[Girl-haters may want to skip this one.]
I'm pretty good about containing my enthusiasm for girliness in its myriad forms (and if that sounds funny, you have no idea what this place could look like). Of late, though, my restraint has been weakening, and I have to get this post on girly cuteness out of my system. It's reading those damned blogs by Lemmonex and Alias Clio, who've been on a girly streak recently, as well as getting several long letters from my close college chick friend (via Facebook, naturally). All three are tough women, so girliness from them appears even gushier against their basal brusqueness. I've collected and analyzed the international data on preferred age differences that females have for their partners, so while I write that up, why not recall what we're willing to travel to strange lands for.
I realize this post will be like one of those emails about "Omigod, my baby turned 137 days old today, and just look at him!!!!", which I get regularly now as a new uncle, and I may very well come back and erase this post when I recover my senses. Unlike the staying girly posts, there is no advice here, just some random observations and celebrations of girly nature. I'll start with high culture and quickly devolve into YouTube clips (not slutty ones).
While google image searching, I stumbled upon the painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau, who was obviously an inveterate girl-lover. Here is his 1880 Jeune fille se defendant contre l'amour -- Young girl defending herself against Cupid -- (see a large, high-resolution picture here):
It's hard to imagine a closer portrayal of the ambivalence that adolescent girls feel as they adjust to high hormone levels -- the chemical source of falling in love -- by both seeking out and pushing away their crushes. The girl's middle and lower back are bent away, but her upper back, shoulders, and head are leaning forward as though to embrace him. If she truly wanted to keep Cupid away, her entire upper body would be straight as a bolt and angled back. Also, she is facing him directly, as opposed to turning away like you do when you smell something foul or want to avoid a kiss from your relatives, and her mouth and eye expressions don't show fear, disgust, or anger -- at most, anxiety and bashfulness.
It may be hard to see, and perhaps I'm imagining it, but it also looks like her arms are slightly bent at the elbow, as if she didn't want to lock them into place to really keep Cupid back. More suggestively, although her legs are crossed at mid-calf, which appears to be closed body language, her legs are akimbo above the knee, allowing him to gain a... not a foothold, but I suppose a kneehold in his advance toward her. And while covering the most sexual part of her body, she still bares her breasts, making her heart vulnerable to the arrow aimed at it.
Now compare the profiles of the two faces. With her rounded jaw, large eyes, full lips, and somewhat chubby cheeks, she appears babyish. But Cupid has all the hallmarks of a babyface, including a bulbous forehead, negligible chin, and a nose that's upturned and with a low-relief bridge, whereas her nose is more pronounced, her chin a bit more prominent, and her forehead flatter. Her skin is also a shade or two darker than his, and her hair much more so. Combine these with the more obvious secondary sex characteristics, and it's clear that she has transformed from little girl to nubile.
We are uncomfortable thinking about a girl of -- what is she, 15? -- as designed to fall in love, enter courtship, take a mate, and start raising a family, during the next five or so years. Yet Bouguereau reminds us that most natural signals do not lie: the leaves in full bloom on the tree in the background testify to its readiness to begin reproducing. Regardless of how we feel about it, this is the same signal given by the girl's outward appearance. This comparison with the tree is perhaps the most jarring aspect of the painting to contemporary tastes, as likening a teenage girl to a blossoming flower or ripened fruit will immediately trigger the paranoia of the panic police and draw the ire of Blank Slaters, who must shout down all discussion of the constraints that genes and hormones place on human outcomes.
Now, by means of segue, watch this YT clip of 15 year-olds dancing to "Do You Believe in Magic?" in the park. It's pretty clear that the hourglass-shaped Turkish girl and the tall blond will not want for suitors even if they put off marriage until their late 20s or beyond. However, look at the homely and pudgy redheaded girl -- she may not be anyone's top choice, but imagine how bad she'll look at 30, basically untouchable. Also, she at least smiles and laughs a lot, much more than she will later in life, and that's got to have some feminine appeal. I'm not saying she should marry right now, but it's girls like her who are most destroyed by prolonging the before-marriage part of their lives, as their value decays incredibly rapidly, and from a not very high level to begin with.
I may've posted this before, but here's a clip of some adolescents dancing at the mall and in their home to "Do You Wanna Dance" by The Ramones.
Part of the appeal of teenagers is their vulnerability and emotional helplessness, which prevents you from treating them too badly. I don't treat them like princesses by any means, but it takes a 6-sigma sociopath to treat them as thoughtlessly as a normal person would treat a 25 year-old who you fuck and leave. (Moreover, teenagers have a built-in defense against getting pump-and-dumped -- not giving it up easily.) I sometimes feel a certain confusion around them, as they trigger my protective older brother and paternal instincts. But then you see them dancing around in the snow in their bikinis (starting at 0:50) and nearly forget all about it.
Next, Miley Cyrus and dancer friend Mandy Giroux have uploaded a new video to their YT channel, where alpha Miley plays a prank on naive Mandy, who senses the entire time that something is going to pop out and scare her. Adorable. And speaking of Disney Channel stars who I've never seen on TV before but can't avoid on YT, here's Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato scared shitless by a flying bug. Aww. Something Fragonard may have painted. And don't let Selena Gomez's extreme babyface fool you: she just turned 16 and is older than Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus.
Last, have you slipped into the fuddy-duddy belief that teen girls are harmless, naive creatures, or that it's mostly men who suppress female sexuality? Nothing could be further from the truth: watch this clip of a girl giving her best friend a ruthless and funny teasing for making out with a boy. She emphasizes that it was her friend who "starts molesting" the boy, so that her friend can't write it off as being swept away by the moment. The friend's howls of embarrassment, and the police girl's wonderful choice of words -- "we're here on the site again," to make it sound like a crime -- are just great. As usual, when the friend gets called a slut, she tries to defend herself by accusing the police girl of being inexperienced, but everyone knows that being a slut is worse than being a goody-goody or a tease. These girls are 13, by the way -- the little angels begin emotionally torturing each other, with a smile on their face, right after their hormone levels change, years before they're even sexually attractive.
I'll end it there. Click on the channels of those I linked to for more: girly girls tend to upload more than just one capsule of their cuteness.