"Going Out", October 21,1933 Giclee Print
“I’m not like other girls, who -“
I always want to stop a sentence dead in its tracks when it starts that way. Because I can guess what might come afterwards:
  • I don’t like frilly clothing.
  • I don’t like the color pink.
  • I don’t scream when I see a bug (or a mouse, or any other creepy/crawly/scittery vermin).
  • I like to hang out with guys.
  • I laugh at men’s jokes.
  • I don’t fall head-over-heels for a guy.
  • I don’t giggle and prattle.
It doesn’t matter how you fill in the blanks -the objective of the comment is clear: I am somehow different and set apart from other women, and, though I will not come out and say it, I believe that it makes me superior to them.

I’m a low-frills, low-drama female who was raised by a mother who had even less of a tolerance for the former. But, from an early age, my mother taught me the insecurity behind the “I’m not like other girls” line. Of course, I didn’t listen to her, and I’m as guilty as the next young woman for having uttered it; I was a self-proclaimed tomboy.
But there’s often a lot more to that “I don’t do pink” than meets the eye… take it from a woman who would just rather wear red. All of the following examples are taken from real-life… they’re things that either I’ve felt, or I’ve witnessed.
I’m not like other girls could mean…

Why Bother Being Pretty?

Melanie looks around and sees all of the other beautiful women in the world and feels inadequate. Instead of dealing with the issue of physical insecurity, she decides that this beauty stuff is highly overrated. Who needs dresses, who needs pink, and who needs frills? Melanie is smart… or athletic… or driven… or otherwise accomplished. She decides that all of the other girls are weak, soft-handed, and inefficient. Melanie sizes up every woman that she meets: the prettier they are, the more vapid they probably are as well.

I Don’t Want to Be Friends with Them Anyway!

Sally thinks that all girls are social butterflies. She’s a bit socially awkward. She snorts when she laughs. She never knows the right thing to say. She struggles to keep up with the flow of conversation. So she decides she’s not like those other girls. Who needs cutesy conversation anyway? Sally is brash, she speaks her mind, and she isn’t afraid to be crass. Those other girls are fake little know-it-alls who prattle to hide the fact that there are only frills between their ears.

They’re Competition

Stephanie likes boys. All girls do, but Stephanie really, really likes their attention. She beyond likes it -she craves it. She needs it to feel beautiful and worthy. But these other girls are always getting in the way. They’re prettier or more charming. They have the right tricks up their sleeves. So to set herself apart, Stephanie tears down the competition. Boys don’t want them. They’re emotional, silly, and indecisive! Stephanie knows what she wants. She’s so low-maintanence, you don’t even have to say that c word other women get so hung-up on: commitment is for girly-girls, and Stephanie’s a femme-fatale.

They’re Such… Women

Anne is tired of women. You know the one’s she’s talking about: the gossipy, backstabbing, manipulative airheads who use their feminine whiles to keep unnecessary drama going. The ones who have everyone fooled into thinking they’re perfect when, really, almost everything they do is done with ulterior motives. Anne decides that she’s not like other girls -she doesn’t need them as friends. She’d rather hang out with the guys anyway. Because, they’re, you know… sinless.

I Want to Be Known For…

Kate says it because she wants to be different. It’s the way that she can set herself apart from other women. She might think being less like other girls will make her more attractive to men. Or she might think, ironically, that it will make her more attractive to other girls. She might think it gives her an excuse to opt out of relationships in general. Or she may think it gives her an excuse to hold onto an idol in her life: her pride, her selfishness, her craving for attention… She wants to stand out in a crowd, and it doesn’t matter the reason.

Here’s what “I’m not like other girls” can ultimately communicate: I don’t need relationships with other women, because they are all superficial (Melanie), overly-social (Sally), competitors (Stephanie, Kate), insincere (Anne) bubbleheads who are unworthy of my time and friendship.

Now, when you said it, you might have just meant that you didn’t like the color pink.

But neither does every other woman. When you slide all women into the same category, and do so with disdainful intent, you do yourself and the women in question a disservice. As for yourself, you might be missing out on valuable, sharpening relationships with co-laborers in Christ. And as for other women, you have discounted their unique passions and gifts and missed out on an opportunity to minister to them. And as for the men in your life, you’ve also stereotyped them and elevated them to a plane of perfection that a female can only reach if she becomes “less female.”

There are, indeed, things that women are more prone to struggle with because of the way we’re put together -gossip and boy-craziness among them. However, rather than trying to distance ourselves from other women who we perceive as less-than because they struggle with {fill in the blank} or make us feel that we’re not as good at {fill in the blank}, here’s an idea:

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~Philippians 2:1-11

This goes for men and for women who are part of the body of Christ. It calls for eliminating our superiority complexes and co-laboring with our sisters. It calls for squashing our inferiority complexes and learning from them. It calls for delighting in the unique way in which the Lord crafted us, and rejoicing in the difference between our sisters and ourselves. And it calls for seeing less of each other and more of Christ when we look at others.

