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I’m Not Like Other Girls – I’m Worse!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KCL chapter.

By now, we are all too familiar with the concept of the ‘pick-me’ girl – think being ‘one of the boys’, because men are just ‘less drama’. Think Bianca in 10 Things I Hate About You. Think the rejection of femininity in favour of male validation. What is brushed off as a nuisance, I fear, will ultimately become detrimental. My reasoning for this is two-fold: the repression of one’s emotions is never a positive experience, but doing this in relation to womanhood impacts not only the individual but also the collective.  

It goes without saying that throughout history, women have always been perceived as the most emotional gender. ‘Hysteria’, after all, comes from the Ancient Greek ‘hystera’, meaning ‘uterus’. Just like many other stereotypes, this holds an incomprehensible amount of power and is used to control and dominate a marginalised community. Therefore, if one is to reject this community, a place in which one can derive solace and a sense of acceptance, then there is surely no hope of overcoming these prejudices. Isolation may also lead to a negative impact on one’s well-being, as loneliness can have a severe impact on both mental and physical health. Thus, in repressing our femininity, we leave room for the misunderstanding of ourselves which can ultimately worsen our mental health. We must stick together on this one. 

In her 1975 essay, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, Laura Mulvey coined the term ‘male gaze’. Though this was written in relation to film, it is easily applicable elsewhere. Mulvey argues that as viewers, we are aligned with the male gaze, gaining enjoyment from the reduction of women to objects, as well as their exclusion regarding positions of power. Arguably, the repression of emotions will further perpetuate the seemingly limitless power held by the male gaze. It’s an endless cycle. Isolation from your community results in a lack of dialogue, subsequently leading to a lack of understanding. If there is a lack of understanding, there is no hope regarding the comprehension and validation of mental health. However, this is somewhat of a double-edged sword, because to reject is to be deemed a ‘pick-me’ but to embrace is to be deemed hysterical. Once labelled as either one, one is instantly, devastatingly devalued. Any sense of control is gone. We are merely props within this male hegemonic society, reduced to stereotypes which are as prominent as they are destructive.  

Perhaps what is most crucial to stress is a sense of unity in combatting these authoritative stereotypes and the negative impact which they can generate. We know that we are stronger together so we must nurture our community if there is any hope to break through these restrictive boundaries to femininity and female identity. So, I encourage you to welcome the social support system bestowed upon you and the benefits that this can bring. Talk! Relate! Embrace! Know that you are never alone and don’t be afraid to be like other girls.

Emily is a writer for the King's College London (KCL) chapter of Her Campus, focussed on Wellness (mental and physical health, sex and relationships). Emily is in her first year at KCL, studying towards a BA in English with Film. In the last year she has spent time travelling three continents, as well as volunteering in a pre-school in South Africa. Taking a year away from studying also allowed her to spend time assessing her passions by using writing to work things through – with much emphasis placed on autism in womxn, as this is usually an overlooked and misrepresented group. Additionally, the romanticisation of poor mental health within the media is something that she would like to work to combat, as it is widely acknowledged to be detrimental however is rarely ever tackled in an appropriate manner. In the future, she aspires to continue writing about these issues in a manner that is both accessible and informative. In her free time, Emily's interests include a vast range of music, cooking and her cat, Stink. She has rarely been seen without headphones on for the past decade, and if this is the case then she is most likely dyeing her hair at 2:00am.