veritas exquirere


veritas exquirere


veritas exquirere


Eye to Eye – ‘I’m Just a Girl’


Headline: “I’m just a girl” is more regressive than progressive for women in 2024

Deck: The consequences and possible origin of the harmful phrase

Byline: Justine Picard, Senior Staff Writer

What does it really mean to say “I’m just a girl”? To me it says: “don’t take me seriously because of my sex.” 

What can bring short-term giggles, from silly accidents girls make, also perpetuates long-term damages to the respect and perception of women. 

The phrase was built around innocent intentions, a sort of phrase that relieves women of the tension and pressure society puts on them. But the cost is much worse than the benefits. 

Making mistakes and ignorantly brushing it off, by insinuating your mental capability is too low to register the consequences of your actions because you are a girl, is infuriating. 

The phrase “boys will be boys” could be considered the equivalent of “I’m just a girl”; they both diminish the credentials of their subject. The innocently disguised, girly phrase is just as toxic as the brutish, boyish phrase.

Women have been struggling enough throughout history – trying to make others see our worth based on our actions and thoughts, not our bodies or unresponsive company. Saying “I’m just a girl” is regressing women back to a time that didn’t take them seriously.

Social media, unsurprisingly, is one of the major roots of the problem. These apps are where the phrase is being recycled and little girls are consuming the harmful content. TikTok with 57% of its demographic as women – 25% within the age group of 10-19 years old – and Instagram with 48.2% of women using the platform. 

We are painting a picture for future girls that women are just dumb and take nothing seriously – re-building the gendered stereotypes we swore we took down years ago. 

You could argue that community guidelines restrict how many youthful minds watch the content. Yet these age-restrictions are not successful on global corporations that host more than a billion monthly users, with no reinforced age-verification mechanism or supervision service. 

The origin of this degrading phrase could have come from the 1990’s hit song “Just a Girl” by the band “No Doubt”. Gwen Stefani, co-founder, lead singer, and primary songwriter of the band sings of being perceived as nothing more than the one-dimensional figure of a girl.

Stefani sarcastically uses the phrase “just a girl” to emphasize her point that everyone overlooks and disrespects her because of her sex. 

Stefani adds in a People Magazine interview, that the song echoed her feelings of constantly being underestimated: “When I do that song now … it’s beyond an age, it just represents a feeling.” 

Correct, Stefani. It represents a feeling of outrage from being boxed into a degrading stereotype making us powerless.

Some may have interpreted the song to mean something else than supporting women. As a result the harmful quote perhaps came to be.

“I’m just a girl,’ … has no intentions of empowering women,” Elaina Irving in the The Meredith Herald says. “… it displays an implied lack of competence … and is counterproductive to feminism by limiting what women believe they are capable of and demeaning women’s identities as adults.” 

What might seem like an encouraging girl-talk is actually degrading everyone’s perception of women, lowering ourselves to be incompetent, to not expect anything positive from us. 

But at the end of the day, why listen to me? 

After all I’m just a girl. 

Headline: ‘I’m just a girl’ gives women space to make mistakes 

Deck: In a judgmental society, women can’t catch a break

Byline: Diya Johny, Business and Communications Manager

According to “Just” a Girl | Women and Leadership a review of Gwen Stefani’s hit song,  “she uses humor and sarcasm to express how women are treated…For example, I think that she has a strong introduction to her song by saying, “take this pink ribbon off my eyes, I’m exposed and it’s no big surprise…Overall, this song seems to paint an accurate picture of how society wants women to be.” 

While people may perceive this phrase to be one that gives way to excuse a woman’s bad behavior, this is not the purpose of the phrase. The purpose of this is to be relatable, open and realizing life doesn’t always have to be serious.

Womanhood/Girlhood is something that all women crave, a feeling of community where you can joke around, be open and have a little fun. It might seem weird that this can come from a simple phrase but it does.

While many might perceive the phrase “I’m just a girl” to be on the wrong side of the feminist spectrum, it’s the opposite. It raises the question: Can women joke around for fun

“I hit the curb, I’m just a girl”

Every day girls are judged for everything they do, whether it be hobbies, day-to-day activities, or sometimes simply just existing. The phrase “I’m just a girl” allows women to exist in a space where they aren’t constantly being criticized.

Anna Borges of Women’s Health Magazine wrote, “When a guy goes on a diet, he cares about his body and his health. When a woman goes on a diet? Cue whispers about vanity—or those more well-intentioned comments about falling victim to societal standards of beauty.” 

In a world that constantly has opinions on the actions of women, this “silly” little trend opens a door for women to realize you can be taken seriously and joke around a little bit. Young girls are being taught that women can’t have fun or be unserious about things from the get go; if women stand up for themselves then they are suddenly mean, being too hard and cold, but if women don’t  then they are weak and can’t handle society – society will never be satisfied with women no matter what they do.

This trend is meant to be a silly fun trend, like many other TikTok trends but somewhere along the way it became too serious. But I’m just a girl.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talon
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Oak Park High School - CA. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Justine Picard
Justine Picard, Senior Staff Writer

Class of 2026

Justine has been part of the Talon staff for 2 years. She has previously served as a Senior Staff Writer and enjoys writing news and graphic design pieces.

Diya Johny
Diya Johny, Business and Communications Manager

Class of 2025

Diya has been part of the Talon staff for 3 years. She has previously served as a Senior Staff Writer and enjoys writing opinion pieces.

Donate to Talon
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar