Forced Uniqueness: Why Being 'Like Other Girls' Isn't A Bad Thing

'Not Like Other Girls' Phenomenon

We've all heard the phrase 'you're not like other girls' before. It's meant to be a compliment towards a girl to make them feel special for standing out from the people around her.

But in reality using that phrase comes with more negative connotations than positive. For starters, it implies that the receiver's gender is bad, but because she's different from the rest, she's alright.

It's also become a vicious cycle in recent years. Unless you like certain things, you're just like everyone else, but if you happen to actually be into non-conventional stereotypical things, you risk becoming a 'pick-me girl'.

Forced Uniqueness

This phenomenon can cause major issues for all people including men, despite it predominantly targeting girls.

While individuals all strive to be unique & special humans, there is a point where it stops stemming from a place of authenticity & becomes meaningless.

While people should focus on their unique traits, there's nothing wrong with 'being like other girls'. Society has conditioned feminine traits to feel less powerful, but there's strength in belonging.

The Importance Of Community

Humans are inherently social beings. The word 'community' is definitively central to humans.

Being part of a community not only gives us a sense of belonging, but it allows us to thrive in an environment where people can relate to & support each other.

Groups that face the most discrimination against them tend to find the most comfort in community. Being able to share experiences makes people feel as though they're part of something greater than themselves. And that feeling shouldn't be taken away from anyone, especially not for being like their peers.

Via Eloise Marseille (@eloisemarseille)

Harmful Tropes & Stereotypes

Why did 'being like other girls' become a negative statement? It could be attributed to a number of actions that stem from a girl's life very early on.

Traditionally, masculine traits emphasise ambition, aggression, competition & independence, whereas feminine traits highlight compassion, being impressionable, nurturing & passive.

Harmful stereotypes come from a belief which attempts to devalue women for having those traits. Like insulting someone with 'you're just a little girl' or believing women are not fit for positions of power because of their emotions.

Internalised Misogyny

Unfortunately, those stereotypes affect all genders, creating toxic environments where people end up repressing their emotions.

Internalised misogyny refers to negative & prejudiced subconscious thoughts that women themselves may feel towards their gender due to the misconceptions around feminine traits.

Only by working on removing those harmful tropes - both externalised & internalised - will women & men achieve gender equality. Maybe then, 'being like other girls' will be considered a positive trait.

How Do You Feel About The Phrase "You're Not Like Other Girls"?

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