In the popular yet short-lived Disney Channel series Girl Meets World, the main character Riley and her best friend Maya takes on the world as they enter middle school. Their opening song Take on the Worldsuggested that they would be tackling some issues that they might face growing up. The show itself defines girls as young adult, and portrays their changes towards adulthood through education.
In the essay we read on girlhood, we learned that the definition of girlhood varies among different factors, such as age, gender, expected behavior, etc. The article described countless of famous literature that portrayed girlhood in a certain way that almost reinforced the idea that girls should be obedient and follow orders. In Kirsten Learns a Lesson, Kirsten met a strict teacher and learned to behave obedient and act ladylike. She was constantly being lectured and told not to do certain things in order to behave like a “lady.” On the other hand, in the TV show Girl Meets World, the show brought out an opposing side in the episode “Girl Meets STEM” which broke the assumptions of how girls should behave. The episode highlighted the problem that girls were more likely to give up the option to pursue STEM related course early on in their education because they were told to follow orders from guys who are their partners in the science experiments. However, the main character Riley refused to comply to the job her male partner Farkle appointed her to do, which was dropping a mudball in a beaker of clear water, while Farkle did the analyzation of the solution. In the end, she stated that she liked science and wanted to be great at it, and if Farkle is her friend he should have wanted her to be great.
The depiction of a girl standing up for herself and refusing to comply with the society norms greatly differed from the reading on “Girlhood” and Kirsten Learns a Lesson, and showed that the definition of girlhood is constantly changing as we tear down old beliefs and expectations of how a girl should behave.