If You’re Reading This, You’re a Pick Me Girl

If You’re Reading This, You’re a Pick Me Girl

Sunnina Chen, Op-Ed Editor

Growing up, the uber-feminine, beautiful girl always won the guy in movies. Right? Well, the status quo was changed when the “cool girl” trope was introduced– a girl that was “one of the boys,” who didn’t paint her nails or brush her hair, yet still managed to look effortlessly beautiful. She was funny and smart, yet once again still managed to naturally look above average. 

Well, life imitates art. For the past few years, a new wave of women have emerged– rejecting femininity, being unapologetically smart and snarky, and avoiding stereotypes of feminine hysteria and sensitivity. These women originally emerged as emblems to show that it was okay to not dress up and to be comfortable in your personality. It was okay to not care about your nails and to like traditionally male hobbies. There were good intentions.

Yet, the ever-present influence of patriarchal society quickly soured the “movement”. Eventually it was not okay to be feminine, because you were “trying too hard” to get a boyfriend and made women look prissy and sensitive. If you liked pink and shopping you were just perpetuating an archaic stereotype and insecure about your actual personality. The emergence of “cool girl”-ism not only trumped the traditionally feminine woman but turned against them as well. This was just one of the first examples of the specific “pick me” girl concept train. When girls who tended to be more tomboy characterized girly women as what was the first “pick me” girl– someone who did everything for men’s approval and just wanted to be chosen by men– they were one of the first to expose the internalized misogyny of competing for men’s approval in this trend. They began the transition to becoming the new pick me girls because, unfortunately, the culture of women was and always has been to gain male validation.

Now, we as a society have realized the hypocrisy of the “tomboy” girl. Girls who say “I’m not like other girls” just put other girls down instead of celebrating differences. Why is there a need to distinguish yourself from other girls? Why is that a good thing? The internalized misogyny was realized and the popularity in finding pride by being “different” crashed. The new and current definition of “pick me girl” was created. The best way to end this cycle is to associate a negative connotation with the term and criticize the personalities and character of people who think like this, right? … right? 

Unfortunately, this is where we find ourselves in the present day. How sad these women are! That they feel the need to differentiate themselves from other women to get male validation! Thank God we’re not like them and don’t hate on other women for acting a certain way because of how patriarchal history has rewarded them and not because it is their actual character. Ew, you’re only friends with guys? You’re such a pick-me girl. Making fun of women who put down other women because of insecurities and their own struggle with internalized misogyny targets the wrong aspects of pick me girl-ism. The lack of understanding for why pick me girls act this way only perpetuates the cycle.

As long as women keep putting down other women for male validation, and don’t realize it’s the system that’s producing these attitudes and not the women themselves, we will never break the cycle. As women, we need to understand that we don’t have to compete with one another to feel worthy. We should lift each other up and celebrate our differences. Instead of making fun of women who make fun of other women, we should take a step back and realize the larger situation. The male gaze will always have an influence, but without an attitude change where we realize patriarchal history is the root base of this insecurity of being a woman rather than these women being evil themselves, we cannot truly break the cycle. As long as one thinks the women and not the causes of insecurity are the problem, as long as there still are “the other girls,” there will always be some form of a “pick me girl”– there is no win.