I’m Not Like Other Girls

By Avery Ross, G11

If you were alive and online during the 2013-2015 worldwide Tumblr phase, then you probably remember the ‘I’m not like other girls’ trend. Millions of girls created artwork and memes that compared two women, often on the left side of the meme there would be a brunette wearing a baggy hoodie that liked to read the Hunger Games and religiously listened to my chemical romance, and on the right side would be a heavily tanned blonde drowned in pink, who’s hobbies consisted of fangirling over Justin Bieber and shopping.

Most of the time the girl on the left was deemed better than the girl on the right in terms of self respect and or intelligence. Though, after a while, the meme began taking a more general form of just: one girl is quirky and the other is basic, therefore she must be put down. Now the origin of this problematic trend is quite surprising — that origin is internalized misogyny. 

Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women.

Merriam Webster Dictionary

The word comes from the term misogynist, which is someone who hates, dislikes, or mistrusts women. Since the dawn of time, women have typically been viewed as inferior to men in a societal scope. Although we have made large strides as a society towards equal rights for women, we’re still nowhere near perfect, as much as we’d like to believe that we’re making lots of progress, it’s trends like this that tell us that this fight is still very far from over. 

The reason the ‘I’m not like other girls’ trend came about is because there are stereotypes for the oppressed. To misogynists, women should all fit into one box: liking pink, shopping, and caring only about their appearance, or something along those lines. So, when a woman has non-stereotypical hobbies or interests, she might view herself as above other girls because she believes that her interests are unique simply because of internalized misogyny.

 Maybe she even views herself as more masculine than most women, believing that she is different and special. This makes girls feel as if they must differentiate themselves from other girls to make it clear that they themselves are not like other girls. This in itself can create a very toxic environment for any girl who believes she is not like the others and therefore must be praised for it, and those around her who feel belittled because of it. 

The problem with this trend is that all girls are special. Everyone has unique hobbies and interests, and we shouldn’t have to feel like we have to put each other down to prove that. None of us fit into this stereotype of what girls should like or do. While there are certainly girls that like pink and love shopping, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking those things. We should have the freedom to enjoy whatever we want regardless of whether it’s popular or not. We all have unique quirks, but there’s no need to act like we’re the only ones that enjoy reading or listening to My Chemical Romance, nor should anyone put someone else down because they think their interests automatically put them above others. 

What I hope is that the girls reading this article have gained some insight on this subject matter. I hope that you have maybe learned something about yourself or other girls. Maybe you’ve learned that there is in fact no need for us to put each other down solely because of things we enjoy. Most importantly of all, I hope that you have learned that you are unique and special – regardless of the music you listen to or the way you dress. 

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