How to build a girl
A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine asked if I wanted to go along to a show at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh. I agreed for no other reason than to catch up with my friend that I hadn’t seen in months. It then occurred to me, the day before the show, that I had no idea what, or who, I was going to see.
When I finally arrived in Edinburgh (after getting spectacularly lost and driving up one way streets the wrong way) I quizzed my friend about what we were letting ourselves in for. She said it was a writer called Caitlin Moran, who wrote a hilarious book called, “How to be a woman.”
“There’s never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain… Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?”
So, when I realised I was going to be packed in a room with some die hard feminists, I became a little uneasy. Was it going to be a talk about how men are the enemy? How women are the superior race? How we should all burn our bras’ and stop shaving our legs? I would classify myself as a feminist; but I would probably fall more into the ‘Lipstick feminist,’ category. A girl can have strong views and rock a pair of heels at the same time, right?
To my relief, when Caitlin Moran took to the stage, my worries completely disappeared. This woman talks so much sense and is absolutely hilarious, at the same time. The premise of the evening was to promote her new book, “How to build a girl.”
“What do you do in your teenage years when you realise what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes – and build yourself.
Imagine the Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease, with a soundtrack by My Bloody Valentine and The Happy Mondays. As beautiful as it is funny, How to Build a Girl is a brilliant coming-of-age novel in DMs and ripped tights, that captures perfectly the terror and joy of trying to discover exactly who it is you are going to be.”
Being a girl who struggled through her teenage years, and early twenties, with a lack of self-esteem and no confidence, I wish I had a book like this to tell me that everything was going to turn out fine in the end. Caitlin declared herself, after reading reviews of her book, she had essentially written a dirty book for teenage girls, educating them on all problems us girls face while growing up. Sex, masturbation and a good bout of cystitis, all described with hilarious anecdotes and stories.
Needless to say, the next day I bought both books off amazon and will be packing them in my suitcase for when I jet off on holiday. I look forward for some side splitting stories and some relatable truths by the pool, with a cocktail in hand!
What do you think of Caitlin’s new book?