49 thoughts on “Girly 2.0: No Dress Required

  1. Born to do this indeed Mate. I like Girly 2.0, she’s real, not afraid to get her hands dirty yet at the same time can knock your socks off when she does wear a dress. You have Girly 2.0 happening right now mate. Great post, go girls.

    1. Thanks mate. It’s tough terrain. What do we expect of our girls? What do they expect of themselves? I found another quote that said if a woman fails, it doesn’t just say that she couldn’t do it. It says women couldn’t.

      They have a lot of pressure on them, and there’s so many different perspectives. This is just one.

      1. I think society expects far more from women and girls, which in turn puts undue pressure on them. Men tend to shrug a lot of things off. From what I’ve seen over the years, women can be bloody tough Mate.

      2. I think we’ve established of late that girls can do everything. What we have to remember is that doesn’t mean girls have to do everything.

  2. Perfect Eli and my Emma is the epitome of girly girl, but yet the girl plays a mean game of soccer and doesn’t mind getting completely dirty from that and so much more! 🙂

  3. Poor cauliflower 😉 It’s so hard to hold its ground in a world of pizza and cheeseburgers.

    Congratulations on your new assistant coach! Will you be able to focus on the game?

    I love how you create / support a Girly 2.0 culture at your home!
    I’m with Marie on the dresses. I had to be dragged to the wedding dress shop a couple of weeks before the big day.

    So I wonder… how about the boys? Have they evolved in general? I love that C is interested in what happens in the kitchen (he recently bought me the most gorgeous pie recipe book, using the money I gave him for the day trip to the zoo ) body lotions with fruity smell and chick flicks.

    1. With the right spices (and copious cheese), even broccoli has its place!

      I just hope J-Law knows enough about football to help me.

      I think this post kind of went all over the place and left a few questions unanswered. That’s OK. I can’t pretend to have any answers, let alone all of them.

      It’s interesting, for the boys. They have evolved, I believe. But not always in the right direction. Society has a say in that. But just as it is with girls, I think you can’t go wrong with well-rounded.

      And you especially can’t go wrong with being true to yourself, not doing something because society or anyone else says you should.

  4. ooh, it’s all coming, hang on and enjoy the journey, and be ready for support and guidance. no worries there, you are already there. what a wonderful thing, the mix of brains, beauty, sports and spunk!

  5. As a mother to two daughters, I’d like to see the term ‘girly’ kicked to the curb for good. If my oldest begs to wear a ‘twirly’ dress , it doesn’t make her girly. If my youngest pulls on a baseball cap backwards and then trounces off to tumble with the boys, it doesn’t make her ungirly. It just makes them unique, beautiful individuals, perfect in all of their little quirks and imperfections. I don’t even know if I agree with the idea of Girly 2.0. That implies there’s something wrong in the first place. Maybe the right idea is Society 2.0. A place where we aren’t constantly putting labels on our sons and daughters. Fierce and feminine don’t have to contradict each other. Neither do sensitive and masculine. If a child is happy and confident in their bodies, minds, and abilities, that’s all that really matters. It’s our job as parents to help them feel that way about themselves. By encouraging them, supporting them, and, most importantly, loving them.

    1. Great comment. I think the terms are the least important here; most important are the sentiments. I think Girly isn’t inclusive enough. I think Girly ought to also include the things girls are wont to do and capable of that don’t fall into societal norms.

      I know as an adult I have qualities associated with both men and women. I will embrace them both and model that to my girls, in my family and on my teams.

      If a child feels like they’re accepted for who they are, the labels and 2.0s won’t even matter.

  6. Poor Marie! How furious will she be when she reads this? I think you made a lot of great points… maybe the bigger issue is that things are considered “girly” or “boyish” to begin with. We all now my son is obsessed with trains but has a doll. All kids are different… & that’s something to celebrate 🙂 Love this post ❤

    1. She’s not even mad. She’s proud she’s too quick for papa’s camera. Yes, you’re right, things are different, and kids are different. But sometimes our ideals have remained the same. It might just take our kids becoming parents to make the biggest difference.

