Please just let teenage girls live

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I go on Twitter. A lot. And so I see a lot of trends in terms of what people like to tweet about. There’s a lot of stuff about politics, some sports, and funny stuff. 

The funny stuff is divided into a few different categories, one being ‘kind of mean to other people in order to be funny.’ Often times, this is well deserved, with people responding to someone being ridiculous or who’s spewing racist rhetoric. That’s fine. I support it. But another thing that people like to make fun of a lot is girls.

Girls are constantly villainized for existing, and I really just do not understand why. We may not even notice it since it’s so common, but no matter what they’re doing, people find reasons to critique anything and everything girls enjoy. Taking selfies, wearing too much makeup, not wearing makeup, liking Billie Eilish, using plastic straws, wearing short skirts, wearing band tees, you name it. 

Think about the trend of VSCO girls. Scrunchies, Hydro-flasks, and everything else associated with this personality type is made fun of and mocked, but for what reason? They’re just being kids. They’re not hurting anyone. And it was the same a few years ago with “Tumblr girls,” who were basically just VSCO girls but back when Tumblr was a thing. They were condemned for doing what they enjoyed until it became almost taboo to aspire to the Tumblr aesthetic. 

I’m not saying this is sexism, but it’s probably sexism. And this of course isn’t exclusive to girls; it’s kind of just anyone that shows interest in something that may seem traditionally feminine. But I just tend to see it more with people that identify as girls. 

Think about all the things guys get so into without anyone saying a word. Never in my short 17 years have I heard someone make fun of a guy for doing (Playing? Participating in? Idk the terminology) fantasy football. I’m sure that if girls did a fantasy football for Bachelor in Paradise there would probably be a riot. 

At face value, making fun of girls for their passing interests seems harmless. Yeah, I guess these trends are kind of materialistic, so why not tease them about it? The thing is, jokes add up, and after a while they aren’t that funny. 

I don’t think we consider what this does to girls. I know for myself, and I’m sure for a lot of other girls, the constant teasing about things I liked when I was younger made me feel stupid for liking them in the first place. If there was something that I felt would warrant a joke, I would avoid talking about it just to minimize the chances of a joke being made about me. 

I think this is reflective of greater issues in our society that seem to be perpetuated by social media. It’s not a new thing to think less of girly things or to arbitrarily criticize girls, but having a thousand other people on Twitter retweeting your jokes about them only serves as incentive to do it more. 

People can be annoying. I get it. But at this point, mocking girls has become an endless cycle – girls find a new thing that they like, people notice that teenage girls are into something, and make their life mission to shame it out of existence. 

More often than not, teenage girls are just being teenage girls. They have enough to deal with, and the last thing they need is more people telling them to stop doing things that make them happy. They’re not doing anything to hurt you or intentionally annoy you. 

  As cliché as it sounds, live and let live. It’s really not that difficult.