I don’t have too many things that bother me, but for some reason whenever I hear/see a girl describe herself as: “I’m not the average girl,” it has always makes my skin crawl.
Now, I’ll be open to the fact that I might be projecting, but I’m going to try to dissect this so I don’t sound as neurotic as I might be.
It all started off in elementary school. I remember coloring when a girl went on a tirade of refusing to use a pink crayon, citing: “I’m not the average girl.” I couldn’t really understand why she wanted such recognition for not using a certain color. There were many of us girls who were coloring without using that same color and we weren’t expecting any type of prize for it.
I began to wonder if maybe the reason why I felt the way I did about this phrase was because I didn’t fit into the stereotype that would be seen as “the average girl.” I was a tomboy who would rather watch mafia movies than romantic comedies. Now that’s not anything to feel self-conscious about, but people put such an emphasis on how my life was so outside of the boundaries of what a girl was supposed to do and like that I began to wonder if I hated the phrase simply because these girls were able to be so proud of living outside of the box and I wasn’t.
Then it was confirmed to me in high school that it was mostly because people were using that phrase in the most obnoxious way possible. “Oh, you like wearing pink sneakers? I don’t. I’m not the average girl… unlike these other sheep.” Like, really, chick?
The phrase tended to be used in the most condescending way, as if some of the people were using it as a way to exalt themselves over other girls. They would get a look as if they were on a pedestal while looking down on all of the girls who liked watching “Dawson’s Creek” (which was my show, by the way). It was as if the sight of anything slightly feminine had a horrible odor to them, and they had to separate themselves from it by any means necessary.
On top of that, it just seemed as if the phrase was causing some girls to do whatever they could to prove that they weren’t “the average girl,” they were “cool.” They were trying to prove that they could hang with the guys. These tended to be the same girls who would try to out drink the boys and then end up right under the table. It just seemed as though they were trying too hard, and I’m pretty sure their livers weren’t appreciating it.
I guess the main reason, beyond all of these things is that when I really took notice of the women around me, we were all so strong and different in such wonderful ways. The interests were so profound, and nothing too average about it. A friend who taught me how to apply makeup (I was a sophomore in college, how sad is that?) is the same one who encouraged me to go outside of my comfort level and experience different cultures. Another friend who used to be a professional model taught me the importance of not being so serious and shamelessly enjoying mindless fun. Another friend who taught me how to cook would be my roll buddy to all of the crazy horror films that I liked to go to, and so on. Nothing about these women were “average,” and putting them in that category just seemed to lessen them, while empowering others.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be you. If you hate the color pink, heck, I hate it too. I think that the thing I want to get across is that you can be you, without downing someone else for their interests. Don’t look down on the girl who would rather watch The Notebook over Zatoichi, because just because you see her as “average.” That’s more so limiting your own experiences; and isn’t that what average essentially is? Being stuck in a state of status quo, with no loss, but no growth either?
But hey, I’m just gonna keep on coloring over here…
Kendra Koger doesn’t discriminate on crayons, especially when she’s tweeting @kkoger.
I know that didn’t really make sense, but just go with it, please.
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