Surely we’ve all said it or felt it before: "I'm not like other girls."
This is sometimes a reaction after a boy says something like, “Girls are crazy and emotional,” or when any generalization about femininity is made.
Lately I've seen girls on Facebook proudly proclaiming that they "are not like other girls." Some mean that they don't dress like other girls, or like the typical "girly" things. Others claim to be different because, unlike other girls, they aren't emotionally needy or are into fashion, or care about what other people think, or want a boyfriend, or... well, you get the picture.
This statement makes no sense, because we can’t generalize all girls. When we say we’re not like other girls, we’re assuming that being a girl and practicing femininity looks only one way. This “one way” of femininity is informed by what pop culture tells us is girly. Naturally, many girls feel the need to distance themselves from these narrow definitions of girly. However, the answer is not to say that some girls are like that but we’re not. Instead, we should reject the popular notions of femininity as only weak, emotional, and superficial by realizing and accepting that there are multiple ways to embody your femininity. Demonizing our fellow girls will do nothing productive, and will only perpetuate the negative stereotypes about women. There is nothing wrong with being emotional, and even needy sometimes, but there is something wrong with demonizing the girls that embody their femininity in those ways.
We are all individuals, and there is room for our multiple expressions to exist. Saying we’re not like other girls is also poor logic, because there are likely thousands of other girls saying the exact same thing. The next time you hear someone make the claim that they are different from other girls, explain to them that we are all different, and that putting ourselves up on a pedestal at the expense of others is not the right thing to do. Just be yourself, however that is, without putting others down.
We should embrace all individualities!