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How The Pick-Me Girl Trend Is Harmful To Women’s Mental Health, From An Expert

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWG chapter.

For the past couple of years, you may have seen the term “pick me girl” on your TikTok FYP. A “pick me girl,” according to the internet, is a girl who points out numerous aspects that make her stand out to other girls, such as only having male friends, or stating that she’s “not like other girls.” While the pick-me girl trend can be viewed as unserious, or simply just a joke, we as a society may fail to realize that the trend is causing more harm than good to women’s mental health. 

From a psychological point of view, the trend can be considered “anti-feminist”. It is said to encourage women to instill a negative mindset toward feminine standards, playing into internalized misogyny. To find out exactly how this trend impacts women’s mental health, I spoke with clinical psychologist Dr. Carolina Estevez to learn more.

The pick me girl trend is born from the patriarchy.

In order to understand why the pick-me girl trend has skyrocketed to popularity, it’s important to understand where the mindset comes from.

“A pick-me girl develops this attitude because they want to be liked by men and hailed as being “one of the boys”.

While the pick-me girl trend can be considered misogynistic, Estevez urges women to remember that the trend was basically created to pit women against each other in a patriarchal society.

“Although pick-me girls tend to uphold anti-female rhetoric, we musn’t forget that they too are victims of the patriarchy,” Estevez says. “[Pick me girls] most likely want to be “not like other girls” because they see how society treats femininity.”

The trend is creating a harmful effect among women’s health

an example of “pick me girl” behavior

When it comes to the pick me girl trend, we have to look at the bigger picture of the situation: misogyny. Simply disliking (or pretending to dislike) femininity and womanhood as a way to be attractive towards men is an unhealthy way to present one’s self, because it creates a caricature of females appealing to the male gaze. This can cause serious harm to one’s mental health, because they may feel invalidated based on their femininity and will suffer from low-self esteem.

“Having a pick-me girl mentality can be harmful to women because it sends the message that being feminine is something to be ashamed of,” Estevez says. “It perpetuates misogyny and encourages women to tear each other down in order to fit into a male-domniated society.”

Estevez also stated,”Girls are now labeled as pick-me girls even if they don’t make fun of other women at all.”  

We can raise awareness among female empowerment in today’s society

In today’s world, being a woman can mean a lot. We have broken barriers and discrimination to get to where we are today. Even this past year with Roe V. Wade being overturned, I have witnessed women standing together for the right to have control of their own bodies. With the way that the “pick me girl” trend has caused an uproar among females, it’s important to not let the trend define femininity. 

”Encouraging female empowerment starts with individuals,” Estevez says. “We all need to be conscious of our behavior and language when it comes to other women.”

 Being self-aware of our actions will not only help those from the fear of judgment, but it will inspire a younger generation of girls to pursue anything they please without discouragement. 

Degrading one another and supporting this trend won’t help with the shift of femininity in today’s society. Instead of looking at ourselves through the male gaze, implement yourself into an environment that not only accepts femininity, but embraces it. No matter what our interests or hobbies are, women need to stick with each other no matter what.

Makalah Wright is the Campus Correspondent at Her Campus at UWG chapter. For the chapter, she has written personal essays about real-life experiences and she encourages readers to take inspiration or learn from it. Beyond her position as the CC, she is also a national writer for the wellness section of the website. So far, she has written articles based on mental health, relationships, and other wellness-related topics. She is a junior at the University of West Georgia, studying in public relations with a minor in music. After her undergrad, she plans to get a masters in communication and work in either music business or the sports industry. She also hopes to create her own foundation that will help with funding for the performing arts in schools. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, shopping, traveling to new places, and drinking iced coffee. She also enjoys playing the clarinet and listening to all types of music, specifically jazz.