From Girls to Women

I have to be honest. Being under twenty-five and engaged gets me some weird looks – and not for the reason you think I’m getting at. People don’t judge me for being in my early twenties and getting married in a year and a half. I get weird looks because people automatically assume I’m 16 or 17 and get freaked out when they see the ring on my finger. It’s only with a full face of makeup on that I actually look like I’m in my early twenties. It takes lipstick and some sharp-as-knives eyeliner for anyone to seriously consider me an adult. As though lipstick can make a woman.

When I go to the dentist, doctor, hair dresser, they all make the assumption that I’m still in high school. On my last dentist visit in December – prior to the proposal – the dentist actually asked me what high school I went to when I had just been discussing with the hygienist my living situation and had very clearly stated that I am finishing my Bachelor’s degree and live with my very committed significant other.

This is not only problematic because it annoys the hell out of me, but because it perpetuates the habit of calling women “girls.” I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve been called a “girl” or found myself referring to a woman with a full time job and kids as a “girl.” Girls do not pay bills, mother children, or get married – at least I hope they don’t.

I know that I am not the first to say this but: Stop calling grown women girls. These words are not interchangeable. You wouldn’t refer to a clearly adult man as a boy. You would be accused of infantilizing the man in question and insulting him by insinuating that he is not responsible, capable, adult, etc. Yet, no one cares if grown women are called girls despite that being an action with the exact same inferred consequences as calling a man “boy.” How’s that for a double standard?

I’ve been thinking a lot abouta video that Mayim Bialik posted on Youtube a couple of weeks ago called “Girl vs. Woman: Why Language matters” and an article I recently read on Feminist Current  called “You’ve heard of rape culture, but have you heard of pedophile culture?“.  I highly suggest watching the video and reading the article as they both provide very valid points as to why this habit of calling grown women “girls” is an epidemic in our society.

The biggest connection that I can make between these two sources of media is that “pedophile culture” sexualizes young girls, which we can all agree is wrong, but calling grown women “girls” feeds into the distorted fantasy because “in pedophile culture, we casually refer to grown women as “girls.” We have a word specifically for attractive female teenagers: jailbait. Women are sexualized as chicks, kittens, and babes” (Grey, 2017). We need to stop this habit now. We need to stop referring to women as children and sexualizing them at the same time. It takes agency away from the woman in question and introduces sexually charged language in reference to young girls thus creating the illusion that lusting after an adolescent is socially acceptable.

This is an all too common problem. It not only exists in how we refer to said women, but how they feel compelled to present themselves. The culture we live in promotes anti-aging creams up the wazoo, surgeries proclaiming their ability to “reclaim your youth!”, and an omnipresent media that markets youth and beauty as though they are the ultimate goals of a woman’s life. This culture makes it feel as though women need to present themselves as children in order to be accepted as women. Seems kind of counter intuitive to me.

The most prominent and relevant example that I can think of is Ariana Grande’s media image. Up until fairly recently – in the last three years or so – the now 23 year-old singer was being marketed as a sexualized 14 year-old. She was dressed in either mini skirts, cropped shirts and thigh high socks with her long hair styled in a childish high ponytail or retro, calf-length dresses with her signature ponytail. Her makeup was always natural looking and she had a very subdued demeanor when in the media spotlight. She was seen performing in a mixture of outfits that looked like a young girl’s dance recital costume or grown-woman-ish looking dresses with childish hair pieces. Her ever-present high ponytail and innocent doe-eyed expression created a childlike illusion but was paired with highly sexualized outfits and a sexy-leaning stage presence. This conflicting image presented to the world turned Grande into an objectified version of herself. She appeared to be an adolescent but at the same time, clearly was presenting herself in a somewhat sexual manner. This signalled to the men who were watching her that it was okay to fantasize about Grande – despite her childlike image. So, many men did just that and weren’t shy about it.

Grande’s age and clothing were in complete discord with one another. She was being sexualized by magazines and fans right and left, yet her marketing team chose to preserve this image of childlike innocence through how she was dressed for public events. The way that she was being perceived by the media was entirely beyond her control and only perpetuated by the way she was presented to the public by her own image team. She was being viewed as a sexualized child by the vast majority of the world. If we want to end this culture – the culture that sees grown women but prefers to view them as “jailbait” – we need to stop calling them “girls.”

Let a grown woman be an adult. Let her age. Let her step outside of the gaze that has viewed her as an object since she was pubescent. Refer to her with the correct language. It may not seem like it has an immediate impact, but changing your language can help change your perspective. You never know, someone you know may pick up the habit from you and pass it along in a wonderful butterfly effect. It could wind up helping to move us all from viewing women as girls and give women back the agency they have so rightfully earned.


