- Grace Garcia
"I'm Not Like Other Girls": How Internalized Misogyny Molds Us
“I’m not like other girls.” I’m sure we have all heard this in real life or online through TV and other forms of media. Most girls who say they ‘aren't like other girls’ suffer with internalized misogyny. Internalized misogyny happens when we absorb and regurgitate sexist stereotypes, often subconsciously.
A character who ‘is not like other girls’ will normally be an outcast, whether that's in school or society, smart, and doesn't care about superficial things such as relationships, fashion, make-up, or generally all things that are traditionally feminine interests. They normally have an alternative or goth style, like punk or rock music, video games, or anything traditionally masculine. This trope was most prevalent in the lates 90s and early 2000s movies. Some examples of this trope are Kat Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You, Cady Heron from Mean Girls, and Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The problem with this trope is that it is fundamentally misogynistic.
A lot of girls fit the "I’m not like other girls'’ trope and that's okay, but the problem comes in when we view this kind of woman as superior to other women. The girls who love the color pink, makeup, and high fashion, are viewed as vain, vapid, and someone who shouldn't be taken seriously. The character Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, subverts this trope. Though this movie is not perfect, it showcases the main character, Elle Woods, a woman who appears like a “dumb blonde”, get accepted into Harvard and become a successful lawyer.
To eradicate the “I’m not like other girls” trope, we need to recognize the internalized misogyny we all have and work to unlearn it.