I Enjoy Being A Girl

I have a thing or two to say about girliness in general.

In early July I took one of the 12 year olds from the neighborhood on a shopping spree. She was wearing all her older brother’s hand-me-down’s and seemed convinced that she was actually a boy. Shopping with her mother brought nothing but fighting, and so I happily and hopefully offered my shopping services. To my total surprise, this darling girl said yes. Off we went. 

The first time she put on a fitted girl t-shirt she broke down sobbing. It was traumatic for her. She’d been wearing huge, baggy boy clothing for the last year of puberty and was terrified of all things feminine. I stood her in front of the mirror, made her look at that gorgeous girl staring back, and gave her permission to love the color pink. We laughed and she cried, and $200.00 later she floated through the door of her house equipped with an entirely new outlook on life. 


Last week at Young Women’s they decided to doll the girls up in hair and makeup. Now, this girl has been sporting her new “I’m now a girl” look for three months, but hair and make-up we have not yet covered. Why? Because there’s no big hurry here. Her mom and I both think she’ll work her way into those things (or we’ll push her into them) in time. 

And so up went her hair in a pile of soft brown curls. A little eye makeup and some lip gloss and holy crap, she looked amazing. She LOVED it. In fact, she danced and pranced around with the other twittering little Beehives like a happy little fairy. 

Then she went home and cried from embarrassment. 

She was horrified at how she’d acted and blamed the makeup. She told her mom she wanted nothing to do with makeup or hair ever again, and in a matter of hours morphed back into that boyish, clunky girl who only wanted to wear huge baggy clothing and play with the boys. 

This made me sad. So a few days later, when she came over to babysit, I decided to talk to her. I wouldn’t have said anything, but you can’t fight inspiration. 

“I was so sad about the other night,” I said. “Your mom told me you were pretty upset about the hair and makeup.”

“All makeup does is make girls think they aren’t good enough. I don’t need that stuff to be beautiful.”

Have I mentioned that I love this girl? She’s ridiculously book smart and street smart, and she knows who she is. I LOVE this girl. 

“I totally agree,” I said. “But I don’t want you to turn into one of those people who looks down on girls who wear makeup. There’s nothing wrong with looking your best and making the effort to feel good about yourself.” She bristled at this and was about to cut me off with another pre-feminist comment when I continued.

“Tell me,” I asked casually, ignoring the I’m-never-wearing-girl-clothes-again look on her face. “What does the temple look like inside?”

This caught her by surprise. “Uh, white?”

“Right, but when they build them, do they throw down cheap brown carpet and slap up some paint?”


“What kind of material do they use when they build a new temple?”

“The best,” she said. She’s no dummy. She saw exactly where I was going.

“That’s right. Beautiful, crystal chandeliers and only the loveliest moldings. They spare no expense to make it an inviting place where people want to be.”

“I guess…”

“And you know what? When we take the time to look our best and put our best foot forward, it pleases Heavenly Father. Do you think I feel any less confident when I have sweats on and no makeup?” She shook her head no. My point was made. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. This weekend I had a fantastic reunion with some old girlfriends who came and stayed with me for our 10th Anniversary Jerusalem Get-Together. I took Melissa, my best friend from college and old roommate, shopping to bring her out of the Mommy Mire and give her a new lease on hotness. By the time she left, she had to buy a new suitcase to take home the new wardrobe we’d picked out for her.

And you know what? She felt good about herself. Not just good, great.

Now and then there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to throw on some lipgloss and that “fancy” pair of jeans when you go to the grocery store. We don’t always have to run around in sweats just because we deal with sticky fingers and snotty noses. We don’t have to sacrifice heels for sneakers because they’re more practical. We are still girls, not slaves or wives or mommy’s or taxi drivers or bread winners. Just girls. I don’t care how old or how worn down or how sapped we sometimes feel, under all those left-overs and laundry we are still just a bunch of girls who like to feel pretty.

So do yourself a favor. Go feel pretty today, you deserve it. And if you need someone to help you revamp your girliness, just let me know.


