Why "I'm Not Like Other Girls" Is Harmful

Why "I'm Not Like Other Girls" Is Harmful

Who are the other girls? Why is it so bad to be like them?
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“I’m not like other girls” is a line I grew up hearing in movies. Romantic comedies, independent films, take your pick. There is almost always a girl who is deemed “quirky” or “different” and states (or has this statement said about her) that she is not like the “other” girls. My question is: who are the other girls? And why is it so bad to be like them?


We have harvested a culture saturated in women putting other women down for not being like them. “I’m not like other girls” could mean that you don’t like to shop, you don’t like to do your hair, etc. This statement is so harmful because it is promoting an idea that there is a certain “type” of girl we are all supposed to be and stepping outside of that box is either applauded or condemned. If you are “different,” people will judge you. According to movies, if you are “different,” the popular boy (who happens to be the quarterback and the student body president) will pick you up like a diamond in the rough and love you because you’re not like “the others.”

This idea that women can be sorted in “not like” and “like” categories is what fuels an already sexist environment. Being “like” the “other” girls more than likely means that you love the color pink, shopping, drama and boys. It could also mean that when you think of your future, you imagine a white-picket fence and two and a half children. The “not like” category is more than likely a girl who likes the color black, art, non-drama and doesn’t care about boys at all. When she thinks of her future, she more than likely imagines the exact opposite of what the “other girls” imagine because she’s not like the “others.” What I just described is exactly what is wrong with the statement, “I’m not like other girls.” When women put other women into a box of this-or-that, we make it okay for society (and in particular, men) to put us into a box.

Whether you like to assume “traditional” gender roles or not makes no difference to how much of a woman you are. If you like to assume these roles, good for you! If you don’t like to assume traditional gender roles, good for you, too! There is a dialogue happening when we encourage traditional gender roles. Saying that you aren’t like a certain subset of your gender puts down girls that identify that way. That’s not OK. The way you choose to live your life makes no difference in the way they live theirs. We should not have these “roles” we have to fit into but we also shouldn’t have these “roles” we don’t fit into as a way to distinguish ourselves from the crowd and elevate ourselves above fellow women.

It’s not a competition of who’s “quirkier” or who’s “not girly.” You, in your own personal identity, are a woman. If you choose to identify as a woman, you can act whatever way you want to. The idea that it is more marketable and appealing to not be like the “others” is what fuels a sexist society. So, the next time you think, “I’m not like other girls,” maybe take a step back and ask yourself, "Who are the other girls? How are my differences making me a “better” woman than them?" Finally, ask yourself, "Why do I feel the need to not be like other girls?"

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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An Open Letter To The Coach Who Inspired Me Forever

Anyone who's found a love for a sport (or sports) while playing for rec teams, club teams or teams for a local school, can agree.. that somewhere along the way, there was a coach that changed everything.

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When I was five years old, my parents signed me up for my first organized sport. It happened to be the Fall of the year I entered kindergarten and the sport happened to be soccer. Now, at this age calling it, an "organized" sport is quite a reach. We met once a week, put on our colored pennies and ran around in a big field while a volunteer coach really thought they'd have the chance to corral us. That year, I continued through the seasons and got my first glimpse at a number of other sports. Cheering, basketball, and t-ball were all on my to-do list, and soon I was hooked.

Every week I would look forward to games on the weekend and a practice or two along the week. By the third or fourth grade, I believed I had narrowed down the sports I really wanted to play: soccer, basketball, and baseball. I played all of these until the fifth grade when it was first suggested that I switch over to softball.

I absolutely hated the idea of this but, that spring it happened. I was the first one to be "drafted" onto a team, that come to find out, was the team that always finished last. Even knowing this, I continued to play and learn every position and somehow leading my team to its first championship in years.

This.

This was the moment I learned to love the sport I least expected to, and first met the coach who would change my view on the game. Although the story leading up to this point may not have been the same as yours, we all know the moment we realized, this coach was going to change us.

For me, this coach over my middle and high school careers became one of the most important people in my world now revolving around this sport. He fought for my spot on the middle school team when the coach claimed I was "too young" and wanted to give older girls a spot. He pulled me to the varsity lineup as a Freshman and trusted me to catch every-game behind the plate of the senior pitcher who clearly had the speed and talent to pitch collegiately. He continued to mentor me, step by step as my role on the team transitioned from freshman catcher, to second baseman, to senior captain pitcher.

This coach changed everything for me. He taught me respect and accountability and I'd get out what I put into not only the sport, but all my other endeavors. He taught me integrity, and perseverance. But he also taught me how to have fun while I played. How to step onto the field and play my hardest, but know no-matter the score as long as I did my best it was a good game.

I had never known what it was like to have someone other than my parents be so invested in my success before. Of course, they're going to be there for every game, every carpool to practice and every early Sunday morning tournament. But often times, the coach who leaves it all on the field goes unnoticed. The coach who will sit after a game and cry with you after you played your very last game... the coach that truly made you believe in yourself.

So here's to him. Here's to the blood, sweet and tears left behind. Here's to "the good, the bad and the ugly" as he'd say, and learning that any bruise can be fixed by rubbing a little dirt on it. Thank you for your devotion. Thank you for shaping me in to the player I am today, and continuing to do so for others. Thank you for inspiring me everyday to be the best I could be.

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