Girls Come Of Age, Too

This latest coming-of-age
film I’ve watched
is beautiful & poignant,
like the others,
but I want to see
stories about girls
up there on the screen.
Real girls, not mean girls.
Not pink-sparkly girls,
or crazy girls or princesses.
Just regular girls
doing ordinary kid things:
traipsing woods, fishing,
sharing secrets, swearing
allegiance, running away,
facing mortality, being hurt,
learning Big Life Lessons.
Why is that so hard to imagine?

I find it surprisingly difficult to write a protest poem in the spirit of Woody Guthrie for Susie’s prompt to the Real Toads. I revere Woody Guthrie (no surprise) and comparatively, this feels less than poetic. But this is something that’s been on my mind and I feel somewhat alone in my aggravation about it. So, here it is. #24 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans!


  1. I can really sympathize with your protest.. girls on film are really quite strange... there is a test of films that very few films really pass. They should contain one scene where two women talk and never mention a man..


  2. Yes, Marian, this is so true. Women, real women, continue to be warped on the big screen, or pruned to fit the accepted stereotypes you have mentioned. Bjorn also makes a good point: why are the lives of women always defined by their relationships with men?

  3. it's so frustrating and so simple and just so sad. and compared to other things, perhaps seems small but i really think representation is important and women/girls are misrepresented. or not represented at all, as in the case of practically every film made for our about children.

  4. In conversation over here I'm able to think of films that DO represent girls coming of age, like Whale Rider.
    I just feel like I've seen so many beautiful films recently about boys (The Way Way Back, Mud, and my favorite, Moonrise Kingdom, oh and Super 8)... and wishing there were movies like that about girls.

  5. Good! This has always been an issue for me too, but more in the theater. I like your poem. To Kill a Mockingbird is still the best, oh, and Bend It Like Beckhan.

    1. oh yes, To Kill A Mockingbird. if you can believe it, I've never seen Bend It Like Beckham. remedying!

  6. real is always better... down to earth "shit happens" ...

  7. I know what you mean Marian. We need to have more "girl" movies where it isn't all about glitter and glamour, but real life. I think you poem fits perfectly with the challenge. Thanks so much for taking part!!

  8. You are NOT alone in your aggravation! Film, in general ... disappointing much of the time. Perfectly penned.

  9. This is something that bothers me, too.

  10. I like this very much. You are not alone thinking this way. It is my view that you spoke quite well for those of us
    who didn't have the words to speak of such inequality.

  11. familiar with The Bechdel Test? - A movie 1. has to have at least two [named] women in it 2. Who talk to each other 3. About something besides a man. Not many movies pass the test. ~

  12. I too want to see films, such as this-
    real life not make believe n' pink!

  13. i'm a huge movie-lover... just pining for something that i have not yet seen.

  14. Well said, Marian, and I can certainly understand why you want to see more movies of real girls doing ordinary things. Someone, somewhere, at some time, seems to have deemed "ordinary" to be less than exciting, for some reason. I wonder why. I know some extraordinary women who were once real girls doing ordinary things. You are not alone in noticing this lack of modern-day Little Women.

    1. oooh! totally pulling out my dog-eared copy of Little Women & reading it to my kids this winter. !! xo


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!