  1. *sob* That was beautiful! I hope a LOT of women read this! BTW, will you PLEASE come & take my tom boy daughter shopping? LOL

    I was actually really surprised by how touching this was. Before I read it, I was fully prepared to leave “I’m glad you’re a girl too because you would be horrible as a man”. Then, reading this made me all sappy and my man comment wasn’t very funny anymore.

  2. I totally agree! Feeling beautiful is an important thing! It makes days go easier- more gets done- and surprisingly I’m nicer to everyone. I loved LOVED your temple talk, I will use that one. I think we all forget to take time for ourselves sometimes.

  3. WOnderfully said once again Annie. You are so inspiring to me. Where were you when I was going through the awkward stage of teenager? Thanks for making me smile today.

  4. I totally am going to be hot today. Just for you Annie. 🙂 Well, and Darren right? lol

    that was a cute post. I can’t wait till you take me shopping and use your shopping skills.

  5. Can you take MY daughter shopping?

  6. Thank you so much!! My daughter is just entering the “fun” tween years of life and knowing how much I struggled as I morphed from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, this story will help me be able to help guide her along that path and bring some sunshine and smiles into the rainy days of life as a tween.

  7. Annie, I deffnetly need help in the make up area, and a little bit of the clothes. What about you and I go shopping sometime and Beau will watch your boys. I dunno. I remember the best I ever felt about makeup is when we were up a cabin and you dolled me up. I want to do that again!

  8. annie valentine says:

    I’m good for my shopping offer. If you want me to take you/your daughter/your mother shopping and live in the Great Salt Lake Area, email me at annietintle at aim dot com

  9. Thanks for the inspiring words! I am sort of like your babysitter… I have nice things, but sometimes feel embarrassed to look nice. I will stop feeling that way!

  10. Found you on MMB. Love love this post!

  11. Well put!

  12. It’s right in the 13th article – we should be lovely.

    Do we have the same mother or something? I gave someone this lecture yesterday, and if any of you live in the greater Washington Penninsula area, I would LOVE to take you shopping!!

    I’ll wear a blond wig and you can pretend I’m Annie.

  13. As the 2nd counselor in the Olympia 1st Ward YW Presidency (about to head off to mutual)…I totally TO-TA-LLY needed to hear that. Why?…cause I’m wearing a frumpy t-shirt with smashed bananas on it, pajama bottoms that make me look HUGE, and my birth control glasses, no make up, and um…I should probably go brush my teeth. THATS why. 🙂 Ta ta, Rachel

  14. OK, can I make an appointment to have you revamp my wardrobe? I’m going to loose 20 lbs. of “5 kids later” fat and then this summer I’ll come up to where ever you live and pay you to shop for/with me. OK?

  15. Dear Everyone,
    I am a first-hand witness that Annie is, no joke, an amazing person to shop with. Not only will she tell you what looks hot, she tells you what looks awful, making you feel great all the while.

    Annie, remember my TWO amazing prom dresses that I would have never gotten without your help? Enough said.

  16. I laughed and cried and totally related to both sides of this story! How bizzar?

    (In my past- cute mommy phase- I took a 16 year old shopping.)

    Last week my neighbor came over with her Kohl’s card. (free shipping and 30% discount) and declared she was tired of my “elastic waistband phase”. ( In my defense- I did have surgery and gained a little weight with the recovery… so I was waiting.. to fit in my cute clothes again. ) But Kohls is the best! She picked out and I paid for 4 pairs of capri’s and 3 tops for only $37 dollars! NO JOKE!

    Loved the story- thanks for sharing.

  17. Annie, I know that your post was about feeling beautiful and feminine, but I was focused on the fact that you take people shopping…I do that all the time…I love to take people shopping and help them feel pretty and good about how they look. Joel and his mom think I should become a personal shopper for people…Joel especially, you know, so that I am making money instead of spending it…whatever…I just love to show people that there is something for everyone…every style, every figure, every personality. Annie, I need you…I have to stop reading your blog because it makes me miss you and wish I had you near…

  18. If I needed someone to call to help me find my inner hotness it would absolutely be you. (It’s possible that I do need that but I’m not about to go there right now.)

    Actually, I think it’s funny that the older I get the more accepting of my inner girl I am (all the while branching farther and farther into construction and video games and …)

  19. BEst. Entry .EVER!!! So glad you found me – you are kind of awesome.