When you’re a girl, you start out life with everyone fawning over you, especially if you’re the youngest in the family. Everyone says you’re cute, you’re sweet and a princess almost all the time. You grow up believing that you are indeed special, and with the media bombarding you messages that girls should be like this and women should be like that, you follow a certain set of rules that you were conditioned to abide. But, alas, some things don’t last. At some point, it will all have to end, and that marks the start of the journey of girls to become women.
But, what does it mean to be a woman anyway?
Who knows? Okay, let’s just say a woman is an adult girl. But it’s still all very confusing! Law states that we are all adults at 21, some even laws even state 18, yet I know I am too young to be called an adult then. I didn’t know the significance of having investments and the meaning of “future” when I was 18. I didn’t even understand death, to be honest. I was just starting to actually drink a whole bottle of beer then.
Ageism is all the rage in Hollywood lately; reports on how young women are getting all the best roles, but they are all “girls”. Now these girls like Emma Stone for example, are 26 years old, and apparently, these roles don’t get offered to women over 36. I am getting confused now. So we are supposed to be women at 18 but the media is telling me now that 26 is a girly age and 36 is woman age, simultaneously old. Right?
My family treats me very differently now too, and I am getting confused in this area as well. Six months ago, my mother will ask me to eat healthy, ask me what I have for dinner and all the mothering stuff that is required from mothers that honestly, smothered me. Lately, all that has gone. I miss it dearly and I had to come to a dark place to come to terms with the fact that that my-little-daughter-is-away treatment is gone. Then again, whoop, I am still a girl, right? Their little girl for life? No, apparently not. And the world forgets that too. What might surprise you is that all of it seems sudden.
My boyfriend is my champion in my identifying myself as a woman. He gets irritated when I turn into girl mode. I like that, because it helps me refocus. All I wanted when I was growing up was to become a fierce, independent and strong woman. With the plush comforts and expectations of being a girls in a strongly paternalistic country though, you sort of become spoiled. But not with my man. He pushes me far from my insecurities to help me realise where I am.
Insecurities? Thoughts such as, “Will I be able to do this? I’m still a girl!” will pop in and out of your mind especially when faced with challenging situations and it never helps. I think when you’re a woman, you know how to quiet your brain. They will still be there but you have more faith because you have been in this situation before and came out of it alive. You know it will pass, but it takes practice. Lots of it, and it will take time.
I don’t like to be a girl. I am a woman, or more accurately perhaps, is becoming a woman.
To answer the question, I think girls become women when they stop being princesses and strut as queens.