Proudly Feminine

Photo taken by Amelia Beuscher

The belittling of feminine interests and how to combat it

“I’m not like other girls.” A phrase that haunts entire populations of women, both online and in person. 

As a young girl, liking the color pink was heinous and being seen as a “girly” girl was the worst imaginable insult. Some girls were even embarrassed for liking a popular boy band, a cheesy rom com or wearing makeup. 

A girl only had a personality if she first rejected any and everything remotely feminine. A girl is only respected when she shares the same interests as the boys around her. 

All because to be a girl, to be feminine, is to be stupid, frivolous and shallow. 

Any interest shared by women, particularly teen girls, is destined to be ridiculed and shamed. After all, a girl who likes clothes and One Direction can not possibly have anything else to offer the world.  

Movies and books that contain harmful stereotypes that women are shallow and vapid for their femininity are directly marketed to women–  confronting them with the reminder that femininity is undesirable.

Ironically, women are even belittled for liking the very media marketed to them. A woman is idiotic for watching so called chick flicks and yet she is the target audience.  

The issue goes beyond the women themselves getting ridiculed. Musicians, media, even hobbies that contain predominantly female fan bases receive the same fate.

Even some men feel the need to hide their interest in the more “feminine” preferences.  

Eventually, it becomes a bigger problem than just suppressing interests. When women are forced to believe that their interests are foolish, it also forces them to lose confidence and silence their passions. It forces them to accept the narrative that being masculine is better, that to be a man is better than being a woman.  

The words of Gloria in Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” movie sum it up nicely.

“It is literally impossible to be a woman,”  Gloria said.

But here's the bright side. Go forward in time and girls are captivated by the coquette trend, one in which girls feminize any and all objects with pink bows. 

Being a “girls’ girl,” who celebrates and uplifts other women, is the highest praise. A complete 180° from the disgrace of femininity ever present in many girls’ childhood. 

Unapologetically embracing femininity and feminine interests with wide open arms is the best way to combat this blatant form of misogyny.  

It is time to assert that femininity should be just as valuable as masculinity is in our society. So go out there and boldly showcase your passions. Remain unashamed as you proudly profess your love for fashion, makeup, rom coms, boy bands and especially the color pink. 

We must redefine femininity and reclaim its positivity. To be a woman, to be feminine, is to be thoughtful, empathetic and ambitious. 

To be feminine is what we make of it ourselves. The revolution for femininity starts with our generation, but it does not stop there.  

“I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us,” Gloria from “Barbie” said. 

So, I leave you with this: stop tying yourself into knots.