How to Grow Up as a Girl

by Rebecca Clemmons, Staff Writer

Illustrated by Anya Mohindra-Green

Hello Reader,

It has come to my attention that you have just recently been born into this world as a beautiful baby girl. Congratulations. And good luck.

Growing up as a girl is quite a difficult task. Don’t worry! I’ll teach you how. I promise, if you follow my instructions exactly, you’ll be just fine, and society will maintain its proper structure.

The first thing you’ll need is an adorable, girly name: something like Brittney, Katie, Jennifer or Kristine. This is really up to your mother. If, for some ungodly reason, she fails you at this imperative task, you must come up with a cute nickname for yourself. If you don’t, you’ll be forever sentenced to a lifetime of ridicule from peers and students. “Isn’t that a boy’s name?” they’ll ask you. And, of course, you wouldn’t want that.

Next, you must make sure all of your clothes are feminine—this goes for both style and color. This is important for your younger years, as many babies’ genders cannot be deciphered if not for the color of their clothing. Wear pink or purple: these are the unmistakable colors reserved for the female gender. Do not, under any circumstances, wear colors like blue or dark green. These colors are specifically reserved for male children. And, of course, you wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a boy. Goodness, how embarrassing would that be for your dear mother if her friends, or even people she doesn’t know and will never see again, think you’re a boy!

As you’re growing up, you’ll find that there are various types of toys to entertain you. There are specific toys that you’ll want to purchase, appropriate for girls to play with. These consist of Barbies, Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop animals and other dolls. You may also be interested in items such as bracelet makers and bedazzling devices. These toys are safe for you to play with. Stay away from toys such as Legos, Hot Wheels and other action figures. It doesn’t matter if you like them; they aren’t for girls. If you play with them, you will be considered boyish. And you wouldn’t want that.

A very unique characteristic of your gender is that girls typically hit puberty before boys. This is a blessing and a curse. Growing up is fun and exciting. However, once you begin to notice your body and your mind changing, there are a few things that you must do. First of all, in order to maintain social resolve, you must hide the changes you are going through. When you or your mother decides that you should start wearing a bra, for example, make sure that it’s a neutral color with the straps concealed. Similarly, when you or your friends get your period, make sure that you discuss it only in the presence of other girls. Basically, as soon as you start growing up, make sure no one notices—especially the male gender. It will distract them from their studies and could even make them uncomfortable. We can’t have that.

Once you’re fully in your teenage years, things will start to shift. As you get older, your interests must change. These are the things you should become interested in: clothing style, makeup, hairstyles and things of that sort. You could play a sport—however, be wary, you mustn’t become too muscular or athletic looking. Not only is it unfeminine, but it’s also typically unattractive. There are many additional fine lines that you must walk on all the time in order to be accepted. The first is regarding makeup: you should definitely wear some. If not, you will look like you don’t care about your appearance. But be careful! Do not wear too much—you’ll look like you try too hard, and that you only care about your appearance. Be moderate. Boys like that.

The next piece is regarding intelligence. Of course, you shouldn’t be completely unintelligent, and you should work hard at school. However, don’t worry too much—you’ll probably end up as a housewife anyway, and your husband will deal with the real intellectual tasks. And if you should decide for some reason that you do want to work exceptionally hard in your studies, feel free to do so (even though there is little reason, considering you will be making less money than a man in the same position you aspire to be). Be careful though; do not make yourself seem too smart, and definitely do not make yourself seem superior to your male counterparts. It will intimidate them.

The next fine line you must walk has to do with your body. You should be sure to not become too overweight (even after childbirth). But don’t be too skinny. Both are unattractive. Once you’ve hit this happy medium, don’t celebrate it or call attention to it. In fact, it is wisest that you cover up, so that you don’t distract others or make them uncomfortable—especially those of the male gender. If you flaunt yourself too much, you could be called a “slut,” a “whore” or “easy.” These are derogatory terms for women who expose their bodies too much. Additionally, if you decide to dress in this provocative fashion, you may be blamed for your own rape. But be careful! Don’t cover up too much. You may be called a “prude:” a woman who is too conservative regarding her body. And you wouldn’t want either of those.

I know that many standards have just been thrust upon you, baby girl, but it is better that you know now, rather than having to find out for yourself later. These are just mere guidelines—you don’t have to follow a single one of them. However, if you don’t, be prepared to suffer from a life of ridicule, challenge, social banishment and even danger.

Again, congratulations—and good luck. You’ll need it.