Okay, I might be exaggerating. But only slightly.
For example, my sister and I were raised in the same house, by the same parents, and yet we are on laughably different ends of the frilly v. non-frilly spectrum. Twenty-one-year-old Lara grew up wearing mock-turtle necks from the boy's section of L.L Bean and memorizing the names of construction vehicles. Today, she doesn't own a single makeup product, and would rather spend her money on rock climbing shoes, Carhartts, and twenty-five very different varieties of wind breakers than the dresses and skirts that I obsess over. She's hilarious and goofy and she's currently exploring the wilderness somewhere. Needless to say, we are very different people, but she's obviously just as much of a girl as me. For lack of a better term I'm still going to use the word "girly" to describe my frilly or cutesy qualities, but just know that I'm not particularly happy about it.
But then, I had another thought:
What if I genuinely really wanted to write about just fashion or just beauty? Why the heck isn't that enough? I shouldn't have to prove that I'm smarter or more capable than that, because nobody should assume that caring about fashion and/or beauty automatically makes a girl less smart or capable!
Why are ten minutes spent talking about mascara and moisturizer ten minutes of life wasted? What about ten minutes spent talking about sports, or movies? Someone could make the argument that those entertaining/recreational topics are also useless or are a waste of time, but mostly, nobody does! Why? Because we respect the fact that a lot of people love those things. Why is it so hard to respect my enjoyment of clothes and shopping and curling my hair? It doesn't matter if you personally don't like them--- I don't like football but I don't make other people feel ashamed or stupid for watching it! Why do I feel embarrassed about watching a YouTube video titled, "My Shower Routine" or spending twenty minutes doing my hair, or reading sappy, young adult "chick lit" novels? Why are your interests more valid than mine? Because mine are "girly"? Because things associated with girls are automatically less credible and taken less seriously??
Well sorry (not really), but I am girly and frilly and sappy and cliche. I like cutesy movies and cutesy music, and I spent thirty-five minutes getting ready this morning. I absolutely suck at sports, I don't love getting dirty, and I'm not very confident in my ability to parallel park. I take pictures of my outfits and post them on the internet. Pink is my favorite color. Right now, I'm wearing lacey socks and drinking a girly Starbucks drink. And I really, really, don't care what you think.
Now, I could end this blog by telling you that I'm also smart or creative or cultured or well-read. But I shouldn't have to do that. You shouldn't have ever assumed otherwise.
Here's what we need to remember: our hobbies, every little weird thing we do, all the things we suck at, and all the things we love; it's all valid. Every last thing. We don't have to feel stupid or "less-than" or embarrassed about any part of ourselves. We don't have to apologize for being us.
I'm a girl, I'm "girly," and I'm not sorry. Whoever you are, you shouldn't be either.