It’s time to stop hating things because teenage girls like them.
Written by Sophie Farrar
Girls run the world. No really, they do, and not just because Beyoncé says so. For years, teenage girls have pioneered what is perceived as “cool” in our society. The music we are listening to, the clothes we are wearing and the movies we are watching can all be tied back to teenage girls. Even before the fangirl Tumblr days of 2014, teenage girls have been the rulers of pop culture, and they continue to remain in reign today, cultivating cultural movements through trends on TikTok. From the Beatles to One Direction, teenage girls have the power to launch anyone and anything they deem fit to stardom.
And yet, simultaneously, society has continually ridiculed teenage girls and their interests. Continuously, the interests of teenage girls are diminished to things that shouldn’t be taken seriously, simply because they are liked by teenage girls. At the same time, the girls are called crazy, immature and silly for the passion that ignites their interests. This hatred goes as far as degrading the artists and people behind the interests simply because their fan base consists of teenage girls. Musicians such as Taylor Swift and media such as romance movies have been dismissed and disregarded because of their appeal to teenage girls. Hatred towards Swift exceeds her fan base as well, rooting itself in the fact that she got her start as a teenage girl herself. But what did teenage girls ever do to deserve such formidable force against them?
From the Beatles to One Direction, teenage girls have the power to launch anyone and anything they deem fit to stardom.
It comes down to the inherent misogyny that society thrives on. We are taught from birth, through the systems that surround us, the lie that women are lesser than men. The roots of this untruth are so intrinsically intertwined within our society that we sometimes don’t even notice them. But when you begin to look slightly below the surface level, the misogynistic underbelly of American society is easily revealed. Think briefly about the interactions women have daily and the hoops we have to jump through to get through our days. It goes without saying that it’s hard to be a woman in the U.S. with the way society is pitted against us from birth.
Now, we can’t tackle the patriarchy and solve all our societal issues by simply respecting teenage girls and their interests. But we can certainly change the narrative around them by doing so. It’s undeniable that a positive change can be made by treating teenage girls with kindness and common courtesy. It’s time to stop hating teenage girls and everything they like, and start respecting them for the culture cultivators and humans they are.
But when you begin to look slightly below the surface level, the misogynistic underbelly of American society is easily revealed.
I’m begging society to let the girlies have their fun! Please, let teenage girls express their enthusiasm for the things they love. Think of how much duller our life would be without the fierce fervor of a teenage girl. Beyond that, think of how different our world would be without them! For example, would we have history-making, generation-defining musicians like Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish without them? I think it’s safe to say no, considering that they began their careers as teenage girls themselves.
Can we simply let people like what they like without brutally obliterating them with harsh criticism? There is so much hatred already in the world — why must we start to drag down the things that people love? It doesn’t make you any cooler or more mature to hate something just because it is liked by a lot of people or a certain demographic. It just makes you look small-minded and, honestly, kind of lame.
Expanding our interests beyond the boxes we put ourselves in can allow us to learn new things about ourselves and others.
Obviously, people are allowed to have different tastes. We all like what we like. I’m not insisting that you should devote your life to worshiping Emma Chamberlain or only listening to BTS. However, I am asking you to self-reflect and make sure that the reason you don’t like something isn’t merely because a bunch of teenage girls do. Not a fan of pop music because you prefer a heavier sound? No worries — to each their own! Not a fan of pop music because it’s primarily liked by teenage girls? Not cool.
The notion to respect others’ interests extends to all ages of life. No matter who you are or how old you are, you should be considerate to those younger or older than you and what they like. If you are a teenage girl, don’t discount something just because your parents like it. If you’re a parent, don’t discredit your kids’ interests in certain musicians or movies just because you want to feel like a superior adult that is above those things. Expanding our interests beyond the boxes we put ourselves in can allow us to learn new things about ourselves and others.
The time of overlooking teenage girls and their cultural impact is over. The next time you hear a teenage girl raving about her favorite TV show, movie or musician, online or in-person, try listening! They might just be setting the stage for pop culture’s next biggest thing. Or, who knows, you might just discover your next favorite thing as well.