The rise of the girl crush

The ‘girl crush’ seems to be hot property at the moment. Cosmo declares on the front cover of its January issue that so and so is their ‘Greys Anatomy girl crush’, an American company seems to have cashed in on the craze with a bunch of kids hairstyling items etc, and a couple of months ago I was accused (rather patronizingly I thought) of having a girl crush on Misha Barton.

Officially a girl crush is:

when two women have strong feelings for one another, but not in a sexual way. A Girl Crush is strong infatuation that one woman has for another woman who seems beautiful, sophisticated, charming or accomplished. It usually refers to heterosexual women.

Which is where the problem arises. Having a crush on a girl can be very confusing for someone who thinks she’s straight.

Take my friend for example. In years seven through nine (ages 13 to 15) she had a big crush on me. Only she confused this totally non-sexual ‘girl crush’ for a somewhat more sexual crush. So she spent a good couple of years reacting fairly badly to other friends of mine, being jealous and possessive and occasionally violent (she kicked me across a room once). Then one day when I was staying the night at her place she jumped me, I turned her down and she was fairly hurt.

Turns out a couple of years later she realises that she’s straight after all and was just going through a confused phase and I realise that I’m bi and was just in denial the whole time.

Girls are complicated huh!

Then there are the ‘girl crushes’ that turn out to be something else altogether. See I had a friend at school who was basically a blond Angelina Jolie only taller. Dominant, strong, very charismatic and totally hot. I had a ‘girl crush’ on her for years. Then in year 12 I start to realise that I was actually fairly in love with her and told her as much. Fortunately for me she’s fairly open minded and isn’t even the slightest bit awkward around me.

The point is that in this new era of open mindedness I think terms like ‘girl crush’ are fairly patronizing and unnecessary. I don’t see why we need to attach a label to a girl-girl infatuation to make it socially acceptable.

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5 thoughts on “The rise of the girl crush

  1. Deek Deekster December 11, 2006 / 4:40 am

    That’s very well put. I like that you tackle a difficult area with from your own personal experience – this is what the best blogs do.What you make clear is the real difference between emotional affinity / love, and the sticky stuff. But, the boundary line between a “sexual” crush and a “non-sexual” one is nebulous, moves, and is frequently difficult to define. As is gender – 4% of humanity are neither male nor female physically let alone psychologically.All of which goes to show how stereotypes are there to be avoided.

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  2. Anonymous January 16, 2007 / 4:36 pm

    I agree completely. We humans are complicated. I am a female and had a crush on a female teacher in high school…in an all girls high school, mind you. I was very confused about it at first but realized it was nonsexual and more correctly an “admiration” for, as you said, a sophisticated and educated woman. It turned out that we had a lot in common and became good friends.I am now an undergraduate and our friendship has endured. The crush part is gone, however.This type of thing can certainly be a stage, but it can also be much more. Anything is possible.

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  3. Anonymous February 5, 2007 / 12:49 pm

    I think that most human beings are essentially bisexual, ie that if we are fully open to our emotions and sexuality, it’s possible to be attracted to both sexes, even if we define ourselves as predominantly gay or straight. I’ve had relationships with men only, but have had several intense attractions to women. A friend of mine who also defines herself as primarily straight once had a year long sexual relationship with a women. She told me that women have a special nurturing quality that men are lucky to benefit from in relationships. When she was in the relationship with the woman, she loved being able to experience being nurtured instead of being the primary nurturer, as she had been in relationships with men. She ultimately decided to marry a man and has a child, but she told me with deep honestly that if she hadn’t wanted to bring a child into a traditional family setting, she definitely would have chosen a woman as her life partner, that it was a profound and beautiful experience to be with a woman.

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  4. Faizah November 6, 2008 / 3:37 pm

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  5. Confused August 13, 2010 / 11:05 am

    Just what I’ve been looking for, this post. Maybe you can answer some of my questions, I sure could use some help.For a couple of months now I’ve been having these “crushes”. I hate to call it by the new popular name, feels like I’m part of a trend and for me it’s not something new. I’ve been “obsessing” over women, actresses mostly, for as long as I can remember. It was never sexual.

    Until a couple of months ago when it suddenly did. It’s not that I want to have sex with them but I’d sure like to french kiss them. I get distracted when they say their lines, watch their mouths a lot. So, what is this? A so-called “girl crush” or something different. I thought I was straight but I would not say no if a woman I found attractive came on to me. And it all started when I saw Paget Brewster on Conan.

    So yeah, I need some opinions here, from somebody who’s gone through this or something similar.

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