Why Lizzie McGuire Was So Influential To Millennial Girls Growing Up

Lizzie McGuire was one of those rare TV shows that pre-teen girls could actually relate to. The series acted as a guide for young girls. Ultimately, it made our lives seem easier because it felt like we weren’t facing them alone.

Lizzie McGuire premiered at a time when impressionable, young girls didn’t have a role model to look up to. The beloved show helped begin the Disney Channel’s shift to creating relatable characters. Lizzie McGuire eventually paved the way for shows like That’s So Raven, which raised awareness on a variety of topics. 

Lizzie McGuire’s title character represented an entire generation.

She seemed awkward and confused. Yet she was growing, learning, and developing into the young woman society told her that she had to be. She was also naive, intuitive, and  curious as she embraced and grew from her embarrassing moments and failures.

The show tackled the awkward moment when your mom comes on your school trips, the extremely uncomfortable discussion about wanting to buy your first bra, and the tears that follow your first breakup. Lizzie McGuire’s episodes focused on relevant topics like acne, eating disorders, bullying, attracting popularity, craving social acceptance from peers, finding new hobbies, and a range of other topics that children’s programming rarely depicted.

The show’s supporting characters educated viewers and helped explain the things our parents might not have wanted to discuss with us. Thanks to Mrs. McGuire, we all learned about “hormones” and discovered that “We’re at that age when our bodies change.” She also taught us to always bring a bunch of toilet paper everywhere we go in case of feminine emergencies. And of course, Lizzie’s awkward (but still soothing) conversations with her dad solidified that even if the dad jokes kill us, we can still talk to our father figures about growing up, too. 

Even Matt, Lizzie’s little brother, taught us that fighting with our siblings is normal.

But he also proved that loyalty is just as important. No matter what happened between the McGuire siblings, they always had each other’s backs because they loved each other. Lizzie and Matt’s sibling dynamic taught us to always stand with our siblings no matter our feelings. After all, family is everything.

Most importantly, though, Lizzie McGuire showed us the power of friendship. We learned that sometimes our friends will feel tempted to join other friend groups, might do things we don’t agree with, and change into different people over time. But those three-way phone calls between Lizzie and her best friends, Miranda and Gordo, taught us to talk about our feelings instead of hold them in. Lizzie, Miranda, and Gordo were (and still are) “friendship goals.” 

Let’s be real: Our preteen years felt scary. Without Lizzie’s guidance, we wouldn’t have survived. Watching Lizzie live out our worst fears taught us that our lives would turn out just fine. Watching Lizzie McGuire comforted us and helped us feel less alone when we faced uncomfortable moments in our preteen lives. Our upbringings would not have felt the same without our favorite childhood role model, Lizzie. In fact, we should thank her for all the life lessons she taught us. And we’re even more thankful she’s coming back to our lives for the highly anticipated reboot, because I think we all need a reminder that whatever struggles we’re facing in adulthood are normal.

Feature Image via Disney Channel Lizzie McGuire


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