The good girl image.
The image that follows me through every classroom, every event — every aspect of my life really.
I have always been marked as a good girl. “Hira wouldn’t do that — she is a good girl,” my friends and family say.
The limiting identity of a good girl is exhausting — because a good girl must be the manifestation of perfection. She must be careful but also exciting, smart but not too smart, outgoing but soft-spoken. She is a walking contradiction.
My good girl image has forced me to navigate through a thin line where I must appease those around me but also find myself.
I cannot show my opinion or disagree because a good girl remains submissive, she remains pleasant.
Before starting college, one of my peers asked me, “Hira, are you going to become a party girl in college?” I answered, “I’m not interested in that aspect of college life, so no.” She replied with, “Oh, yeah, you’re a good girl.”
This good girl characterization bothers me because it puts me in a box. It makes me appear as a calculated, cold person. It makes me appear boring and indifferent. It makes me appear as a perfectionist.
I am not, though.
I enjoy people’s company. I am exciting. I make mistakes all the time. I am not perfect — and to me that’s perfect.
The good girl hallmark that has followed me since I learned to walk is exhausting because when I do fail, when I do make a mistake — people are shocked. They are disappointed in me.
After all, good girls don’t make mistakes, right?
I am not just a good girl — I am a strong girl. A passionate girl. A hard-working girl. My existence does not dwindle down to simply “good” — because I am much more than that.