  7. Okay this is going to come out totally wrong but I love that you, a DAD, wrote this and not a mom who is trying to make sure her daughter understands that you can be girly and still kick a soccer ball. That you get it and are not trying to get your little girl(s) to be anything other than what they are: Awesome.

    Don’t tell them cause they will then rebel on you, but you are a pretty cool dad 😉

    1. It didn’t come out wrong at all, Kerri. Yes to the awesome, though … we know we’ll really have arrived when little boys can show this kind of range without getting ridiculed.

      I think they know I’m a cool dad – it’s funny, I called out Marie on it. She admonished me for some common immature thing I did, but she had this knowing smile that told me she was glad I was her dad.

  8. Eli, this is incredible writing (as always) and I totally relate. I still don’t really do dresses, and when I do, I usually regret them. Here’s to your amazing daughters. And your brilliance and power to change perceptions and well, just being damn awesome. xo

    1. Thanks Kristi – and I’m glad you can relate. No dresses required, right? You’re really way too nice to me, but it makes up for how some soccer referees treat me.

  9. Perhaps Girly 2.0 is the pre-teen version of “having it all.” Women aren’t letting the boxes or stereotypes of yesterday hold us back, and neither are girls. We don’t have to be completely defined by our appearance in the mirror OR by our performance on the ball field or the board room. But if we’d like to piece together our own unique identity with a little bit of all three, then we should go for it! Wonderful post.

    1. There ought to be some kind of amendment to how we see girls, Katie. And it’s no coincidence girls today have you all as their moms and role models.

      “Our own unique identity” says it all, doesn’t it?

  10. Well said. Except for the bit about Adult Swim. What’s wrong with adult swim?

    But seriously – enjoyed this. As for redefining girly? I’m looking forward to seeing how mine do it; work through it; and figure out who they are and how to best express themselves. Wonderful post.

    And your daughter can run! Really no better photo of the dress? 🙂

    1. Adult swim, as in the 10 minutes an hour the lifeguards at our community pool give grown folk to swim kid-free. The kids hate it!

      Glad you liked this, Louise. I’m not sure if we’re redefining girly or rendering it obsolete. Our girls, I believe, are taking the path their moms blazed before them a step further.

      Yes, really, that was my best shot. It was a combination of my not-so-swift iPhone skills and her stellar flight reaction when we caught her in that dress.

  11. Your girls sound wonderful, Eli. They must have very understanding, encouraging and supportive parents 🙂 Having raised two girls and a son on my own, I tried to instil in them the idea that they could achieve anything they wanted. I was a real tomboy and hated dresses. The one item of clothing I wanted more than anything was a pair of jeans. My mother refused to let me have them. I could have slacks or shorts, but not jeans. ~sigh~ one of the perils of being born in the wrong decade I’m afraid.

    1. Thanks Lyn. We do try to foster their own personalities – and do our best to discourage a felonous road. When you’re a kid, almost anything’s possible, right? I still remember when each girl wanted to start to pick her own clothes. As long as it isn’t a danger to them, why not let them express themselves, right? I’d have bought you a pair of jeans. Even the new ones with all the bling on the butt. (Even though I think those’d be uncomfortable).

  12. I love seeing Nikki being the best of both worlds. She loves bright colors and things that sparkle. She has a bucket load of makeup and loves watching YouTube videos trying out new styles. She loves to go to the mall and try on the frilly prom dresses and take pictures of herself in the dressing room with them on. She begs me to let her try on the JLo heels at the store and I let her, praying she won’t fall and break something.

    She plays volleyball and basketball, She has a 1st Degree Black Belt. Her nail polish is ALWAYS chipped and she looks just as good in spandex shorts, knee pads, and a sweat soaked tee shirt as she does in any dress.

    Girly, 2.0? If we build it, they will come.

    1. I think they’re forging their own worlds, Sandy. I think it’s so much easier for girls to erase the boundaries than men. And just think of how hard it was just a generation ago to find, say, a girls soccer team at a lot of schools.

      My girls struggle in high heels. Or anything really that isn’t a sneaker or a cleat or flipflops.

      Girly 2.0? I think they’re building it themselves.

