On TikTok, several new terms and trends have come to life ever since the social media platform took over the world. One of these terms has been the basis of many trends in the last few years: “pick-me.” Most often used to describe women, a pick-me girl is a woman who puts down other women for the sake of impressing men. Pick-me girls are wildly unpopular on the internet, drawing all kinds of negative attention. There are parody videos of people doing reenactments of what a pick-me girl does, there are compilation videos of people acting like pick-mes, and there are videos detailing users’ experiences with a pick-me.
At first, the term pick-me was a huge step forward in making feminism more mainstream. For the first time, women were comfortable talking about their own experiences with internalized misogyny, calling out other women for misogynistic comments such as “I’m not like other girls.” However, the backlash to the #MeToo movement was inevitable, and now the term pick-me is being thrown around incorrectly. It has gotten to the point that any woman who internet users find annoying is a pick-me.
On YouTube, there is a compilation video featuring a popular TikTok trend in which women describe their experiences with pick-mes. According to these users, pick-me girls do things like wear knee braces, talk about their short stature, and only wear mascara. Apparently, now wearing a minimal amount of makeup, having a knee brace, or being a short person makes you a pick-me online. These trends are coming from a place of internalized misogyny, featuring women tearing down other women for simply existing.
The most popular “pick-me girl” at the moment is supermodel Kendall Jenner. The 27-year-old has absolutely done things that are worth questioning, and has brought down women before. However, lately, she has been minding her own business, and it seems that she cannot make a single comment about herself without being labeled a pick-me. She has been chastised for calling herself things like “a nerd” and “a weirdo.” Does is show very little self-awareness? Maybe. Do those comments alone make her a pick-me? Absolutely not.
With trends like these becoming more and more popular, we may be repeating history once more. In the 2000s, in the aftermath of second wave feminism, many people declared that feminism was dead. This resulted in large amounts of misogyny that went unnoticed because people thought feminism was no longer needed. It’s possible that the 2020s will be a repeat of the 2000s in this regard.
To put it simply: stop calling women you simply don’t like “pick-me girls.” A woman is allowed to be confident. A woman is allowed to celebrate herself. A woman is allowed to seek out sympathy in others. A woman is even allowed to be annoying from time to time without being labeled as a pick-me. Calling a woman you don’t like a pick-me is harmful because it is mislabeling the situation and taking away from the real battle. Women have been at war with each other for far too long. It’s time that we all offer each other more compassion and stand together.
Activist and feminist Emma Watson stated it best when she said: “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality.”
Do you think it’s time to take a stand against internalized misogyny? Follow us on Instagram @VALLEYmag and let us know what you think!