Posted inGlobalNews

Recap 2023: The year of girlhood celebration

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America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Alex Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn, the actresses of the legendary 2005 teen film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, reunited over the weekend to celebrate Ferrera’s participation in the SAG-AFTRA Foundation panel event for Barbie in New York City on December 15.

Ferrera, who plays Mattel employee and mother Gloria in the Barbie film, was a guest speaker on the panel and a Critics Choice Awards nominee for supporting actress. She is also due to receive the annual Critics Choice SeeHer Award. Fans who were disappointed that she did not receive a Golden Globe nomination would be relieved by her current nomination.

This weekend’s reunion was all anyone could have hoped for, complete with Instagram postings from Lively and Tamblyn congratulating their mutual girl-friend. It also indicates, in my opinion, that this year was undoubtedly one for the girls. While a lot of girls have always claimed to be a “girl’s girl,” 2023 seemed to be the year that really drew the girls together. Every aspect of girlhood was celebrated, from large pop cultural moments to minor banal acts that became TikTok trends.

Giving “Girl” a new meaning

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It appears like Gen Z-ers are reclaiming the term “girl” in the same way that many phrases or popular slurs have. I mean, we’ve all heard the terms “You run like a girl” or “You fight like a girl” thrown at ourselves or someone else at some point in our lives. And, while there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with “fighting like a girl,” or even just existing as one, the phrase’s underlying meaning was disparaging and misogynistic. Maybe that’s why we’ve been embracing our “girliness” a little more this year.

It’s proven to be a method for twenty-somethings to get together and create our own elite lunch table. We’ve all seen the “hot girl walk” trends on TikTok, and yes, I will continue to say it every time I leave my apartment. Or the communal closets and make-up stations with No Doubt’s “I’m Just A Girl” playing on repeat. Anyone else have flashbacks to when those early 2000s cosmetics kits were all the rage? I’m quite sure I can still smell the strawberry lip gloss from that one beauty kit.

Celebrating all types of GIRL

Among the feminine fads were “clean girl,” “vanilla girl,” and “messy girl,” which honored all elements of girlhood. Though these trends did not begin this year, their continuous popularity on TikTok demonstrates their endurance and tenacity.

@bunniesgianna im a clean girl myself &lt3 #cleangirllifestyle #cleangirl #πŸŒ·πŸ’• #🍡 #fypγ‚· #πŸŽ€πŸ’•πŸŒ·πŸ΅ #loveeee #viral #cute #skincare #messygirl #cleangirlaesthetics #messygirlaesthetic ♬ original sound – β˜†π“‰π’½π’Άπ“‰ β„Šπ’Ύπ’Άπ“ƒπ“ƒπ’Άβ˜†

Whereas the “clean girl” aesthetic emphasized slick back ponytails and no-makeup makeup, the “vanilla girl” aesthetic emphasized minimalism and put-together basic outfits, and the “messy girl” aesthetic celebrated the imperfections of being a girl by wearing clothes that don’t fit perfectly and carrying purses that still had receipts from last week’s brunch. But no matter which girly you were, you had a place in the group to be yourself.

@ciriym

heheheh

♬ if u use this ur hot. – 66c3aa

Girl Tours!

The Eras Tour was perhaps the most memorable girlhood moment this year. The Eras Tour brought together women from all over the world, allowing us to participate in Swift’s signature easter egg moments and connect to music that speaks to us no matter where we are in life. The launch of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour also provided us with another opportunity to see the tour’s enchantment.

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This year’s Renaissance Tour by Beyonce also brought the girls together. You can’t deny the power of women in music, whether you watched the tour live or in cinemas. The 2024 Grammy nominations are a wonderful testament to women’s successes in music, with all but one of the album of the year nominations going to women and nonbinary musicians.

Of course, there’s Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film. Watching the Barbie movie with your best friend β€” and dressing up β€” was peak girlhood this year, allowing everyone to reconnect with their inner girl and feel all the emotions.

Because, at its core, girlhood is rooted in nostalgia. The countless girlhood fads we’ve seen have all served as a way to reconnect with our inner girl, the same girl who liked playing with Barbie dolls or grew up listening to Taylor Swift’s older albums, or who simply wanted to feel like they finally had a seat at the lunch table.

Deeper meaning – Reconnection

This year, girlhood represented inclusion and reconnection, even if it included some less-than-frugal tendencies. I’m looking at you, girl math. But if I can use return money to excuse my recent Amazon purchases, I’ll gladly do so. In a world where women are expected to be everything to everyone, celebrating girlhood meant returning to our younger selves.

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And for brief intervals in our lives, the girls could be the major protagonists with no pressure. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants reunion revealed that sisterhood and girlhood still exist and will be celebrated years later.

Maybe next year everything will calm down and we won’t do it for the girls. Or perhaps pop culture will continue to glorify girlhood. But, whatever happens, you can bet I’ll still be a girl.

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