Writing for Missing Perspectives about the idealisation of girlhood

Photo via Daisies (1966)

“I understand the desire to romanticise certain stages of life, and there is something beautiful about the mythology that surrounds girlhood: the sense of possibility, and that a whole life and a bright future lies ahead of the shining, Jo March-esque main character. Yet a focus on girlhood – potentially to the detriment of celebrating other, later stages of life – disturbs me…”

I wrote for Missing Perspectives about the ongoing cultural obsession with girls and girlhood. In 2024, why do we have a renewed attachment to girlhood and ‘girl-ness’? Why have trends like ‘girl maths’ and ‘girl dinners’ been adopted so readily, by so many? And when we focus to this extent on girls, what do we win – and lose?

I don’t expect to win many popularity points for this one – plenty of people use the term ‘girlies’, for instance, and some do so ironically. With my cultural critic hat on, however, I can’t help but believe that the resurgence of this term, and various related terms and concepts, speaks to a greater issue surrounding how women see themselves (and are encouraged to see themeselves). Miffed? Intrigued? You can read the full article here.