By: Jane Friday, Guest Blogger
I was slightly nervous when approaching I AM THAT GIRL about wanting to contribute. I believed in the mission, enjoyed what I read, kept up with the Twitter updates; my uncertainty was in no way related to the site itself. At 30 going on 31 I consider myself a woman and not a girl. I had simply outgrown being a girl so did I have the right to proclaim that I AM THAT GIRL. Well, this woman learned something.
While assisting a presentation for a local class of 6th and 7th graders, some young girls knocked some realizations into me. The presentation was for a non-profit (for which I do school outreach) and, following the talk, some girls rushed over to me. Emma and her friends had organized a charity club at school and they felt that they needed to help. The girls who spoke to me were on fire. They were precise with their words, grandiose in their gestures, and they used every fiber of who they were to indicate their message to me. These three girls were living, breathing, sparks of enthusiasm.
Their manner immediately reminded of one of my favorite people, my 12-year-old niece, Emily. She is so fearless, kind and funny, and just blows my mind with some of her insights. She’s a ballerina, a soccer player, and a pianist. She loves football and is an avid reader. She defies labels.
I wondered if I ever had the power these girls had when I was their age. I realized, my God, yes! I absolutely did! In perfect synchronicity I stumbled upon a TED talk, given by Eve Ensler entitled, “Embrace Your Inner Girl.” In her talk she refers to our “girl chip/girl cell,” as a gift we are all born with. She describes it as being responsible for qualities such as “compassion, empathy, intuition and vulnerability.” So why do we abandon it at a certain age? Why is acting like a girl used as a insult? Ms. Ensler says, “I actually think that being a girl is so powerful that we’ve had to train everyone not to believe that.” I honor this truth and add that “girl” is such a word of action and strength. Something in “girl” implies infinite possibility. There is nothing little about the spirit of little girls.
Who were you when you were a girl? The more I’ve answered that question the more I’ve wanted to bring my girl self into my everyday life as a woman. It has grown clear that being a girl and being a woman are not mutually exclusive. We all have THAT GIRL gene, that spirit, that spark. Who doesn’t want an extra dose of dreams, zeal, daring and tenderness towards others? It would be a waste not to honor it. This is what loudly proclaiming I AM THAT GIRL means to me.
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Jane is a singer, actress, writer, feminist, and activist. Her life is dedicated to performing and humanitarian work. Jane is a self proclaimed nerd and when she isn't working she can be found obsessing over various fandoms; after all, cool is overrated. Jane is honored to be a guest blogger for I Am That Girl, and believes that women empowering each other is paramount. She can be found tweeting under the handle @itsjanefriday.