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The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

The Teenage Girl Movement: Good or Bad?

The “Teenage Girl Movement,” named after the frequent use of the phrase, “I’m just a teenage girl,” can have both positive and negative effects. Although it seems that this movement is simply applicable to the teenagers of our time, this is untrue. Through the expanding use of social media, a variety of groups are affected by this movement — and this is simply dangerous.
Olivia Rodrigo, a popular pop artist, has ensured that many of her songs resonate with others and create more progress within the Teenage Girl movement. (Photo Credit: Justin Higuchi, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

“When I hit my brother’s non-moving car, but I’m just a teenage girl,” reads the caption of a TikTok video. 

“I’m just a teenage girl,” is a popular TikTok phrase, which is used to satirically excuse accidents such as the one mentioned in the example above. 

This phrase perfectly captures the way that society often views teenage girls — as irresponsible, silly, non-confrontational, and overly dramatic, all at the same time.

The Teenage Girl Movement, modeled after the phrase “I’m just a teenage girl,” allows for this societal view of teenage girls to slowly change. 

How does this affect adolescents and how they view themselves? 

On Tiktok, there is currently a phenomenon referred to as the “pick me girl.” This usually refers to girls who crave male validation and strive to differentiate themselves from other girls.

Of course, we are all different in our own ways. There is nothing wrong with wanting to stand out from a group. 

However, the “pick me girl” will often believe that she is better than other girls because she is different from them. She will often belittle girls who prefer stereotypical femininity over stereotypical masculinity. 

These girls often come from a childhood of watching their male counterparts receive finer treatment simply because of the difference within gender. In fact, a study by the University of California, Santa Cruz, discovered that women convey internalized sexism on an average of 11 times in a 10 minute conversation. This was concluded to be a result of witnessing misogyny from a very young age, and because of this, girls would view femininity as weak and useless. 

However, once the “Teenage Girl Movement” arose, femininity was acknowledged to no longer be something to hide. Femininity was meant to empower women, and even if women truly didn’t feel connected to femininity, they would still be empowered for their strength by expressing themselves.

‘Chick flicks’ such as Legally Blonde and Mean Girls, emphasize this empowerment. Girls begin to dress how they want and experiment with makeup; women support other women. Many girls post on social media about their preferred skincare products, in hopes that it helps other girls on the internet as well. Another instance is teenage girls’ Instagram post comments– filled with other girls’ compliments. These are all the results of the “Teenage Girl Movement.” It emphasizes that true feminism is supporting all women—no matter how they dress, behave, or aspire to be.

The Teenage Girl Movement encourages a sense of community for teenage girls. Here Nora Gupta ’25 and a friend celebrate the holidays at Bronx Science. (Nora Gupta)

A “not-as-feminine” example would also be the increasing amount of gym motivation videos created by female content creators. Female weight lifters would often be told that their bodies would become far too masculine, and they would thus be seen as “less attractive” if they proceeded with their careers. However, these women refuse to conform to societal norms, and caption their posts noting that they couldn’t care less of what others think of them, as long as they are happy with themselves. 

Girls and women alike are comfortable with being who they want to be because of “The Teenage Girl Movement.” 

“The Teenage Girl Movement” also serves as a method of universal communication to teenage girls worldwide. No matter the difference in culture, we are all simply “teenage girls,” and that works as a common bond.

Many girls are able to relate to one another through the feeling that their emotions feel as if they are suppressed and ignored, despite them attempting to communicate them to adults in mature and sensible ways. The only people that seem to understand these intense emotions are other teenage girls, and this is the connection referenced above. 

Another connection that can be drawn between these teenage girls are small moments such as getting ready with your friends for a night out, sharing beauty tips and secrets, having brunch at an overpriced cafe for its aesthetics, and so many more. 

And although “The Teenage Girl Movement” helps girls to express their desires to have those kinds of small moments that are mentioned above, the movement also encourages girls who have differing interests to feel safe and comfortable in expressing themselves as well. 

Overall, “The Teenage Girl Movement” allows for teenagers to just be themselves without feeling heavy judgment from adults, and instead, let them be able to connect with people their own age. 

But how about how society perceives teenage girls?

Previously, teenage girls were constantly satirized. This can be seen in far too many forms of media such as movies and TV shows.

Teenage girls are always placed within cliques. They could be nerdy girls who are unable to dress stylishly. They could be mean girls who care far too much about how to dress. Their interests and complexities as characters are completely disregarded. 

However, once Olivia Rodrigo, a teenage artist herself, began to produce music that reached out to older generations as well, people began to reminisce about their teenage years and remember that it was a tough time for themselves as well. 

