The term “pick me girl” is one that has become quite the buzzword on social media. You may have heard someone referred to as a “pick me” or maybe you’ve been called or called someone else a pick me girl – the popular label has become a catch-all for some women, but there is a deeper conversation to be had about the nuances of the pick me girl. What are people referring to when they call someone a pick me girl and how does it play a role in internalized misogyny?
This week on the Modern Intimacy Podcast, Dr. Kate Balestrieri and Modern Intimacy’s Patient Intake Specialist and Office Manager, Kayla Tricaso, dissect the term “pick me girl” and discuss the larger implications it has for the women who call out pick me girls and the pick me girls who may not be aware of the larger messages they are aligning with.
What is a Pick Me Girl?
A pick me girl is a girl or woman who, in an attempt to align herself with men and disassociate with women/traditionally feminine interests, claims she is different and thus more desirable to the men she is attempting to attract. If you’ve heard the phrase, “not like other girls,” that is a common platitude pick me girls will use when comparing themselves to other women.
A pick me girl might try to put on a “cool girl” mask in an attempt to achieve male attention. For example, in a group of people at dinner, perhaps a woman at the table orders a salad; a pick me girl might call attention to the food choice and claim that she is “just like the guys” and orders something that she sees as traditionally masculine, even though food isn’t inherently gendered. The pick me girl is always trying to distance herself from other women as she, like the name suggests, wants to be picked by men and likely feels in competition with the women around her for male attention.
Pick Me Girls & Internalized Misogyny
A pick me girl isn’t made overnight. She is a product of the many harmful covert messages and expectations that come with patriarchy. The concept of putting other women down to lift oneself up in the eyes of men is just one outcome of internalized misogyny, or the way in which women internalize bias and sometimes even hatred towards other women, even if one is a woman herself.
One theory as to why women develop pick me behaviors is due to seeking safety and security with a male partner. Being picked can feels empowering to the pick me girl’s ego and also likely makes her feel she is worthy of love and male attention, a goal many women are socialized to strive for in order to achieve fulfillment. For those who are not familiar with the concept of internalized misogyny or not privy to the ways they are emulating it internally/externally, then one will likely not question the motivation to shrink herself and disavow other women to appease men and ultimately be picked.
Unpacking Internalized Misogyny
Internalized misogyny and other societal systems of oppression can be incredibly challenging to unpack. For many, it can feel uncomfortable to dismantle a worldview they thought they understood and identifying insidious ways that one has been controlled by people and systems with more power can be difficult to grapple with.
The work of acknowledging and unpacking harmful systems is important work to do and one that we all can benefit from, no matter what gender you align or identify with.
Kayla Tricaso (she/her) is the Office Manager and Intake Specialist at Modern Intimacy. Kayla earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from Columbia College Chicago. Whether scheduling appointments, helping with billing questions, or through the consultation process, Kayla works diligently to ensure current, and prospective clients feel seen, safe, and supported throughout their journey with Modern Intimacy.
What is a “pick me” girl? It is a (shaming and misogynistic) term used to describe women who are entrenched in their own internalized misogyny, and aim to please men, at the expense of other women.
Dr. Kate and Kayla discuss women being conditioned to maintain gender roles and make choices to be more liked by men. They want to be “picked” by men. Some of this is very subconscious behavior. This podcast sheds light on this and may have women see patterns they have had that they may be ready to leave behind.