Reclaiming femininity one mall at a time

Many young girls are faced with the challenges of overcoming or fulfilling stereotypes placed upon them, some taking it to the point of rejecting feminine ideals for further validation. However, by accepting and embracing these stereotypes, young girls can truly be themselves.

Stine’s Mind: An Arrowhead Column

Shopping at the mall may be commonly viewed as a feminine activity by many, but women should strive to reclaim these stereotypes and enjoy what they love, including shopping.
According to Wikipedia, a “girly girl” can be defined as “a girl or woman who chooses to dress and behave in a traditionally feminine style.
It can include wearing pink, using make-up, using perfume, dressing in skirts, dresses and blouses, and talking about relationships and other activities which are associated with the traditional gender role of a girl.”
Another major stereotype stipulated upon women is a love for shopping.
The mall. Nostalgic for many as a remnant of their past childhood days spent being pulled along by their mother into hundreds of stores.
Nostalgic for waiting in line to sit on Santa’s lap.
Nostalgic for devouring sweet treats in the food court after a hard day’s work of shopping.
As a child, I hated the mall.
I hated shopping.
I hated being dragged along by my mom as she searched for a specific piece to add to her wardrobe.
I hated the mall Easter bunny and Santa.
Introspectively speaking, this came from my own desire to not be viewed as a “girly girl.”
I rejected things stereotypically associated with females, such as loving the color pink or wearing dresses, just to seek validation some other way.
I didn’t want to be like every other girl.
However, I was.
I secretly loved the color pink, loved getting dressed up, getting manicures, playing with my dolls and going shopping at the mall.
I felt I couldn’t enjoy these things openly.
I wanted to garner respect from all genders, and in my mind, I couldn’t be a stereotypical girl in order to do so.
I looked down upon other girls who openly expressed their love for these stereotypes despite me also falling victim to them.
I’ve grown from this warped perception of stereotypes.
I now walk into the mall with my head held high.
I love shopping, which doesn’t take away from any of my other attributes.
I wear pink clothes.
I paint my nails however I want.
The mall has allowed me to rediscover my love for simply being a girl.
I can spend hours enjoying various clothing stores, gossiping with friends and relaxing in the food court.
I don’t strive to fulfill any stereotypes placed upon me for simply being a girl.
I also don’t strive to purposefully deny what I enjoy in order to not appear weak and feminine, terms generally associated with each other.
At the end of the day, pink is just a color. A mall is just a place.
I’m allowed to enjoy what I love, without worrying about how others’ perception of me fluctuates as a result.