An Ode to the Death of My Internalized Misogyny

“I’m not like most girls.”

A phrase that literally makes me cringe.

A phrase that I wanted to embody for such a long time.

When I was young, I wanted so badly to be different. Only normal, boring girls liked pink, painted their nails or listened to Justin Bieber’s newest hit, “Baby.” That couldn’t be me! So, instead I liked blue, bit my nails so short they couldn’t be painted and listened to only the cool music. You know, “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, which anyone with good music taste in 2010 would have on repeat. Obviously.

Why I thought this made me different, I still have no idea. But to me, this made me fit in with “the boys,” which is all I ever wanted. Some of the earliest memories I have are from trying to be seen as one of the boys. From playing basketball (because that's what boys did) to only wearing pants so I could run with my friends, I tried to change my personality to match theirs.

Right now feels like a good time to mention that I have no problem with women having a prominent masculine side or vice versa for men, but the reasons behind my change in personality weren’t for me—they were for male validation (gross!)

Anyways, I felt like I finally could say I wasn’t like most girls. For years, my "thing" was being an athletic tomboy and I didn’t like it. Inside, I desperately wanted to go to the One Direction concerts and have rom-com movie marathons with my girls. Instead, I missed the Midnight Memories tour and didn’t watch "Crazy, Stupid, Love" until 2021.

I missed out on amazing childhood memories in the name of being one of the boys. But what was so horrible about being a girl that made me skip out? I remember thinking women weren’t strong enough, smart enough or good enough. Why would I want to be like them? It’s embarrassing to even write that question out, as if my mom didn’t exist. As if my grandmothers didn’t exist. As if every woman who made me the strong, resilient, beautiful young woman I am today didn’t exist.

So, maybe being like most girls isn’t too bad. Who cares if "all" girls like the color pink? Who cares if "all" girls like to paint their nails with every color of the rainbow? Who cares if "all" girls scream “Baby” by Justin Bieber while driving with their best friends? After years of pushing all of the “girly” things away, I can proudly say that I don’t care. If all girls like the same thing, then I am happy to be a girl.

And the best part is, my little rant above isn’t even too significant because girls don't have to like the same things. We can be “like most girls” and still be unique and special. My friends and I aren’t similar in too many ways. They like different things than me, but I will tell you where we are similar. We are all intelligent, kind and absolutely stunning! We are similar in the perfect ways, and I could not be happier to finally recognize those perfections.

So, to my internalized misogyny, while your death is welcomed, I still have to thank you. Without you, I would not recognize the beauty of womanhood in every woman that has come into my life. This experience has been one for the books and will not be missed, but this has molded me into the person I am and will influence the person I become. And I assure you, that person will be secure and confident. Until then, old friend, and if I’m quite honest, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.