One day, while scrolling through my Twitter feed, I saw that Hailee Steinfeld had released a new song called Most Girls. Now, being the Steinfan that I am, I had to go listen to her new song.
It turned out to be the best decision I made that day.
“Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful!” Hailee Steinfeld sings. Hell yeah, I respond. I already wrote about how much I love this song (you can read it here), and really, how could I not? It was an epic response to the whole “I’m not like most girls” comment, which made me realize how more and more girls are reclaiming the word girl.
My friend and I binge-watched all of Netflix’s #GirlBoss that weekend, and there was an iconic scene at the end of episode 9 where, after 20 minutes of our main character trying to convince people she’s not a girl but a woman, she gives an epic speech on why being a girl shouldn’t be seen as a weakness. Being a girl is no longer seen as a bad thing.
And honestly? It never was.
When I was a kid, I didn’t get along very well with the other boys. Instead of liking sports and video games, I instead spent my time reading books, doodling castles, and writing comics.
Because of that, all the adults around me associated with being a girl.
I remember my aunt telling me, “Oh, honey. You’re such a girl.” when I stayed home and waited for High School Musical 2. I remember my mom telling me on multiple occasions, “Will you stop doing that? You’re not a girl!” I even remember my dad getting mad because he thought I acted “too feminine.”
This, of course, didn’t stop sometime soon. I got to middle school and people still made fun of me for being different from other boys. I remember being in a group for a school project, and we were all boys, and one guy said “Here’s to the real boys!” and high-fived every boy in the group except me.
And all everything did was plant a seed of doubt in me.
When you’re young and all these happen to you, you don’t think, “That’s unfair! I should get to do what girls do!” You think, “What’s wrong with me?”
And for the longest time, that was all I kept thinking. But looking back, I realize how ridiculous the entire thing was. Looking back now, I DON’T GET IT.
I don’t get it because first, I was still acting like a boy. I never wore dresses or put makeup on. Why wasn’t I a real boy? Was I a puppet? Was I a robot? I have a penis in between my legs, right? Or is this something else and I’m mistaking it for a penis?
Second and more importantly, what the hell was wrong with being like a girl? Why were they the only ones allowed to play with dolls, or watch Disney Princess movies, or be into reading?
Maybe I did act feminine sometimes. Maybe there were parts of me that acted like a girl. But why was that such a bad thing? I like those parts of me. I wouldn’t change them for anything.
I’m glad a song like Most Girls exists. Yesterday, I heard my 8-year-old cousin singing this song, and telling me that she loved it. And I’m thankful she has thing song. I’m thankful she’s growing up in a generation where being a girl isn’t something to be ashamed of. I wish I had that. I wish at that age, someone had told me that being a girl wasn’t so wrong.
Because really, reclaiming the word girl can maybe help out more than just girls.