Recently, I asked my boyfriend’s opinion on the backlash against “not like other girls”. Like me, he knows how it feels to grow up bullied and being treated differently, and struggling to accept those supposed differences, so I had to ask what he thinks of it suddenly being a bad thing to not be like the others.
His answer? “Hypocrites. They spent so much time hating others for their differences. Now, they suddenly want to unite and say we’re the same? What changed?”
I never thought of it that way, but I do agree.
A question I’ve posed lately on posts and groups about this topic is if a girl who grew up hearing constantly from other girls that she isn’t like them, was excluded and ostracized from groups in general, and wanted nothing more than to be like the other girls becomes a “not like other girls” girls when she finally gets fed up of failing to fit in and tries to embrace those differences that make the other girls reject her.
So far, I have received no answer to that question. Which further makes me agree with my boyfriend and believe the backlash against “not like other girls” is utter garbage.
No, I don’t want to be like the other girls who took joy in making my school life hell. No, I don’t want to be friends with the girls who mocked my appearance on a daily basis. Yes, I will proudly be “not like other girls” when the other girls spread vicious rumors about me, stole my lunch food, tossed my backpack out of a school bus, and never received consequences for their bullying behavior.
It was cool for girls (and boys) to bully, exclude, and antagonize a girl for not being like them. Now, it’s cool to do it when the girl is finally fed up and decides she doesn’t care if she’s not like them. It sounds to me like it’s okay for the other girls to decide she’s not like other girls, but it’s not okay for a girl to decide for herself she isn’t like the other girls… even if she has never stopped hearing it.
If the girl can’t fit in because the other girls deem she’s not like them, and she can’t embrace whatever those differences are because she is like them, the final option is for that girl to live her life hating herself. Poor girl.
To me, this is akin to the bully who beat you up and slammed you in a locker every day suddenly claiming to be a better person because he found God/Jesus/religion. I can’t help wondering how many of these preachers against “not like other girls” were the girls who bullied other girls for not being like them, and are now shaming those girls for deciding they no longer care if they’re not like them. Because if those girls finally accept what their bullies have told them and actually embrace it – that they are not like them and their group, and they are going to be proud of that – their bullies can’t bully them anymore about being different anymore. So, shame them for that pride and tell them they’re the same. And meticulously leave out how and why those girls became “not like other girls” girls to begin with.
In short, as far as I’m concerned, the preachers against “not like other girls” can fuck off. You didn’t want to my friend when I wanted nothing more than to be yours and join your circle. I’m not a crying elementary schoolgirl in her little blue uniform anymore. I don’t want to be your friend now that you suddenly deemed we are alike after all. Just don’t break your arm patting your back for being “inclusive” now.