State of the Girl:
How I Discovered What It Means to Be a Girl
by Brittani Dozier
This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to participate in a week-long summer leadership program called Girls’ State. While I was there I learned about the government, earned a scholarship, made a few lifelong friends, and most importantly I witnessed the impact of girl power. Girls’ State was a life-changing experience for me. I had never seen over 300 girls be so positive toward each other. Attending the conference allowed me to embrace my womanhood. The keynote speakers, who were mostly female, inspired me to pursue my life goals no matter what. I realized that my abilities are not limited just because I’m a girl. Opportunities may be limited for me, but Girls’ State taught me that teamwork is what causes a group to succeed. When women don’t receive the same opportunities as men, whether it be in the workforce or in everyday life, we as girls must stick together to produce the same if not better opportunities for ourselves and our fellow girls.
I know from experience that sometimes girls/women tend to experience discouragement due to modern-day stereotypes or how society perceives us. Girls are held to ridiculous standards these days, and I’m here to tell you that we do not have to live up to them. I encourage all girls to do what makes them happy. Don’t wear makeup and dress up every single day if that’s not your style. However, if you do enjoy being glamorous, then rock that nice outfit and makeup, girl. The point is that we should start with ourselves when it comes to accepting girls’ differences. If there’s one thing I earned from Girls’ State it’s that when girls get into the habit of building each other up instead of tearing each other down, things get accomplished!
Being surrounded by so many different girls with different personalities at Girls’ State pushed me to realize that diversity within the female community is a great thing. The question, “What does it mean to be a girl?” cannot be answered. The sky is the limit when it comes to girl power! There is an abundant amount of great young women in the world, and we all have our own definition of what it means to be a girl. What it means to be a girl is whatever you want it to mean. We are all girls and we are ALL uniquely beautiful with our divinely unique personalities.