OPINION: Quit making fun of girls for existing

FILE+PHOTO%3A+Fans+sing-along+during+The+Cavves%27+performance+at+Riverfest.
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OPINION: Quit making fun of girls for existing

FILE PHOTO: Fans sing-along during The Cavves' performance at Riverfest.

FILE PHOTO: Fans sing-along during The Cavves' performance at Riverfest.

Ella Dominguez

FILE PHOTO: Fans sing-along during The Cavves' performance at Riverfest.

Ella Dominguez

Ella Dominguez

FILE PHOTO: Fans sing-along during The Cavves' performance at Riverfest.

I used to be a massive fan of One Direction. I am not ashamed to say that anymore.

When I first fell in love with One Direction, I was 13 years old and insecure (don’t know what for). “What Makes You Beautiful,” One Direction’s first mega-hit, just really resonated with me and made me feel good about myself.

I watched all their video diaries from the X-Factor. I listened to all their music and religiously followed their social media. I was a superfan. Honestly, I still know way more facts about them than the average fan.

I started to realize that the boys around me were making fun of One Direction. Slowly, the girls began to make fun of them too. I was already a pretty uncool kid, so I decided to stop liking them. I joined in on hating them to make myself seem cooler while secretly, I was still reading all their stuff and jamming to their music.

I did the same thing with Justin Bieber, The Jonas Brothers, 5 Seconds of Summer, Twilight, Starbucks, Ugg Boots, and more. I even got a black iPhone just to avoid being called a “basic white girl.”

The “Basic White Girl” was the VSCO girl of my middle and high school years, and I was terrified to be one. I didn’t want to be made fun of.

Society hates teenage girls. Whenever teenage girls start liking something, it automatically becomes uncool or “girly.”

Even some of the artists who are now considered some of the best to have ever lived experienced this phenomenon. Elvis Presley and the Beatles were two of the first artists to be considered “pop stars,” but more so, they were teenage girl fantasies.

Elvis and the Beatles were treated the same way Justin Bieber, N*SYNC, One Direction, the Jonas Brothers, etc. were treated. People didn’t like them simply because teenage girls were obsessed.

At the height of the Beatles’ popularity, Paul Johnson wrote for the New Statesman, “Those who flock round the Beatles, who scream themselves into hysteria, whose vacant faces flicker over the TV screen, are the least fortunate of their generation, the dull, the idle, the failures.”

People will say it’s the “hysteria” of the girls that makes them so stupid for liking something. It’s because they are so excited they cry, or they scream.

It’s their expression of joy that turns people so negative. Yeah, that thing you do when you’re happy? Stop it, it’s weird. It’s a medical condition. It makes you look like an idiot.

Feminist writer Bailey Poland cites the 19th and 20th-century definition of female “hysteria.”

“There’s an underlying assumption that teen girls are not in control of their emotions or interests and become overly excited or upset for no reason,” Poland said. “When the reality is that teen girls are often very intentional about what they’re interested in and aware of the social influences behind those media products, and they deliberately use excitement and passion as the foundation for community-building and empathetic development.”

All the mocking of these things reinforces the idea that things created by and for women are unimportant and stupid.

I saw a Tik Tok the other day of a man talking about how a school shooting would be sad, but at least there wouldn’t be any more VSCO girls. The comments said he was a teacher.

Could you imagine? Your teacher hates that you wear SCRUNCHIES so much that they would be glad if you were dead?

Quit making fun of girls for liking things. Don’t be ashamed to like those things too. Like what you want and don’t put other people down for liking things. It’s ignorant and hurtful.

No one should be ashamed of enjoying things, and they definitely shouldn’t be receiving death threats — even if they are called “just a meme.”