As a women & girls photographer, (I took this pic^^^) this topic is close to my heart. Little girls come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Some love dolls, others love dirt. Some prefer dresses, others prefer soccer cleats. Every girl is beautifully wonderfully made but too often, the girls who are athletic and inquisitive are called masculine.
People use phrases like ‘tomboy’ or ‘rough around the edges’ to describe girls who would rather play video games and wrestle than to paint their nails or wear pink. Even worse, boys taunt each other in sports by saying ‘you hit like a girl’ as if all girls are weak and horrible at physical tasks.
This is wrong and needs to stop! Let’s start encouraging our girls by retiring the word ‘tomboy’ from now on. She’s not a ‘tomboy’, she’s strong!
Growing up, I wasn’t considered a ‘girly girl’. I was outgoing, loved climbing trees, exploring nature, using my imagination and playing in the dirt. I distinctly remember people telling me I was a tomboy which translated in my mind as ‘you act like a boy’. This really bothered me. I just wanted to have fun but hearing the phrases over and over again made me feel like I wasn’t feminine enough. This carried on into puberty since I was a late bloomer and deeply effected my self esteem.
I don’t want any of our girls to feel that way about themselves. I want to encourage all girls and women to be physical, adventurous and imaginative. Instead of calling girls ‘tomboy’ let’s call them ‘strong’ because that’s the truth. Here are some more positive words we can use instead:
These are all awesome words that truly reflect our talents and strengths. Strength is not a trait reserved for men and boys. The fact that we are girls means everything we do is girly. We are awesome! We are brave! We are strong! Remove ‘tomboy’ from your vocabulary and strive to uplift girls and women, whether they love barbies, high heels or football.