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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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