Who’s That Girl?

It would be impossible to count how many times my friends or I have said the words, “I don’t want to be that girl.”  This is the unwritten rule among girls to avoid exhibiting certain qualities, specifically directed at boys. “That girl” is needy, clingy, demanding, whiny, and overdramatic. Guys supposedly hate her and girls fear to become her. There are so many ways to be “that girl” and we live in a constant state of fear of rejection because we acted like this make-believe standard of a girl.

She’s needy, clingy, demanding, whiny, and overdramatic.

We don’t text back right away because we don’t want him to think we’re clingy or needy. We don’t flirt first or ask him out cause we don’t want to be the girl that’s on the hunt. We don’t tell him we’re not comfortable with being this physical so fast because we don’t want to be a prude. We don’t want to come off as loud or annoying so we reign in our laughter and joy. We don’t tell our boyfriend that he’s being a dick to us because we don’t want him to think we have too many needs and we’re not worth it.

Trying not to be “that girl” hinders us from being ourselves. So much of our time is spent worrying about how we’ll come off to a boy. We need to stop being afraid of being “that girl” because it stops us from speaking up for ourselves. I’ve seen friends not speak their minds to their boyfriends because of this fear. I’m not okay with this fear in myself and I’m not okay with this fear in my friends. I want to open up a conversation about it. I want to empower us as women to be ourselves because we are those girls who are gonna speak their minds.

We are those girls who are worth it.

When my friends like a boy, or when I like a boy, we don’t want to come off as clingy or annoying. That’s why girls play these games over messages. We get all caught up in our heads of not wanting to respond right away (even though we were already on our phone and we saw the text or Snapchat). I don’t want the boy to think I’m “that girl” waiting around for him to respond back because I’m obsessive. I’m not obsessive. I just want to talk to him, but I put too much thought into how fast I respond and what I say. Not the normal amount when texting a cute person, but the excessive amount to avoid being “that girl.”

My friend confided in me about how her boyfriend does specific things that are decidedly not okay in a relationship. Not horrendous things, but pretty rude to your girlfriend who you love. He prioritizes a group of friends over her. She didn’t know how to tell him that it really hurts her when he does that. She said, “I don’t want to be that girl” when she expressed her feelings about it to me, “I don’t want to seem needy.” I understand that. I think we all do. However, it’s not needy to have needs in a relationship. It’s not needy to have hurt feelings. It’s problematic that a girl can’t voice her feelings and needs to a boy without the fear of seeming needy or clingy. The good news in this is that she did eventually talk to him and he was understanding. He took her feelings seriously and has started to change his actions.

Girls, I am over “that girl.” She’s keeping us from being ourselves, and we don’t need someone like that hanging over us. We need to fight the feeling of being needy or clingy just because we express our needs and our emotions. Speak up for yourself. Go chase that boy. Text first. Reply right away. Tell that boy off. Do it because you’re that girl. You are that girl; you are worth fighting for.

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