Once upon a time, there was a girl whos name was Ashley. Ashley was tall, skinny, blonde and blue eyed. Ashley liked the typical girly things. She loved the colour pink, she liked getting manicures and pedicures, she loved to shop, and she had a weakness for pink girly drinks with umbrellas sticking out the top of the glass. Ashley didn’t go anywhere without at least two spare nail files, a tube of gloss and eye liner.
Ashley, is the stereotypical girl, and everything about her is a contradiction of what I think girls are – what I think girls should be.
Let’s start with the media’s portrayal of girls.
Thin. Skinny. Stick-like. Occasionally curvy, but not very often.
I have trouble with this image, because it’s everything I’m not. I’m on the plus side of curvy. I’m okay with that – mostly. But then who wouldn’t get a little self conscious of their body image when all they see around them is skinny, thin girls on the pages of magazines and on the TV screens?
I’m not saying let’s all get fat. Because I’m not okay with that either. BUT, what I am saying is that the way that the media represents the ‘ideal/perfect girl’ to us, is unrealistic. They’ve caused ME to have delusions. If I see a photo of a girl in a magazine, or on TV who ISN’T one of those stick-like creatures, I immediately think ‘Whoa girl, loose some weight…’ which is utterly ridiculous, because she’s probably at least 5 sizes smaller than me anyway… and SHE is probably healthier than half the stick thin girls.
Moving on to our love of all things pink, pedicures, manicures and shopping. I’ll admit. I like shopping. (OK, so really I have a slight addiction to it, and not enough money to spend on this habit.) But guys like shopping too! Not all of them… but then, not all girls like shopping either. There’s just something satisfying about going out and spending hard earned cash.
Pink? Um, yes. Ok, I like the colour pink too. In moderation. Huge amounts of moderation. In fact, if you opened my wardrobe, I think there’s probably only one pink thing in there. Or two. Or three. But really, I’m not that in love with the colour…
Manicures… pedicures… well who DOESN’T like them? Even dog’s have ‘em. And I know plenty of men who go and have them done on the sly… and without the polish… (usually).
So called girly drinks? I can drink tequila with the best of them. I can skull a pint of beer, and I can throw back red bull and jagermeister in one go. But I’m also kind of partial to a glass of wine, or a ‘girly’ drink with a pretty pink umbrella poking out the top of the glass. What? They’re pretty!
I’m not big on make up. I’ll be honest. I find the application of it to be time consuming. I’m GOOD at it (which came as a surprise to me as well as many others…) but I don’t wear it often. I wear the basics to work. Light foundation, eye liner and gloss. I only go all out is I HAVE too… or if I’m having a good day and want to make it better…. Or if I’m having a crappy day and want to make it better…. Or if I have someone I want to impress… Or…..
And I may have a spare eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss and perfume atomizer in my bag.
Nail files? Who needs them!?
Me. I’m sorry… I’m a girl. Possibly a stereotypical one….. if you knew me, you’d say I was anything BUT a stereotypical girl. I can drink with the guys, I can swing from a rope, I can climb a tree, I can kick a soccer ball, I can ski down alpine slopes covered in moguls, I can carry heavy objects, I can swing a hammer and paint a wall. I can lug 20kg bags of salt down to the pool, I can climb an ivy covered fence and hack at it with a saw for hours on end… I can stir concrete and cook up a pretty decent roast dinner (at the same time… hey, I’m a girl, we can multitask!). I can change a light bulb, put together any kit set furniture you throw at me, and I can drive a stick shift.
But I need my nail files. (What would I do if I broke a nail and didn’t have one!?)
So, the media portrays us to be those pink loving, pink drinking, make up wearing, nail file toting, manicure having girly girls… that’s okay. But maybe they could also show us cutting down a tree or two, or plastering a wall from time to time.
And enough with the skinny girls! Give us some REAL women.