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December 19, 2023 | Sarah O'Flaherty

The Rise of Girlhood: A Cultural Shift or a Cute Facade?

Navigating the Girlhood Wave: Unpacking the Cultural Phenomenon and Its Implications on Age, Gender, and Societal Norms

In 2023, a peculiar trend is taking center stage in pop culture—girlhood. From Megan Thee Stallion’s Hot Girl Summer anthem to the resurgence of Barbie and the Taylor Swift phenomenon, girl culture is undeniably having its moment. However, as society embraces this trend, questions arise: Is it a cause for celebration, or has misogyny merely found a charming new alias?

The influence of girlhood transcends age and gender, inviting everyone to partake in the festivities. The term “girl” has evolved beyond mere age demarcation, now representing a cultural movement characterized by camaraderie, support, and a rejection of traditional hierarchies. From Cherry Girl outfits to Hot Girl Walks and Girl Dinners, the language and lifestyle of girlhood have infiltrated daily life, creating a sense of sisterhood that defies stereotypes.

Yet, amidst the glitter of girlhood, some argue that it may inadvertently perpetuate ageism and sexism. The term “girlboss,” for instance, has been criticized for reinforcing the idea that femininity and leadership are an unconventional pairing. Susan Madsen, a professor of leadership, emphasizes the negative impact of using “girl” when referring to adult women, suggesting that it implies inferiority and weakness.

The ambiguity surrounding the term “girl” extends to the realm of feminism, with some perceiving it as a rejection of the progress achieved by women over the years. However, for a younger generation, girlhood represents a romanticized fantasy, a departure from the more serious connotations associated with the term “woman.” The reclamation of girliness is seen as a powerful and humorous way to redefine identity.

In a world where language evolves rapidly, the shift towards girlhood raises important questions about age, gender, and societal expectations. It challenges preconceived notions and invites individuals to embrace a more empathetic and inclusive perspective. Whether this cultural wave is a passing trend or a lasting transformation remains to be seen, but one thing is certain—the age of the girl is here, and everyone is invited to join the party.

Here at Wayfinderwoman we are available to help anyone struggling with issues related to sexism, or finding their way as a woman in today’s society.

More information on the support we offer can be found on our website, or by contacting our drop in centre at 01323886171


This blog post was inspired by the article linked here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/dec/02/how-the-world-turned-girly

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