Girl vs. Woman


What's the difference?

What, exactly, is the difference between a girl and a woman? I know what you're thinking: this seems far too much like a question a soul singer would ask, but it seems like we're unsure culturally.  Most of us will agree that the average 14 year old in glittery lip gloss doesn't exactly constitute womanhood.

And yet, as the traditional benchmarks of adulthood- home ownership, marriage, a “real” job- seem to be fading into lesser importance for our generation, knowing the difference between children and adults is harder than fitting your legs under the kid's table.

Articles have abounded on Millenials and how we just don't seem to be growing up anytime soon. An extension of this, it seems, is that we seem to shy away from the word “woman” like we do from jobs that ask us to hide our tattoos.

It all started with Katy Perry kissing a “girl” and liking it. Next thing you know, every blog and fashion magazine was talking about “girl crushes”- when you admire a fellow bra-wearer in a non-sexual manner and are a huge fan of their work. Showing love to those you admire? Cool. Having to minimizing amazing women who have this whole adult thing figured out to do it? Not so cool.

Next came Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso's smash book #girlboss- a brilliant guide to get young women motivated about business. Yet, the positive idea and amazing quality of this read can't deny the fact that the bosses Amoruso's asking her readers to become are smaller versions of themselves.

Forget trying to define “woman” for a moment. What is the definition of girl? A young, not-fully-formed-or-developed being unsure of who she is or what she might become. Sounds like the opposite of management material, if you ask me.

Lena Dunham, everyone's girl crush, adds another example to the mix. She's the archetype of what a girl crush is: someone wildly successful and glamourous yet still a bit ragged at the seams and relate-able. And, the ultimate girl crush is currently promoting her book- Not That Kind of Girl. Yes, Dunham is riffing on a popular saying, but she is also, weather she means to or not, taking part in the “girl not woman” trend. Even the show that made her famous, the series that threatens to )gloriously)  define our generation, is called Girls, not Women.

So, what does it mean for the generation that won't grow up when two of our most acclaimed and influential women wear the “girl” title proudly?

Am I being pedantic? Absolutely. But, the reason why some words get chosen over others reflect a lot of the meaning about what is being said. So, what's being said when the word “woman” isn't in the picture? 



Morgan Mullin for

Morgan Mullin for

Hi! I'm Morgan Mullin, a coffee-loving vegetarian from Trout Brook, Canada. Raised in the country but always a city girl at heart, I love travel, adventure and all things fashion. When I'm not traipsing around town highly caffeinated in unpractical footwear, I'm working on my blog, Hedonist In Heels. It's a place where I discuss how fashion and culture and daily life mix (along with lighter topics like city guides and boozy recipes). My favourite season is fall  and my favourite author is Jack Kerouac. I love black and white movies, romance, and carbs of all kinds (but especially the ones that come from pasta!).