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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Girl Child? Rock It!

I am amazed to announce that yet again, I disagree with something published in Jezebel. What is this, twice in one week? Unheard of.

Still, I didn't really like the tone of the excerpt of "Woman Child" as presented in the magazine.

Before we go on, here are some images that show what we're talking about.

Zooey Deschanel
Katy Perry

Nicki Minaj

These are just a few of the celebrities mentioned in the piece about brightly colored nails, fluorescent hair extensions, and adolescent fashion. They're marked as a trend in women to keep the younger years alive. The author blames the fandoms, sweets and neon colors on the bad economy and a wish to remain a crutch.

But what if women simply like these things?

I just hate the tone here when Deborah Schoeneman says:

"I blame the recession in part for the obsession with overextended adolescence. In the past few years, recent college graduates have been moving back home with their parents in record numbers, heading right back into their childhood bedrooms. They can't get the jobs they want to kick off grown-up careers, so they waitress, nanny or tutor for longer than expected. Instead of moping around about not having any cash to go shopping for a real Cartier love bracelet, or someone to buy it for them, they can just slip on a stack of rubber bracelets from high school, still sitting in a drawer."

Either show me some research, some science, some numbers, or get the hell out. Maybe they just like it and maybe women aren't as scared to be who they are in the current society.

Did you ever think about that?

"And it's not just young women who move back home. Women with big jobs are also more panicked about holding on to them in the current economic climate, prioritizing their careers over becoming wives and mothers. Wearing a dress with a pink bow is a lot more fun than worrying about a pink slip."

When my mother was wearing the padded power Talbot suits from the 1980s, she was doing what she had to do to be taken seriously in the corporate world. And today, yes, an armful of plastic bracelets may not scream CEO, but it doesn't not scream it either. While we still have a very long way to go, I'd say the world is becoming a lot more accepting of personal choice and style. And that's a good thing.

But let's go back to the less serious implications of the article. Women are waiting to get married and have children. This article seems to be coming from a place of condescension to them. At the end, the author smugly notes:

"It certainly seems to me — writing this from the safe distance of imminent motherhood — that it's never been easier, more fun or more acceptable to remain locked in the warm, comfy embrace of childhood. It sure beats figuring out how to afford a nanny."

Well, I've got one on you, Schoeneman...actually, I've got two. I've got two four year olds. And from my safe distance of already being a mother, wearing "adult" clothing, and having done everything on the timetable acceptable to you, personally, I would like to suggest you please to be shutting your hole.

You sound ridiculous. And offensive.

How dare you tell women who have not yet settled into the family life or maybe don't ever want to, that what they are doing is hanging on to the comfy, cozy embrace of childhood?

And is "finding a nanny" really so much harder than fighting for your very identity against blowhards like you? I think not.

If anyone needs to grow up before becoming a mother, I'd say it is, indeed, you. You've got the mommy wars coming right up, so I suggest you either become comfortable enough with your role that you don't have to lash out at those different from you, or you stockpile your weapons and start picking on someone your own size, so to speak (by which I mean someone in your own life phase.)

As for me, I have dozens of unmarried friends who post their boozy vacation photos on Facebook, and I'm begging them, keep it up! I need it. I need to see it. I love it. I love it as much as I love the wedding photos and family photos.

That's the FB deal, right? I throw up a bunch of twin baby pics for my friends to gawk over and wish they had a family (or not), and them to throw up a bunch of travel pics for me to gawk over and wish I were single (or not.)

And, you know what else? I know dozens of parents (hold on to your pearls here) who like and wear sparkly nail polish, neon hair extensions, and hot pink shoes. I know parents who flap around over My Little Pony and squee about anime or Hello Kitty.

Because they like them. Shocker.

All I know is that if Schoeneman were so sure about her stance on the woman-child, she wouldn't have to shout about it so loudly.

Why don't we just let people live? One of my good friends is a self-proclaimed woman-child, and she also wrote about this...from the point of view of a person perfectly capable of looking after herself. Check it out.

You want to be a girl child? Rock it, I say.



  1. Rock on :) I actually found that the only useful thing in that article was that it pointed me to the blog of my favorite former Sassy editors. WOOHOO! I'm going to go relive my girlhood with the women who shaped it ;)

  2. Hear, hear! Says the mom with sparkly blue nails. Sparkly because I like it. Blue because my son thinks it is the most awesome color ever.

    Excuse me while I go dig out my overalls.

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