What do you exactly mean when you say you are not like other girls, huh? The whole idea behind this sentiment is the dislike for all things feminine: make-up, “gossip,” fashion, etc. and when you say you are not like other, you mean that the other girls have something to be shameful of.
I remember, in my pre-teen years, in an attempt to gain a lot of male validation and acceptance from my peers, I started compromising my interests. Even though I had zero interest in video games and sports, I tried fixing all of it: I watched cricket and tried to understand the logic behind kabaddi and downloaded games “for boys.” I did not want to be like “others.” I thought not being like other meant I would be unique, different from all the other girls, but no. It didn’t make me special. It made me ignorant and misogynistic.
Whatever I did, I couldn’t become “not like others.” I was always going to be like others, believe it or not. And frankly, I was extremely disappointed. However, as and when I grew up, I drew comfort in being like other. We are all diverse, as diverse as men are, and yet for male validation, we are supposed to have the same likes as them: it’s kind of like, we have to be another man in a woman’s body just to appeal the boys. It is the feminine qualities that everyone is ashamed of – everyone does not want to perpetuate. The amount of filth and unwanted stereotypes perpetuated by the patriarchy is enormous. It is like the patriarchy runs in our DNA. It is going to take a lot of conscious effort to unlearn the misogynistic values put in us.
Saying you are means you do not respect other girls. Other girls are NOT my competition. To achieve my goals, I do not have to push other girls down. We rise by lifting others. There is no point of the disrespect that stems from “I am not like others” alone. You must know that all are like other girls and deserve respect nonetheless.
To depict how girls actually are diverse, I asked my friends to chime in and tell me what they like, here goes the exciting replies that I got:
“Sometimes I want nothing more than to stay in sweatpants all day and other times I want to glam myself up and look my best even if there’s no one watching. I am exactly like other girls.”Teya Khalil
“I like being able to indulge in fun with my other girl friends. I like the support that my fellow girls and women give me, and i return it. I am like other girls.”Megha Nair
“I like watching sappy rom-coms or chick-flicks and I am like other girls.”Jovana Vajagic
“I like dancing alone to my favourite songs and I am like other girls.”Sara Ben Abdallah
There were too many to list, but here are some more of my personal favorites, since they show how being a girl is not having one but many different interests and choices, from loving makeup to not loving it. This also makes me think of the so-called compliment, “Beauty With Brains.” I mean, are they trying to convey that someone who satisfies the so-called standards set for being beautiful can’t be intelligent? The idea of beauty in itself is flawed.
“I like cooking, dressing up, decorating and all things traditionally feminine and I am like other girls.”Manal
“My handwriting is wonky and I love wearing jhumkas and I’m like other girls.”Anushka
“I love the colour pink and I am like other girls.”Anumrita
“I’m strong enough to take a stand for myself and I’m like other girls.”Tanya
“I love cleaning my house and stationery and sorted things. I am like other girls.”Tushti
“I like skincare and I am like other girls.”Juliet
“I like to paint flowers and I am like other girls.”Sunidhi
“I like singing to my plants and I am like other girls.”Pranavi
I hope I was able to keep my point across without disrespecting your beliefs. Lastly, you need to know that if a boy tells you that you are not like others: you need to run. You definitely don’t want to be with a boy who respects you only because you are not like “others.”
By the way, I love writing (open) letters and I am like other girls.
(BIG shoutout to Prokrita, (@chipotlechipmunk ) for catering to my image needs and creating a girl who is definitely just like other girls! (Thank You!) The art Prokrita creates is SO pretty – make sure you check it out!)