 

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UPDATE – 1/5/2017

Hello, lovelies!

Happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful time during the holidays with family and friends, a safe time traveling to and from your destinations, and that the return to the working world wasn’t too rough. I got to go to one of my favorite places on earth, Trader Joe’s, while visiting my parents and get my favorite holiday cookies (Candy Cane Joe Joe’s) and some other goodies to bring home with me to my Trader Joe’s-less life up north.

Max’s family got me a Pusheen kigurumi onesie  for Christmas. It is the coziest. My parents got me a sewing machine and the most beautiful wind chime that they picked up in Mexico. Max, Michael, Megan, and I had a blast opening the presents my parents got us all. The gif below shows me doing a poor job of helping Max open his box of candy from my parents that contained a block of 9 Toblerones and a bag of gummy bears; and Michael hugging a bag of rice to go with the vegetable steamer that Megan is opening.

 

Besides regaling my Christmas adventures, my purpose of this post today is to let you guys know what’s going on in Julia-land and why I haven’t been posting lately.

Besides being extraordinarily busy, I’ve had the need to take some personal time lately. Don’t be alarmed, I’m fine. I just needed to sort through some things and it wound up taking up more time than I thought it would and due to this, my creative wells have kind of run dry. I’m working on getting the enegery to be creative back and I hope I’ll have some ideas to work with soon.

I also am currently out of sticker paper and without the funds to buy any at the moment. So, I’ve been sort of putting off making stickers since I can’t actually print them out and use them to show you all what they look like in my planner. Because of this, I’ve been using some of the mambi sticker sets that I mentioned in my last planner spread post. They’re awesome. Seriously awesome.

If you guys wouldn’t mind me showing  you spreads with stickers I didn’t make, I can continue posting weekly spreads and make stickers for my Wednesday downloads that I can’t provide an example for in my own planner. I don’t mind doing that at all. In the meantime, however, I might do a few filler posts to introduce you to my cats and maybe a few other things.

But, for now, that’s all I have today. I am so sorry that I’ve kind of left you guys high and dry for two weeks now. I promise I’ll try to have new material soon. Thank you for reading!

 

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FREE Holiday Stickers!

Hello, lovelies!

Happy Holidays!! I have to tell you, I am seriously excited for Christmas this year. I have my amazing boyfriend, my lovely roommate/best friend, and our kitties to celebrate with. We got each other presents decorated our Christmas tree (see below); we’re going to have egg nog, cookies, and Bailey’s hot chocolate on Christmas Eve while we open presents. And, on Christmas morning, we’re planning on cinnamon rolls, corned beef hash, and orange juice before we travel to visit our families the next day. I’M JUST SO READY FOR CHRISTMAS, Y’ALL. Plus, I get to see my parents, meet my brother’s absolutely adorable girlfriend for the first time, and see my little old kitties at my parent’s house. I’m pretty excited about that.  And here’s my Christmas tree:

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Our Christmas tree just after we decorated it, before all the presents were placed underneath and the kitties decided to climb it.

Anywho! On to the original point of this post: HOLIDAY STICKERS. (Sorry for the excessive use of caps lock in this post – I just need to convey how ecstatic I am). I have two sets for download today: one Christmas-ish themed, and one Hanukkah themed. I am still working on a New Year’s one. If I finish it today, I’ll post it later this afternoon. If not, it’ll be up next week. I promise!

I say the Christmas one is Christmas-ish because it isn’t exclusively Christmas. It’s more or less wintry with a dash of Christmas thrown in for good measure. I hope you like them! Click the picture for the download!

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And here are the Hannukah stickers! I don’t know how many of my readers practice Judaism. So, I don’t know how much use these are going to get. But, I hope you like them! I think they came our pretty great. And the first day of Hanukkah lines up perfectly with Christmas Eve this year so I had to make them. Download them by clicking on the picture!

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Thank you so much for reading! Happy holidays and happy planning! 🙂

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P.S. It has occured to me that I never wrote about my kittens. Would anyone like a post introducing you all to my kitty babies? Let me know in the comments!

 

UPDATE:

I have New Year’s stickers for you all! I just finished them. The idea I had was not really a cohesive set but more of a supplement for you favorite sticker set. So, these stickers are a bunch of motivational and positive quotes to add to your stickers for the week. I hope you like them! Click the picture to download. 🙂

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Weekly Spread 12/19 – 12/23

Hello, lovelies!

I’m back! 🙂 And today I have my weekly spread to share with you all.