Rodrigo explained, “Especially with ‘Driver’s License,’ I remember when that came out, people of all walks of life would just come up to me and be like, ‘I remember exactly where I was when I was experiencing that heartbreak for the first time.’ It’s just such a cool thing to see that we’re all so much more alike than we are different.”

Older generations tend to use the phrase, “Enjoy your teenage years.” The problem with this phrasing is that it seems teenage problems are easily amendable, and the teens are simply overdramatizing the issues at hand. 

Rodrigo addresses this problem with her song ‘Brutal,’ with the words, “If someone tells me one more time / ‘Enjoy your youth,’ I’m gonna cry…” 

With lyrics such as these, Rodrigo is finally able to clear the air that teenage girls are far more complex, and that their emotions are far more valid, than movies or entertainment industries present them to be. 

The importance of teenage artists such as Rodrigo is that they become the voices of our generation — and with the progress Rodrigo has definitely made for the “Teenage Girl Movement,” she is a figure worth mentioning. 

However, this movement can serve to be a double-edged sword. 

As social media expands, young female preteens begin to lose their childhood and hypersexualize themselves, as they see the positive impacts of the “Teenage Girl Movement.”

However, the issue is that the problems that teenage girls face are different from the problems younger girls face. Although the answer may simply circle back to misogyny, different age demographics will require different methods of addressing the problems at hand. 

Nowadays, children dress the same as teenagers, as clothing companies produce non-age appropriate outfits. 

Although it is understandable that children may be interested in fashion and its trends from a young age, certain outfits are often sexualized, which can be an advantage for predators on the internet. 

In fact, this is exacerbated with the fact that internet safety is no longer emphasized, as children now will never live without the existence of electronic devices. The further one becomes comfortable within a certain environment, the less one will be wary of the dangers the said environment poses to oneself. 

It is common to see children as young as 3 to 4 years old posting videos on platforms such as Instagram or Tiktok; and these children are usually unaware of the detrimental effects that some of the videos may have on their social life, as well as their mental health. 

It is definitive that this is not the children’s fault — and it is our responsibility to make the internet a safer place for them; but within the process, it is truly vital to ensure that the children employ internet safety into their electronic practices while we attempt to create a safe space for them.

So how does that relate to the Teenage Girl Movement?

Many children wish to be like teenagers. They admire those that are older than themselves, and wish to be just like them. 

With the increasing use of social media on the children’s part, they are exposed to the “Teenage Girl Movement,” and may exhibit “teenage” behavior from an already very young age. 

What is so bad about that?

Children won’t be able to experience childhood as they wished to. Because so many older generations already believe that the younger generations are privileged for living in the digital era, it is already expected that children act far more mature than their age. This leads to a lack of time for children to develop themselves as people, which can be extremely mentally harmful. 

This does not simply take things back to “back in the old days” — however, it is true that with the increasing use of technology, nostalgia is no longer felt among younger generations, as they lose themselves in the “Teenage Girl Movement.” 

Although the “Teenage Girl Movement” undeniably promotes feminism in ways that have never been introduced before, there are still negative effects that must be worked on. “The Teenage Girl Movement,” ironically, doesn’t target simply the teenage girl demographic, and it could harm past and future generations if we do not remain wary of the consequences it may have. 

Although the “Teenage Girl Movement” undeniably promotes feminism in ways that have never been introduced before, there are still negative effects that must be worked on.

About the Contributors
Eunseo Lee, Staff Reporter
Eunseo Lee is an Editorial Section editor for ‘The Science Survey.' She joined journalism due to her great interest in the media, and hopes to write great articles that can captivate the effects of media in everyday life. As an Editorial Section editor, Eunseo Lee reviews the editorial section of ‘The Science Survey’ and helps by providing feedback on her classmates' article drafts. She finds this process fascinating due to her belief that journalism is truly powerful in the sense that it holds the great responsibility of informing the public. Outside of school, Eunseo also continues her passion for the media by running the podcast ‘Exhibit A & E.'
Nora Gupta, Staff Reporter
Nora Gupta is a Chief Graphic Designer and an Athletics Section Editor for 'The Observatory' yearbook. She is also a Staff Reporter for 'The Science Survey.' Nora believes in artistic expression and writing sovereignty. She enjoys creative and informative writing as well as using her photographs to enhance her writing. Nora enjoys “painting a picture with words," following this mantra with a disciple's devotion. She loves to use imagery and refined rhetoric in her writing, along with giving character to the people, objects, or events that she writes about. Aside from her academic writing in school, Nora writes for her own amusement and creative expression by writing novellas, prose, and poetry. She views writing as a captivating form of art that allows her to explore a multitude of perspectives. Nora aspires to pursue a future as a writer or in a humanities field in college.