The emotional lives of girls are mainly myth and diagnoses and constellations and made-for-TV movies and bathroom stall graffiti, at this point. Girls’ pain is held at gunpoint by competing narratives of attractive, elegant frailty, attention-addicted poseuring and wound-dwelling melodrama. When a girl speaks about the way she feels, we quietly select from a finite archive of stories tell us who that girl is and why she feels like that — which is why you’ve probably heard a woman explain something she felt to you, clarifying, “but it’s not like that.”
The hyper-representation of female pain in our culture has rendered it a moot point. We can’t just be ourselves; we have to choose from IMDB’s Top 70 “Memorable Female Characters.” We can’t really just be ourselves, we can only be Anna Karenina or Sylvia Plath or Bella or Hillary Clinton or Jo or Katniss or Mimí or Precious or Lisbeth or Alaska or Scarlett or Sula or Carrie or Daisy or Elizabeth. Female pain is played out.