I’m sure you know a person like me. I’m one of the maybe five people in this country over the age of 16 who’s seen every episode of a teen gymnastics show called “Make it Or Break It.” At 29 years old, I do my own taxes, pay my own bills, put my own furniture together from Ikea, and generally exist as a functioning adult, without problem, complaint or repercussion. I wear nerdy glasses, have bangs and feel very strongly about nail art. I have a job, a career path and a vested interest in things other than J.Crew flats and kittens. I am a grown-ass woman, a one-woman miracle — not a “woman-child,” the latest, freshly hatched archetype from Deborah Schoenenman’s piece, Sparkly Nail Polish, Katy Perry and Frozen Eggs: Meet the Woman-Child, an excerpt from her ebook. What is a “woman-child,” you might ask?
According to Schoenenman, she’s a woman who’s “aging backwards,”a girl who likes nail art and kittens and cupcakes, a girl who has deep and long-lasting female friendships that she values, a girl who maybe isn’t afraid of a polka dot or two. You know the type. The bangs of Zooey Deschanel; that girl in high school who totally knit her own scarves and still gave out store-bought Valentines well into senior year. In Schoenenman’s words:
“She doesn’t have to go into a Tower Records (if they still existed) to buy a Taylor Swift album.She can just download it and blog about her favorite songs on HelloGiggles, a new popular website devoted to all things tween. A ‘woman-child’ is the type to prioritize her female friendships as if she were in a high school clique by posting pictures of her girls’ birthday dinners or boozy vacations on Facebook while her peers post wedding and baby pictures with similar zeal. She truly believes that women are in it together and is all about helping her friends start businesses, meet guys and pick out a cute outfit for a big event. Competiveness among females in the workplace is perceived as totally ’80s. ‘Women-children’ are increasingly looking back to create a new common ground and it’s a warm fuzzy ground.”