So, on black friday, I took advantage of some of the INCREDIBLE sales that Michael’s had going on and snagged some of the new happy planner stuff. With the aid of some amazing coupons, including a half-birthday 60% off (yeah, they do that), I got some adorable new stickers, a cover for my BIG Happy Planner, and one of the new mini Happy Planners. I LOVE IT ALL. SO MUCH. It’s almost unreal how cute everything I get grom mambi is.

Because I was so excited about all my new stickers, and because I hadn’t finished my Holoday stickers yet for you all, I used the new mambi planner stickers in my planner this week. The sets I’m using are: Create 365™ The Happy Planner™ Value Pack Stickers, This Colorful LifeCreate 365™ The Happy Planner™ Life Quotes Stickers ;  and Create 365™ The Happy Planner™ Value Pack Stickers, Today Is the Day ; with a few extra stickers I had lying around from another pack of stickers I’d bought at Michael’s forever ago.

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I hope you all like these new stickers as much as I do!

Happy planning!

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Hi lovelies!

I have an update for you all today! As of right now, and for the next week-ish, I don’t really have the time to blog. So, I will be taking a break until the week of December 18-24. I have finals coming up and I am incredibly busy with work and exams and term papers and final projects and presentations – Well, I’m really busy. So, unfortunately, I need to give myself a break from blogging.

“But, Julia, you only post two days a week! How much time can blogging really be taking away from you?” 

I know, little voice in my head, it sounds like I don’t put a lot of time into blogging. But, the long and the short of it is that blogging takes more time than I’ve got at the moment. With designing and making stickers in photoshop to planning out my weekly spread and so on, it takes up a good chunk of my time. And I need all the time I have to power through the rest of the semester.

Plus, I am wayyyy low on printer ink – I don’t even have enough to print school related things right now and that is bad news bears right there – and I’m running low on money to buy new printer ink so I can’t really afford to print the stickers I design to show you lovely readers how they look in my planner. You see my dilemma?

However, I promise that, when I return to blogging after finals, that I will have not one, not two, but three new Holiday-themed sticker sets!

I think I’ll try to do a generic winter one, maybe a Christmas one and a Hannukah one because I know the first day of Hannukah is on Christmas Eve this year. Maybe a religious sort of Christmas one with some bible verses? I don’t know yet. Let me know in the comments if that is something you’d be interested in seeing!

Anywho, I have taken up enough of your precious time. I am so sorry for the rambly wall of text. Thank you very much for reading! I’ll see you all on the other side of the storm.

Happy planning!

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Purple & grey stickers

Hello, lovelies!

Is it Thursday? It is, isn’t it. I’m so sorry to have forgotten to post on Wednesday for the send week in a row. This semester really caught up with me over the past few days and it feels like I suddenly have a million and two things to do. But, since you’ve all been so lovely and patient with me, I have a new sticker download!

The stickers I used in yesterday’s spread are a set that I really adore. The color scheme is so pretty and I had such fun making them. They’re available on my etsy shop for $2.50.

download them from my etsy shop 🙂

Thank you so much for reading! If you need me, I’ll be buried under homework and preparation for Thanksgiving.

Happy planning!

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Weekly Spread 11/14- 11/20

Hi, lovelies!

For today’s planner spread, I used a set I’m really proud of and kind of love a lot. It’s a new set that is up for sale on etsy. I’m thinking of making a sampler to put up for free download tomorrow that relates to the set I used. Let me know if you think that’s a good idea! Otherwise I can put up an entirely different free set.

Anywho, here’s the spread for the week!

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I really need to get me a better camera so it isn’t so dark when I take these photos. O hope you all like the stickers and are as excited as I am about them!

Happy planning!

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Note: I’ll be taking next week off for Thanksgiving so there won’t be any regular posts for the week of 11/21-11/27. 🙂

Daisy Stickers!

Hello, lovelies!

I am so sorry about not posting this yesterday. It was a rough day for me after the election so I took the day off from posting. But, today I have a set for you! I am posting the first for-purchase set from my etsy shop on the blog today!

These stickers were a serious labor of love and I adore how they turned out! They’re up on my etsy shop for $2.50 and I would appreciate it so much if anyone was able to purchase them.

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buy them here

Thank you so much for reading! Happy planning!

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Weekly spread 11/7-11/13

Hello, lovelies!

I have my weekly planner spread for you today! I used a brand new set that I just made last week and am super excited to get out into the world.

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Happy planning!

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Free Halloween stickers!

Hello, lovelies!

Happy Wednesday! I have my last set of Halloween stickers for you to download today.

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download here

I hope you like using them! Happy planning!
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