layered, and contradictory, and we are raw, and real, and here.
What do you think?
"There are limitless varieties of girls, and every single one of us deserve to see ourselves as a heroine." (Click to tweet)
.@Ava_Jae says there isn't one way to be a girl, or one way to be strong. What do you think? (Click to tweet)