I think a girly girl is a child who is actively looking for aspects of her femininity and really enjoys such expressions. Scholar is such a child. I can't think of a more comprehensive way to put it, but I know it when I see it. Here are a couple observations, which are actually easy because I can compare her to her sister.
- She puts makeup herself and on other girls.
- She will make pointless arguments or quips merely to distinguish herself from a male's opinion.
- She will initiate 'girl' play. Tea parties, dolls, etc.
- She keeps up with the girly qualities of other girly girls.
I was quite surprised at how quickly Scholar exhibited this behavior. Before she was in Kindergarten she expressed desire for the princess dress, and coordinated hairbows etc. I think a lot of it was because she was such a cute toddler and it was something all of her caregivers responded to.
Now that she's almost 12 I find her girlyness expressed in different ways. She's heading towards cheerleaderness. She has already created a production for one of her classes. She's and expressive dresser and up for parts in her school play. I'm not so good in recognizing the more subtle aspects of what the appropriate bounds of divatude are. I need to work on that. I never really understood 12 year old girls.
What I do understand are character issues, and I'm trying to hone in on those things that are girly but not un-virtuous. For example, I know for a fact that Scholar gets into dramatic situations. She does the drama queen act, but in a way I know this to be a fundamental difference between boys and girls. I expect Boy to man up and not complain, get it done. I expect my wife to protest loudly the very moment something's not Kosher (so I can fix it), but I don't want my wife to be petty or create drama for its own sake. I am aware of the duality of Pioneer vs Princess and I certainly don't expect any of the Bowen women to have a sense of entitlement without effort, and yet I very much respect their desire not to get their hands dirty and scream when someone is doing them dirt. It's quite a balancing act.
Such spectrums are not always clear or without contradictions. But I have to disambiguate what I think is nature from what I think is nurture, and keep all kinds of nonsense away. I believe that if I concentrate on character, I'll be OK but the trick is to recognize how girls express character and personality while they're not yet women. Fortunately, I have the Spousal Unit who grew up in an all girl family.