You know how when you’re growing up, you have literally no idea what to… do?
On the one hand, the mass media tells you the most important thing you can be is hot. Growing up today means being bombarded with images of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, and being told how you look is essentially tantamount to who you are. We establish our identities on social media, and in that space, becoming a woman is necessarily visual.
But there’s also another school of thought. One that says a girl must grow up to be a lady. She must wear skirts of the right length, carry herself with elegance, and have ‘respect’ for herself, although no one can quite explain what that means.
Listen to The Binge: Why you need to watch Growing up Gracefully. Post continues after audio.
These competing ideas often seem contradictory (because they are), and impossible to achieve (because, again, they are).
So two Australian sisters, Hannah and Eliza Reilly, have decided to put the absurdity of ‘growing up’ on full display.
The idea for their ABC series Growing up Gracefully came when they rediscovered a 1950s teen advice book by the same name. They decided to explore how, exactly, young women are meant to grow up in 2017, by contrasting the modern narrative with the old-fashioned one. The result is both hilarious and utterly terrifying.
The series examines very important lady topics like looking your best, courtship, hosting a party, sex, and career, as Hannah follows ‘traditional’ advice, and Eliza looks towards more modern resources for guidance.
In the first episode, Hannah decides to learn from the best - none other than June Dally Watkins.