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Girly girl is a slang term for a girl or woman who chooses to dress and behave in a traditionally feminine style, such as wearing pink or floral dresses, blouses and skirts, wearing make-up, talking about relationships and other activities which are associated with the traditional gender role of a girl. In addition to wearing feminine clothing and cosmetics, people may sometimes stereotype someone as a "girly girl" for decorating (whether it be their room or the clothing they wear) with a lot of pink. It is an informal term, and in most contexts, it is at least mildly derogatory.
The term has become more common as a term of disdain or abuse among some people, particularly tomboys and some feminists, since the "second wave" of feminism in the 1960s and '70s, after which unisex clothing and/or behaviour started to become more prevalent among females. Whether "traditionally feminine" traits are inherently repressive or harmful to women is a matter of some debate.
Lack of equivalent for boys
Unlike the term girly girl, there is little currency for the title "boyish boy" despite the fact that its notion is captured well in the traditional saying "Boys will be boys". This saying illustrates the notion because in the sentence the first use of "boys" is simply descriptive of male children while the second use refers to normative expectations of such children. "Boyish boys" are boys that associate strongly with other boys and, at least until puberty, are disdainful of girls. Central to the behavior of such boys are exhibitions of strength, participation in team sports, display of competitive behavior, emphasis on courage and general commitment to such values as truth and stoicism. Traditionally boyish boys are as disdainful of sissies or effeminancy as of girls. While such boys have met standard expectations of male behavior, there has been some criticism of this role in recent years. Feminists see this model of male formation and behavior as inimical to girls since it clearly involves disparagement of them. Similarly, gay men have tended to see this model of maleness as homophobic. While some truth seems to ring true with these arguments, the popularity of this model of male formation persists and recent moral theory has indicated that as flawed as this model may be, it does incorporate genuine values that are worthy of re-articulation in such forms as the metrosexual and the new man.
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