Girly girl is a term for a girl or woman who chooses to dress and behave in a traditionally feminine style. It can include wearing pink, using make-up, using perfume, dressing in skirts, dresses and blouses, and talking about relationships and other activities which are associated with the traditional gender role of a girl.
Though the term is often used as a term of disdain, it can also be used in a more positive way, particularly when exploring one of a range of gender positions. Being a "girly girl" can then be seen as a fluid and partially embodied position – a form of discourse taken up, discarded or modified for tactical or strategic purposes.
The female opposite of a girly girl is a tomboy. The male counterpart of a girly girl is a "man's man". The increasing prevalence of girly girls in the early 21st century has been linked to a supposed "post-feminist, post–new man construction of masculinity and femininity in mutually exclusive terms", as opposed to the more blurred gender representations of previous decades.
- Linda Duits, Multi-Girl-Culture (2008) p. 141
- Duits, p. 136
- M. O'Sullivan/A. MacPhail, Young People's Voices (2010) p. 37-8
- Negotiating Femininities in the Neoliberal Night-Time Economy: Too Much of a Girl?. Springer, page 259. Nicholls , E. (2018).
- Natasha Walter, Living Dolls:The Return of Sexism (2010) p. 211
- Adam Phillips, On Flirtation (1994) p. 122-4