As any viewer of Pretty Little Liars knows, Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily are a force to be reckoned with. To celebrate the return of our mystery-solving teens to regular television programming, several of the Girls Like Giants crew teamed up to crack the awesomeness codes of the core four.
It’s no secret that I, much more than most of my lady-friends here, adore Aria. She does dumb things, is super stubborn, is kind of sneaky, and is borderline boy-obsessed. However, there are also lots of great things about her. Want to channel awesome Aria?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with style. One of the things that I love most about Aria is her ever-changing, occasionally wacky-yet-dark sense of style. She isn’t afraid to be punk-rock chic on Monday and laced-up, prim and proper on Tuesday. Her style often reflects her mood rather than some lofty, solidified sense of self. She also embraces trends–even unfortunate ones (hello, dangly hair feather)–but is never apologetic about her choices because she simply doesn’t take herself too seriously. She’s too busy having fun trying out different versions of who she might be through her clothes.
Love your family really, really hard. Most of Aria’s biggest mistakes happen with her family. She keeps a secret for her dad and she tells an almost two-season-long lie to her parents and her brother. However, she never hesitates to make her devotion and affection for her family known. Her parents, even when they probably shouldn’t, depend on her and treat her with respect. This means that even when Aria is making big-time mistakes, she returns that respect to them and trusts that their mutual love for one another will make everything okay in the end.
Always be honest with your friends. Aria might lie to her parents and her brother, but she’s usually open and honest with her friends. She knows that they need each other. Her willingness to admit to mistakes, unhappy truths, and show the uglier side of herself to her friends strengthens the trust they share.
Read good books, even if not for the purest of reasons. This one is pretty straightforward. Aria is sometimes motivated to read less by a desire to learn and explore than. . .other desires, but the girl reads and writes, regardless. She’s not ashamed to be seen reading or to talk about what she’s reading. Girlfriend is on the straight and narrow toward an MFA, God help her.
Be well traveled, really smart, unabashedly silly, and endlessly encouraging. These traits serve as a concluding catch-all for Aria’s awesomeness, but each stand alone as well. Aria’s family moved back to Rosewood from Iceland where they lived for three years. Early in the first season, this experience seemed to make Aria more angsty than anything else, but as she’s matured and become more secure in her friendships and other relationships, I think her travel experiences emerge in more productive ways. Despite the snarky tone of my point about Aria’s reading, she’s really smart. We get to see her succeeding in school, working on school and personal writing at home, and having intelligent, adult conversations. I’m not saying that her logical processes are further matured than those of her peers, but Aria has intellectual curiosities and the desire to pursue those as far as they may take her. None of this stops her from being unabashedly silly with her girlfriends, boyfriend, or her brother. While she may rarely be the comedian of the group, she never misses an opportunity to laugh or goof off with those she loves. Finally, Aria believes the best about those she loves and constantly reminds them of that. She’s great at encouraging the people she cares about and telling them what it is that makes them great, capable, secure, and loved.