I recently saw a pin on Pinterest (clearly, where I spend much too much time) linking to the blog “Straight Up Glam,” with a beginning list of “100 girly things to do” when you’re bored. Another pinner commented that it was one of the most degrading things they’d seen, so I decided to take a look. Heads up: this is a long, ranty post. I am passionate about this topic, though, and would love to hear your thoughts as well.
Just from the “About Me,” I could tell this blog isn’t meant to be any sort of deep–which is fine–but after perusing through the first 10 suggestions, then up to her most current list of 50, I was generally appalled at this blogger’s definition of “girly.”
It’s like, think of every stereotype you’ve ever heard associating women with silliness, frivolity or complete shallow materialism–and that is what her list entails.
A few things before I tear apart her lists:
- I have no problem with femininity (as should be obvious). I don’t believe that in order to be “equal” to men, we have to dress or act like them; however,
- I firmly believe that the widely accepted generalization of women as vapid, emotional, damsels-in-distress is furthered by such vain, surface level expressions of what girls/women ought to be doing with their free time.
- I don’t think the activities mentioned in themselves are wrong, I just feel it’s wrong to identify the word girly as pertaining to self-indulgent material-worship. A better name for her list might be “100 things to pamper yourself.”
As I went through the list again for this post, I made a list of the few “not bad” suggestions and the downright appalling suggestions. Keep in mind, these are all her suggestions for what to do in your free time:
- Sign up for dance class/lessons
- Make your own _________
- Be a tourist in your own city
- Learn to sew
- Plant a garden
These are (out of fifty) the only ones that stuck out to me as actually a) requiring a useful skill, b) adding to the value of self in a non-material way, c) providing opportunities to learn and grow as an individual. STILL, the author clearly has distinct lines in her head about what girls ought to do and what boys ought to do, as if there’s no crossing-over allowed. Also, being a “tourist in your own city” is the only one out of 50 that suggests anything outside of one’s home or yard–unless you count trips to the various salons she suggests to maintain a sightly appearance.
The Appallingly Demeaning:
- Having a “girly playlist” that encompasses the bubblegum pop of our generations, including poster-child of women: Madonna’s “Material Girl.”
- Gossip. …Yep, just “gossip,” listed as an actual suggestion
- Finding your signature perfume, so you can be remembered like the other girls you know
- Tying “pretty bows” on your hangers
- Buy a set of tools–but all in pink!
I could go on listing the suggestions that literally made my jaw drop and my blood boil, but those above are some of the worst. I almost don’t know where to start with this list! Firstly, I suppose I could start with the horrific idea that there are many among the female population that see these suggestions and might actually spend a few hours trying to get the prettiest bows around all of her hangers!
Such menial, pointless wastes of time almost hurt to think about. I can maybe understand doing these activities in a group setting, while bonding and talking–maybe, but to suggest a girl sit around and try out dozens of perfumes to find the one that personifies “her” is a colossal waste of energy almost unfathomable to me under any circumstance!
And the photos she finds for these are something else entirely: for the tool set the tools look almost like a toy set–and definitely look like decoration rather than anything to get real use out of.
Imagine walking into the life of a woman who has bows around all of her hangers (that sit hidden under mountains of clothes in her closet), whose every possession is decorated with rhinestones, and who sits around gossiping and painting (and then re-painting) various parts of her face and nails during her free time. At best, I’d smile with a crinkled nose and say “aw, how cute.”
You just can’t associate that type of person with maturity or take them seriously–and the idea that women should act like this is absurd.
I still can’t believe “gossip” is listed as something to do in your spare time. Gossip is degrading, indulgent, and destructive. Always.
It’s like people don’t understand that we, as human beings, should be trying to be the best people we can be. Why? Because it brings us and others the purest happiness that we can have–not the fleeting, fading happiness that comes from material possessions and appearances. To me, it’s difficult to see how one’s conscious could allow for such behavior.
Here is my main problem: just as men don’t strive for “boyishness” (a term basically synonymous with immaturity), why would women seek/want/strive to be more “girly?” Pampering yourself occasionally is one thing, but a female that spends her free time trying to find her “perfect red lipstick” or “bedazzling” is not only stooping to demeaning stereotypes of women, but her lack of meaningful actions contribute nothing to society or the betterment of the world. This behavior contributes to the reason women often feel unable to be happy until they modify themselves to fit what they think everyone else wants to see from them. This is why young girls grow up to believe they are only worth as much as they’re liked by others.
“Prevailing myths imply that [women] are of lower importance than men, that we are generally sweet but uninformed,”  and women are the first ones that need to be convinced of the untruthfulness of these myths! Entitlement, excuse, apathy, enticement and general worldliness really shouldn’t be passed on to the younger women of the world–so might I suggest my list of 100 Things Girls Should Do In Their Free-time, starting tomorrow.