In school, the good girls always made first place, but it’s what happened after school that I always found intriguing…
Just recalling the neatly primped hair, fruity lip balm and freshly pressed blouses is enough to extract a cringe from any girl who wasn’t as noticeably neat. After all, the good girls received special recognition and praise for such seemingly effortless perfections, while the others – the tomboys, the loudmouths, the sloppy sluts – were most often ignored or tortured. Back in school, back at home, back with the young boys, the good girls were famous. It’s a myth among women – the exact origin of this struggle to display themselves as little dolls. The struggle itself seems multi-pronged and convoluted, leaving the victims with nothing more than a pressure to be impeccable.
We can only imagine, without divulging too deeply in psychological discourse, that this all begins sometime around ‘Daddy.’ If Daddy expects straight A’s, ironed skirts, high-pitched giggles and perfectly curled hair, his daughter is headed for Good Girl development. If Daddy permits her to sleep around, speak out of turn and refrain from holding back any freedoms whatsoever, she’ll most likely be pointed out as a Slut.
In adolescence, the world is a stark palette of highly contrasted points. There is Good Girl and, positioned at the polar opposite end of the spectrum, there is Slut. Thus, all young women must find their way into one of these categories; and it is high school classifications that accelerate the reality of these rivaling molds. Just look at Gossip Girl, current media, as well as coming-of-age classics, and any other school-based drama who have hit the big time in T.V land, advertise that women are segregated into two main categories – perfect or promiscuous.
At first, it seems that to be a Good Girl is the only way to be. Highly feminine women are praised and adored, whereas others are pushed aside and left for the libraries. “What is a woman worth if she is not serving her fullest potential for beauty?” is a thought common to more people than one might think. But, one is not aware of such thoughts unless they are the victim to them, one cannot understand the full weight and danger of their pressure unless involved. I, myself, happened to be a raggedy, reckless and raging tomboy turned brazen teenager, meaning – I flirted most often with the stereotypic label of slut. My fellow classmates, ribbons in their hair, no runs in their stockings, were revered.