Madonna sang- Do you know..what it feels like..for a girl..in this world? And then she goes on to try and answer that question. We’re always trying. Through songs, poems, rants, tears, declarations, even secret smiles. This is my attempt.
As little girls, we wear frilly frocks with matching hair bands. We find joy in dressing dolls and cooking imaginary meals for anyone caring to try plastic omelettes and sausages. Our days are packed with polka dots, Barbie dolls, bubble-fights and bed-time stories. Slowly, the rainbow-lenses through which we see the world start fading. Tendrils of reality start to twirl their way around us, tearing apart innocence. Our naivete becomes a self-destructive weapon as strangers start to look at us with gleaming eyes and hidden agendas. And no amount of being cocooned by those who love us can truly protect us.
Puberty strikes, bringing with it another barrel of emotional hell. Raging hormones and senseless crying. There is the struggle we face between discovering what we are capable of and trying desperately to weld ourselves into being accepted. Our world starts to revolve around our friends while at home, we’re constantly arguing with parents who can’t understand who we are anymore. Crushes and cat fights. Boys and proms. Will the fairy tales we have conjured in our heads come true for us? What did the world hold in store for a girl with hopes and dreams and an endless imagination?
By now I’m old enough to have some answers. Maybe a few too many.
We are girls. We love shoes, manicures, and talking incessantly. We’re petty and caring and cry at the drop of a hat. We have a love-hate relationship with our bodies. We’re flooded with ecstasy when we fit into a dress that’s one size smaller and shudder when we discover wrinkles and cellulite. We blush when we’re told how pretty we are and our hearts flutter when a boy holds our hand promising never to let go. We are shallow and deep and lovely all at once. But above all, we’re strong and fearless. You see, we have to be. Everyday we are fighting the battle between being a free-spirited soul and conforming to society’s expectations of how we’re meant to live our lives. The overbearing weight of the ‘family name’ nags us in the choices we make. We’re criticized for letting one of the hundred things we take care of, slip. When we walk out the door, we need to be ever-prepared to face the wickedness that lurks in the form of strange men ready to violate us. Be it the ‘accidental’ brushes and groping of our bodies or even the ultimate abuse of power- rape. At every stage we’re fighting to take control of our own lives. It takes every ounce of courage to keep us from crumbling.
We’re labelled many things- complicated, confused, drama queens. Actually, we have very simple needs. We just desire the freedom to do what we wish to do without being judged. Whether it’s being ambitious or carefree. We deserve to be respected after all that the world forces us to endure. Above all, we dream of being loved- for everything we are and are not & for all the comfort we provide without expecting anything in return.
God gave us breasts, ovaries and a uterus. His generosity permitted him to throw in the unexpected gift of multiple orgasms, for which we are truly grateful. Still, there isn’t a single girl who hasn’t cursed him at the time of her period, while experiencing the pain of getting waxed and of course facing the excruciating ordeal of childbirth. Why oh why we scream and curse?! But ask any girl if they would have it any other way and they would tell you- Heck no! We would rather be what we are – amplify every emotion, even the painful ones, and have it reverberate in every vein in us; fight against those who constantly misunderstand us; face the challenges of balancing domesticity, ambition and our own happiness- than trade it all. Only we can do this. For we aren’t just girls, we are Supergirls.