  13. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!! My three girls run the gamut with the oldest being the tomboy and the youngest being the everything pink princess. I tell all three of them all the time that they can do anything they want. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t set a great example since I am “just a stay at home mom.” Then I remember that I made that choice because I could – because other women made it possible. I hope my girls grow up with the confidence to be exactly who they are – tomboy, princess, somewhere in between, or a little bit of both!

    1. Thanks Lisa. Girls have a lot of range, don’t they? With all our kids, I hope they realize we believe they can do anything … and that they don’t have to do it all. Does that make sense?

      You’re right, you made the choice, and women before you and your contemporaries help make it possible. And it’s a pretty important job, what you do.

      I used to think when my mom said she didn’t care if I went to college, that she just didn’t care. Now I realize she just felt like if my road to happiness took me elsewhere, that would be OK too.

  14. I love the two extremes and I embrace them! I am usually in a ponytail, running shorts and tops; but on Saturday night for my son’s wedding, I was all dolled up in a most fabulous sequined dress and glitzy heels and loved it. My new daughter-in-law (I LOVE saying that) looked like a princess in her ballgown, makeup, and fancy hair. The next day I was back to my ponytail and comfy clothes, and I’m sure she is, too!

    1. They’re both in range, though, right? Did you post pictures from the wedding? I need to check it out. She’s married into an awesome family, I’m sure she knows.

      I’m just waiting to hear about bridesmaids at someone’s wedding in ponytails. It’s going to happen.

  15. I guess I was ahead of my time. Some of us have always been girl 2.0. I had the chipped, painted nails inside the glove. The bruises from playing 3rd base in dark contrast to my ankle bracelet. I’d rather lose at H-O-R-S-E — To A Boy!!!! — than put on a dress back then; but, when a special occasion happened, I could do it up right. Ponytails and riding actual ponies, to babies on my hip and beer in my hand cheering Canada to a Gold Medal Hockey win (sorry about that. twice. ha): that’s who I’ve always been and I cannot imagine it any other way. but I was lucky – I had people who allowed me to be me: and I think that makes a huge difference.

    1. Girl 2.0 is definitely not a new concept – it just gets put in the spotlight more now. And will continue to be, when the U.S. claims world supremacy in hockey. (You know they will).

      We have a tremendous ability – and responsibility, really – to let our kids be who they are, don’t we?

  16. As a woman who never outgrew being a tomboy and a mom of 2 girls, I love everything about this! Even more that it was written by a dad. What a wonderful piece! Thank you so much for sharing! ❤

    1. So glad you liked this, Niki! I talked with a mom from one of the girls on my team yesterday about those muddled lines of what is “expected” of girl behavior.

      I have such an interest in it, as dad and coach to girls. Girls radiate a strength that defies a lot of labels we try to apply to them.

      1. I love how you said your girls were born during the revolution. I love how beauty standards are changing but we still have a very long way to go. Not just related to beauty, but the expectations we put on people period.

        I love how you’re attentive to this. What a wonderful support system your daughters have! ❤

      2. I’m the lucky one. They’re of the mindset that all is possible – but also of the mind that a woman doesn’t have to do everything to be validated. None of us do.

      3. I think we live in a society that uses busy as a badge of honor and expects everyone to do more than they can. I stopped playing that game in 2014 and I’m so glad I did! I’ve learned to lean on others for support, delegate, and listen to my body because it often lets me know when I’m taking on too much. I don’t feel any less valuable or capable, in fact, I feel more efficient. I’m glad your daughters are learning that young!

      4. It’s a losing race, isn’t it? Glad you got out of it! Mindfulness has helped me – I stay busy, but won’t allow busyness to ruin my day.

      5. Yes! Mindfulness has been a life changer for me! I started practicing it about 4 years ago before I knew what it was. It started with me trying to find a way to overcome depression. I found that going for walks on my lunch break without distracting myself with my phone was incredibly therapeutic. I no longer feel like I’m trying to survive my life, I’m actually living it! I overextended myself for years. These days I keep my commitments to a minimum, the necessary things and allow time for the path to unfold before me. Such a different way of life but I love it 🙂

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