2nd November 2023

Doing It for the Girls: Why Reclaiming Girlhood is the New Trend in Empowerment

If you have spent any time on social media recently, you will have heard phrases like girl dinner, hot girl walk, or girl maths. The idea of girlhood is sweeping its way through Gen Z, and it’s changing the way we look at the world and ourselves. But why is this so important for our generation?

I grew up in a world that teaches you that being a girl is bad, and being girly is an insult. People ridiculed girly music, considered pink childish, and believed something couldn’t be both pretty and practical. They taught us that you could be anything when you grow up, as long as it’s not a girl. But that is changing. Pink is the new black. We are learning that we can be strong and sparkle.

Now, if you somehow haven’t witnessed Girlhood sweeping the internet, it might seem like it is just feeding into stereotypes, and in some ways it is. But this isn’t the bad thing you might initially think it is. The best part of this phenomenon is that it predominantly lifts women up and is all about us supporting each other. It means we need to rethink the ideas enforced on many of us from childhood. It’s creating a community of young women who celebrate their girlhood and female traits. A community where we encourage each other to express ourselves. A community where we fight against the patriarchal standards that are the backbone of our society.

The Barbie Phenomenon

With just a quick look at the pop culture of the past year, it’s easy to see this in action. The most obvious: Barbie. The Barbie Movie is the biggest film of the year. Millions of people worldwide decked themselves out in pink to go and celebrate this incredible feminist film. A film based on a doll that many of us were laughed at for loving. This film created an environment of female solidarity and shows that we are ready to take back the ‘girly’ things we were taught we couldn’t love.

TikTok and Social media’s influence

If you go onto social media today, you will see the emergence of this idea through countless trends and pages. TikTok alone is full of videos of girls experiencing the joy that can come from embracing our feminine sides. From filming outfits checks in public, dancing on the subway, or showing off your ‘girl dinner’, it is clear that this new era of femininity comes with a level of confidence. It is this that allows women to show off who they are unapologetically. A quick look in the comments shows the incredibly supportive community our generation of women is creating. Social media is so often a place of hate and insecurity, but it is becoming clear that ‘girls supporting girls’ is the way forward.

Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

But it’s not just the media feeding into this new ‘pink’ phenomenon, it is filtering down to us as individuals. Including myself. This week, I walked to my classes with ribbons in my braids, stickers on my laptop, and Taylor Swift in my headphones, all whilst being ready to debate important world issues and earn my degree. I felt powerful. Embracing the feminine parts of myself will never take away from my intellect or strength. This is why this reclaiming of girlhood is so important. It is empowering. It’s exciting.

It’s amazing to live in a time where being a girl is something to be celebrated and not something to be hidden. It doesn’t matter whether you love pink or black. Ballet or football. Knitting or video games. It doesn’t even matter if you identify as a woman. Celebrating femininity is important in our fight for gender equality. It is amazing to see so many people embracing parts of themselves they have previously shunned.

Featured Image Credit: Елизавета Крылова on Unsplash

View other LGSM articles on female empowerment here.