I know about those back-biting females with low-self-esteem who drive you absolutely bonkers with their constant competitiveness. Don’t become like them by putting other girls down. And if you thought “I’m not like other girls” set you apart and made you special… 1) it doesn’t. There are thousands of girls all over the world saying it right now. You’re just part of the masses.

But second, and most importantly… your security -your identity -your purpose -your wholeness does not come from being set apart from other girls… it comes from being set apart to Christ Jesus. I want to stand out in a crowd not because I’m “not like other girls who…” but because I am the most servant-hearted, others-focused, Christ-radiating thing in the room. I don’t want to have to tell you I’m different -I want you to see it (Romans 12:1-2).

I scream when I see a bug. I like hanging out with guys, but I don’t want to be one of them. I laugh at jokes with my dad and oldest brother that my mom doesn’t find funny. I do not ever think that I am the prettiest girl in the room. I am a woman. I am all woman, whether I like pink or not, because that’s who the Lord made me: a complimentary piece of his craftsmanship, designed for his glory. It’s not about the stereotypes or the competition. It’s about serving him. I am no less or no more of a woman because I detest frills or because I get warm fuzzies when someone I care about calls me beautiful.

I am most womanly when I am exerting every energy to serve the Lord. I have a biblical role to fill, and I have everything that I need to fulfill it in Christ Jesus. And that’s all of the security I need.

10 thoughts on “Girly-Girls

  1. Jasmine, thank you for your wonderful article! I am a 36yo mommy and this resonated with me! Who knew I’d still wrestle with some of those issues even now. I struggle with women in my husbands family and have been disguising my responses to them with some of the things you mentioned in your article. I am going to have to seek the Lord and ask him to reveal to me where I am blending truth with excuses! I have been doing it so long, I believe I will have a hard time discerning between the two. You truly blessed me this morning. Sometimes God’s word hits me right upside the head! Oh but I love TRUTH. I love hearing His word. Thanks again!


  2. Amen! I hate the girl stereotypes – you either are a tomboy, or a girly-girl; there is no middle ground. I know first-hand that when you’re in public school, you get looked down upon if you are girly. You have to be butch, and no less. When I get asked if I am a girly-girl or tomboy, I usually say, “I am a girl. End of story.” Why can’t you like pink, and play soccer/baseball/ect.? Why can’t you like a good pair of (modest) jeans and a t-shirt, but love to dress up in Jane Austen era attire? Why can’t we have a middle ground? Thank you for this post, Jasmine. It was very encouraging. 🙂


  3. Thank you Jasmine. I feel the same way…….Now. I was saved a few years after highschool, and God’s beautiful transformational process of Sanctification has truly been at work in me. But oh how I look back and see myself all those years acting almost ALL the ways you described. I wanted to be so different. Mostly because I believed that if I didn’t have the attention of others, then I might as well have been dead. My father (whom of course I loved deeply, regardless of how dysfunctional he was) raised me to believe in looks, talent, and personality in a woman. He wasn’t a man who just looked at a woman’s body(though he certainly did that) he always said that women had to have it ALL. Brains, great personality and hot body. I struggled in school academically, I had a pretty good body, but I knew personality was where I would soar. So I made myself out to be the funniest, most crass, “no strings attached” girl I could be. When I read something like your post, and it reminds me of who I used to be, I cannot help but to be thankful all over again that my Savior chose me. How great is our God Jasmine! How far we fall without Him. I never want to be like that again.
    All things have passed away…behold, new things have come!


  4. I think this is in vogue with so much of your other writing; there’s no blueprint for true womanhood. There are biblical principles we should all adhere to, but God has gifted each of us uniquely; some are all frills and pink, some love to be active, some are crafts-oriented, some are bookish, etc, etc, etc, and God affirms and values all of that because He loves us as individuals and has created the kaleidoscope of womanhood. Thank you so much for your gifted, balanced, gracious writing. I look forward to your book.


  5. Oh, this is so true! I have long hated the, “I hate pink…” stuff for precisely these reasons.

    My lawyer friend Christopher made a great point when he said, “People who mock women who want traditional things, like marriage and kids, are just flipping the same sexist coin that said that women couldn’t handle the workforce. Both of them suggest that there is just something wrong with women, either that they aren’t as good as men or their interests are inherently inferior to the interests of men. Not true.”


  6. Great article, it captures something about men who proclaim feminism too. Men, wanting to please women, adopt feminist positions so they can say “Im not like other guys”
    Boys started saying that way back when they were frisky on a date and wanted to convince the girl of their virtue, while actually having anything but in mind. Men persist doing that even as adults, even in written blogs and articles, and yes, its to say “Im Better”

    This is a very good article


  7. Thank you, Jasmine for this article! When I heard other women make comments like you mentioned, it bothered me, but I never really analyzed why. It’s because they’re elevating themselves and men while subtly putting women down. Great insight!


  8. I know. Here it is September of 2012 and I am commenting but I just had to say thank you to Ms. Baucham because she really pointed out some good points regarding “girly-girls and not so girly-girls” and the issues we face of not feeling good enough. Thus, we try to become someone God did not intend for us to be.
    So thank you so much and keep the good stuff coming!


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