Do you remember the first time someone told you that you had finally become a woman? It was probably after your first menstrual period. Or, after a weird relative realized that you grew breasts (Sixteen Candles, anyone?) While physical changes do represent growth, I believe that they downplay what it really means to be a woman. Essentially, they make it seem like becoming a woman has nothing to do with the actual woman herself. Instead, once again, all of the credit goes to good ol’ Mother Nature.
The other day, after I overheard a few “adult” women gossiping about me, I thought to myself, “Those women would be better off in one of Lisi Harrison’s The Clique novels.” Then, I began to think about the differences between “girls” and “women.” At that moment, I realized that physical changes are completely insignificant when it comes to becoming an admirable woman. I began to think about what differentiated the women that I look up to from the girls that appear in my Middle School nightmares. This is what I came up with:
1. Girls gossip about other girls, whereas women support other women. If a woman has a problem with another woman, she (maturely) stands up for herself and says it directly to her face.
2. Girls make excuses, while women prefer honesty. If a woman does not want to go out, she doesn’t come up with a far-fetched excuse like, “Sorry, I have to babysit my aunt’s friend’s sister’s brother’s child’s rabbit.”
3. Girls get jealous. Women feel blessed and realize that they are incredibly thankful for everything that they have. Plus, women realize that not everything is as it appears and that jealousy is, often, unwarranted.
4. Girls dress for others. On the contrary, women dress for themselves. Women wear what makes them happy and comfortable. They do not need to impress others.
5. Girls brag and women don’t. Real women do not find bragging to be necessary. Instead, they focus more on the inner pride and accomplishment that they feel. Sometimes, they share their accomplishments with others to spread their happiness, but they always move on to more important matters.
6. Girls hide their true feelings. Women are open about how they feel. In other words, they do not let people get away with treating them like dirt.
7. Girls are close-minded and unwilling to accept others that are different from them. Women don’t care about what’s on the surface and (as cheesy as it sounds) believe that “it’s what’s on the inside that matters.” Essentially, women get to know those around them before they decide if they want them in their life.
8. Girls want others to believe that they have no faults. Women are not afraid to admit their imperfections because they realize that it is their imperfections that make them unique.
9. Girls are afraid to say that they’re hurting and need help. Women ask for help when they are struggling. If something is wrong with a woman, she reaches out. She could care less about appearing “weak” or “imperfect.”
10. Girls want boyfriends for attention and to appear like “adults.” Women want men that will treat them like equals. They do not need a man on their arm simply for show.
11. Girls spend money on frivolous things, simply for the “label.” Women buy what makes them happy, but they also know how to save their money and budget too.
12. Girls go to college because “that’s what everyone else is doing.” Women go to college because they realize the importance of an education. Furthermore, women get an education because they want to follow their dreams.
13. Girls make decisions with only themselves in mind. Women make decisions for the greater good. They realize that their decisions have repercussions, so they always think about others when they say or do anything.
14. Girls are looking for a job and a paycheck. Women are looking for a stimulating environment that motivates them and pays with more than money.
15. Girls seek revenge when someone hurts them. Women deal with their feelings and move on. They have more important things to worry about than dealing with “drama.”
16. Girls are constantly trying to hide or change their “imperfections” with makeup, surgery, clothes, and the like. Women are confident (or are at least working on it) even with their imperfections and have no need to hide anything.
17. Girls are afraid to be alone; they need a group of friends so that they can appear “popular” and “connected.” Women relish in alone time and recognize the benefits that come from self-reflection.
18. Girls love to talk solely about themselves, while women truly care about what others have to say. Women mean it when they ask, “How are you?” They care about others, want to help them in any way that they can, and want to learn from their fellow human beings.
19. Girls treat their possessions with disregard. Women realize that everything has value and they are thankful for everything that they have been given.
20. Girls listen to what they hear and believe it. Women realize that there is more than one side to every story. When they hear something, they listen, but they do not automatically believe it. They wait until they can observe and learn first-hand.