MTV’s show Girl Code calls on a host of female actresses, musicians, and comedians, as well as a couple of guys, to weigh in on a variety of issues that women have to deal with all the time. It’s described as a “new, hilarious how-to manual full of over the top tips to push the envelope and open the dialogue about the wonders and woes of womanhood.”
But does this show really give us a true look into the way girls work, or is it just another rehashing of the same stereotypes we’ve been fed a hundred times before? Let’s find out.
Pro: Real Girls, Real Talk
Girl Code covers a wide array of topics that girls encounter in their lives, whether on a day-to-day basis or more occasionally. The show has a real knack for picking out situations that many girls can relate to: whether it’s a girls’ night out, or dealing with PMS, the girls (and guys) offer their actual opinions on everything that could possibly come a girl’s way.
Sometimes they disagree on things — their reactions to various situations might lie in direct contrast. But, though this might seem confusing and contradictory at first, it’s realistic, and definitely the right way to go. After all, different girls have different ways of dealing with their lives, and even if two girls are going through the same thing, they might react in very different ways.
Every topic on the show is covered for an average of five minutes, which allows for a little bit of joking around, and then some buckling down to brass tacks. The way these girls talk about their experiences and give their advice is just like how girls talk to each other, or even explain things to guys. All in all, the show does a great job covering the real opinions and lives of real women.
Con: Sameness Sucks
Although it’s true that Girl Code deals with a lot of different situations, sometimes the show doesn’t seem to put in enough effort to be as all-inclusive as they claim to be. For instance, many of the topics covered by the show deal with dates, sex, and relationships. In these sections, there isn’t much time devoted to women who aren’t interested in dating or having sex with men. In this way the show can get a little heteronormative. In fact, aside from a small segment of the show titled “Experimentation,” there isn’t another mention of girls who are romantically or sexually attracted to anyone who isn’t a dude.
Pro: Loud and Proud
For too long, many of the subjects that affect girls’ lives have been marked taboo by society and by the media; refreshingly, and in sharp contrast with the status quo, Girl Code doesn’t leave any stone unturned. Despite the tasteful censorship of naughty words and naughty bits, no topic is too extreme, too personal, or too weird for the show to cover, from trips to the gynecologist, to tips on safe sex, and STDs.
These girls are fearless and, more importantly, shameless when it comes to revealing their thoughts on period cramps, masturbation, the perfect bra, and a slew of other topics that will never make it to the dinner table. Finally, there’s a place for all girls to find out that they’re not the only one who has weird sex dreams, or stresses out about the whole waxing-versus-shaving debate, or even farts in public and blames it on a dude.
Hey, what are all these guys doing on a show about girls? Sure, sometimes it’s relevant to have a man’s opinion on some of the topics covered by the show. But more often than not, their input is pretty irrelevant to the matter at hand. Honestly, I really don’t care what you think about makeup, all-girl sleepovers, or periods. Get your butts out of our business, dudes! This is Girl Code!
Pro: Positive Encouragement
Though it hasn’t yet been covered as an official topic, there’s plenty slipped into nearly every segment of Girl Code about self-love and happiness; and it’s definitely a point in the show’s favor that this message is maintained throughout the 17 episodes that have aired so far.
Talks about delicate subjects like plastic surgery and dieting (seemingly superficial, as we’ll all agree, but they really can change the way a girl views herself and feels about herself) display varying opinions among the girls and guys. For example, some of the girls say plastic surgery is a huge no-no, saying that it’s a waste of money that could be better spent in other ways. However, at the end of that segment, it’s conceded that anything that makes you feel better about yourself 100% of the time is good for you, and if you are consistently unhappy with your looks, plastic surgery can be the path to a happier life.
At the end of the day, it’s important that a show all about girls discusses the way we feel about ourselves, and Girl Code definitely fulfills that requirement in a way that’s both fun and honest.
So, overall assessment? Girl Code is a fun, new, exciting show that’s made tons of good moves so far. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, and it’s making major strides forward in the way society treats, acts around, and thinks about women.
(And yes, guys — this is what we’re really like!)