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TV Trope | Girly Girl

Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015 she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod,, after which she created a course called "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" based on it. Over 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by education, she quickly masters new areas. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in movies/serials, and writes about it in her project's blog.
That GIRLY GIRL, whose femininity is never in question. She loves animals, shopping, dressing up and buying jewelry, dreams of a fancy wedding and a prince on a white horse. She feels like the queen of the world. And, of course, she wears pink. Or lilac, which also emphasizes her femininity, but more mature.

A trope is an artistic device in storytelling. It is a collection of several factors that form a character/phenomenon. And that character is something we encounter in different movies/books/series.

Our brain identifies that there is something in common, but unless we know for sure the name of the trope and its characteristics, we can hardly explain it

A girly girl is a materialist.

She likes to buy jewelry and other girly things. "Dimonds are girls best friends" - remember? She always looks good, spends a lot of money on grooming, but doesn't say she works much.

Usually such girls are very sensitive and emotional - not afraid to cry and gladly use their tears as a weapon.

In general, what I have just described is such a traditional, standardized girl, whose qualities are often attributed by men to all females.
Examples of the GIRLY GIRL trail:
  • Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
  • Regina from Mean Girls
  • Charlotte in Sex and the City
  • Shakespeare's Juliet
  • Marilyn Monroe is just about everywhere
  • Bianca 10 Reasons I hate you
  • Amy in Little Women
If you think of such women from real life, it's very likely to be those who wear only a dress, gather in women's circles, learn to breathe the uterus, and so on.

Butooooo, stop. Do such feminine individuals still wear pink and are decked head to toe with jewelry?

Of course not. And the GIRLY GIRL trope itself is a regressive trope, meaning regressive.

What does that mean? It means that being a GIRLY GIRL is not cool at all right now.
Well, originally all women were supposed to be like that - to see their purpose as marriage and to be happy to stand at the stove.

From childhood, girls have been playing dolls, which lays this "girl role" in them.

But over time, goals and desires have changed.
First, women became stronger and more demanding at the end of the 19th century - she wanted to work and vote. New turns of feminism came in the '60s and the '90s. And now it is more fashionable to be a feminist and dream about career accomplishments than to want a family with many children and to get high from cooking.

More often than not, in movies and TV shows we see a girly girl paired with a boyish girl, Tomboy, who looks more organic to the modern world. She forms the backdrop for something more interesting.

But is femininity a bad thing?

Girlie girls are so stereotypical that they are even boring. But maybe we are in for a rebirth of this trope?

After all, there are already a lot of variations of girly girl, more "adapted" to modern life. For example:
  • The Fashionista is a fashionable girl with an eye for style and brands (Emily, "Emily in Paris")
  • Housewife is a woman whose whole life revolves around her husband and the household (Beth Ann, Why Women Kill)
  • Lady of Black Magic - GIRL GIRL with magical powers
  • Lady of War - the elegant Action girl
  • Proper Lady - a real lady, kind, feminine and polite (Melanie Hamilton, Gone with the Wind)
  • Tomboyness Upgrade - GIRL GIRL becoming a tomboy over time
Life is cyclical.

And if for more than 100 years women have walked away from femininity, maybe very soon a "new femininity" will come, the bearers of which will again be the main heroines of movies and TV series, and one will want to be like them again.