Thursday, September 3, 2009

you are what you are

From what I see and understand is that girls studies is the studies of girls and everything emotionally and physically they go through from little girls around age 5, up until high school. I relate to this class as I’m sure most of the students in this class do, as I went through all these stages that girls go through. During this time girls bodies will develop along with personalities. Girls hormones will be raging they will switch friends and boyfriends like dirty laundry.

This is a rough time for girls. Mary Pipher states that this is “a treacherous terrain for girls.” I agree. Girls are faced with depression due to family, friend and relationship problems. They always feel that they are not skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, don’t have enough friends, don’t have enough money. Notice the “enough”, I say enough is enough and be happy with who you are. Every girl gets pimples, gets broken up with, looses and gains friends, wishes they had more money. So what? You can get through it, I did and I am very proud of who I am today. I was not the most popular girl, I was awkward.

In Queer Girls, it points out that the media has a big impact on young girls. You see ads everywhere every day, in magazines, television, on signs. Katie quotes on page 1 of Queer Girls, “for better or worse, I think pop culture’s fundamental. Particular if you live in the countryside, and have grown up with no queer or female role models. I think your sense of your own identity has to be shaped by the media.” I know that I get dress ideas from the media, workout plans from E!, like the stars do. I also am very accepting of different races, cultures and sexual preferences due to the media. Yes, some is negative, but it’s all how you put in into perspective. It says “girls are challenged to use popular images and stories to make sense of their lives and communicate their differences.” There is someone out there just like you. It’s sad how most of the media today is tall, skinny, beautiful girls but there are just as many girls that are thicker out there too and just as beautiful if not more. It shows girls that it’s okay to be yourself, there is something for everyone. It would be sad if a girl knew she liked girls but held back because there were no shows about it. Lately there have been more and more evolving allowing girls to be who they want to be.

On page 9, I found that media does focus on “conventional images of beautiful white rich youthful slender female girls… who become the defining sexualized appeal of mass marketed visibility and seduction. Those who don’t fit into such prefabricated models, including sexy fat femmes, poor dykes, queers of color….are either othered as exotic or erased altogether from view.” This is how much of the media is today, but like I said there is more and more there showing the truth than there was previously. On page 12 it states “over the past decade, queer characters and artists have begun to appear in popular culture as protagonists and subjects of desire.” It also says how girls say over and over how limited pop culture is for youth looking for signs of same-sex love, queer communities and gender diversity. It is limited but it’s out there and it’s all how you view it.

Most girl-to-girl relationships are now seen as “sex symbols” in movies for men. Men encourage girls to kiss girls and most girls do it to please the man. I do feel there is a need for more diversity of race with homosexuality and for younger ages. Not quite until the age of 14 or so when they know what they want. You can tell and show a child it is man and woman to be together but if they feel differently, they will know and go with it. They do not need shows to decide if they are homosexual, they need it to know that it is okay in our culture. Just like if you have gays as parents, the child will only be gay if they feel it, and you can’t force anyone to feel a different way. You are what you are.


mhendrix said...

Hi Merritt,

Mary Pipher’s summary of girlhood being “a treacherous terrain for girls”, really hit the nail on the head for me as well. You are right girls never feel they are “enough”. I think we need to redefine “beauty” all together.

You really only are as beautiful as you are in the inside. This model that society has deemed as beautiful is making our girls miserable and with that they have a tremendous burden to carry everyday in order to just feel normal (if there is such a thing anymore). I see girls not even graduated from high school yet who have boob jobs.

Sadly, this pressure we are imposing is causing girls to feel even more insecure, these girls are dying to be beautiful….literally. The suicide rate among pre-teens and teenage girls is alarming. Girls are cutting themselves as a way to cope with the pain, and this is all for the pressure to feel beautiful, because if they do not fit this model they are constantly ridiculed. This terrain is becoming more and more treacherous by the day!

Kristen said...

Merritt from summer B! I didn't even realize this was your post till I went to comment!

I strongly agree that girls never feel that they are "enough", and I think that even most women feel that way at times.

I have to disagree with your statement: "Girls hormones will be raging they will switch friends and boyfriends like dirty laundry." I do not think this is the norm for girls going through puberty nor the best way to describe it. Many still shy about boys and clutch on to close friends for dear life.

Merritt Johnson said...

I agree with you both. Everyone is different but I switched friends and was boy crazy. It all depends on your personality and the environment of people you hang around with. My suster and her fridns are all different. Boob jobs in high school is nuts, alothough I think I wanted one before, lol.