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Opinion: Girlhood

Audrey Szijj
Girlhood has evolved from a term that just meant growing up as a girl, to something that can be shared with a community that experiences the same things and connects with them.

Since the release of the “Barbie” movie, the idea of girlhood has gained a new meaning on social media. In the past, being called “girly” was typically an offensive term, but recently, many have been reclaiming their femininity and romanticizing their experiences of girlhood with other women. This trend includes women sharing their experiences, connecting and relating with one another. This creates a nostalgic and supportive community of girls looking for a safe space to find people who think the same.

TikTok trends 

The girlhood trend can most commonly be seen on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, where content creators are creating things such as “hot girl walks”, meaning a girl who takes a stroll outside wearing an outfit and listening to music that makes them feel good, or “girl dinner”, which is a trend of girls eating things like snack boards for dinner as opposed to a traditional meal. These trends are a way for girls to find similarities between one another, and help lift each other up to be their most confident selves.

Wanting a second chance at girlhood

The desire for a second chance at girlhood often shows itself in these recent trends. It reflects a yearning for simplicity and innocence, and a life before the daily struggles of growing up. However, this longing isn’t necessarily about reliving past experiences, but more about capturing the essence of that carefree time that many of us have experienced and connected over. Wanting a second chance at girlhood is about reclaiming a sense of joy and playfulness that can sometimes be lost in the complexities of growing up. It can also be linked to important maternal relationships that are crucial for kids to have growing up. Additionally, for some people who didn’t have an ideal maternal figure in their lives, talking about and romanticizing these experiences of girlhood can be a way for them to capture this nostalgic feeling despite not having the chance to experience it in their childhood.

Reclaiming Coquette

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines coquette as “a woman who endeavors without sincere affection to gain the attention and admiration of men.” But recently, girls on social media have reclaimed this definition, not as something that portrays women as “manipulative” or selfish, but as an aesthetic of what is typically known as “girly things”, such as bows, light and feminine colors and lace. A coquette girl can now be defined as more than just a tease, but a confident girl who embraces her femininity and turns it into something to be proud of.


Romanticizing is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as, “making (something) seem better or more appealing than it really is.” Essentially, romanticizing is noticing the little things in life, and thinking of them in a less realistic sense, but rather in a creative and fun way. For example, if someone were to “romanticize school”, it would mean using colorful highlighters and making little doodles on their paper to make studying more fun and cute. Romanticizing girlhood often involves celebrating the diversity of femininity, which contrasts the idealized view of one straight path to womanhood with a realistic understanding of unique paths. Romanticizing these paths allows girls to get past the struggles of growing up and find the good in it.

While in the past femininity has often had a negative connotation and has been associated with weakness and passiveness, the community of empowering females on social media has recently made a change for the better. Now, femininity is associated with being a “girl’s girl”, or a girl who supports other girls and lifts them up as opposed to putting them down. From whimsical childhood experiences to navigating societal expectations, this recent trend of connecting and sharing girlhood experiences has become an inclusive part of society that is crucial for female bonding.

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About the Contributor
Audrey Szijj
Audrey Szijj, Writer
I'm a sophomore and a singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist. Also I like strawberries.

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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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