This is one of the drawings coming from one of the youngest participants in my research (Kirsty, 8 years old; all names have been changed to protect girls’ identity).
During a bonding group session with 6 girls (8-9 years old) I asked the girls to make a drawing about what they thought it was the best thing about being a girl. Let’s consider that out of so many qualities, characteristics, situations, attributes…the girl has decided to focus on just ONE: perhaps the one aspect of being a girl that first came in her mind or the one that she considers more poignant, we don’t know about this.
What we know is that a 8 years old girl has made this drawing in response to the prompt: “why girls are the best?”.
In other girls’ drawings (with the exception of one girl who emphasised instead being imaginative, creative and fun) “prettiness” was a constant component, with girls referring to make-up, fashion and boys’ gaze.
I suggest that this kind of drawings are powerful, emblematic representations of the way young girls internalise media and society messages about being a girl/woman and as such their meaning should be taken very seriously.