In defense of being girly

Which one of these is socially unacceptable?
Which one of these is socially unacceptable?

Remember Sk8r Boi by Avril Lavigne? (If you were a teenager in 2002, you feel me.) The gist is that a pretty girl who did ballet had the hots for the eponymous male, but she turned up her nose. She ends up at home feeding her baby. What an idiot, right? How dare she be pretty, like ballet, and have a kid? It’s not enough that she’s a snob; Avril has to make her uber-feminine. Avril even wears a tie in her videos, as if to say, “Don’t worry, I’m punk and aggro and have all these traits traditionally associated with dudes while simultaneously being nonthreatening and conventionally attractive and fuckable.”

For a while, that was my M.O. too. I thought being an empowered badass feminist meant taking a shit on everything girly. I hated blonde sorority girls, fake tanning, early education majors, and anything “prissy.” For some reason Legally Blonde and Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion were fine, great even (probably because they valued friendship over dudes). But I rejected all other aspects of femininity. (Fake nails? Are you a stupid vapid bimbo?) I thought an integral part of feminism was Daria and Angela Chase in My So-Called Life, wearing shapeless flannel and scowling and refusing to learn how to cook.

Turns out hating other women isn’t very feminist at all.

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