“I’m not that kind of girl.”
We’ve all probably heard or said that phrase and it seems like a simple or innocent defense of someone’s character, but there’s more to it than that.
Stereotypes are a strong aspect of our society, particularly with gender roles and expressions. We’ve talked before about how gender stereotypes reinforce issues like toxic masculinity and behavior for men, and the case can be more divisive for women.
As women, we’ve been taught that we have to measure up to a certain formula to be attractive to men.
Now, there looser restrictions on how we express ourselves as women, but we’ve traded that strictness in for a dividing system. In order to deal with the varying personalities and expressions women have, we’ve been categorized; Good girls, bad girls, party girls, nerdy girls, etc.
Sometimes it is harmless, but it is important to remember that doing this creates horizontal hostility and inferiority complexes for women who don’t feel like they fit into the right category.
For example, the move The Duff is a prime example of female stereotypes and a girl who is trying to fit the mold. A girl is classified as the “ugly, fat friend type” and begins striving toward being a different kind of girl in order to be attractive.
Now of course, the movie ends wit an inspirational “love yourself” message which is nice, but the story itself is a prime example of how girls being put in boxes of “what kind” can affect self esteem, gender identity and over feminist expression.