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31st Jan 2024

What’s a ‘Pick-Me Girl’? The trending term explained and why it can be problematic

Jody Coffey

pick-me

“Pick me, Choose me, Love me”

After last night’s episode of Love Island: All-Stars, Georgia Steel is being dubbed as a ‘pick-me girl’ by social media users.

She and Molly Smith came to blows over Georgia’s lack of communication about feelings towards Molly’s current partner, Tom Clare, while she also continues to pursue a romantic connection with her ex, Callum Jones.

Argument aside, the social media star, who originally appeared on season five of Love Island, allegedly has displayed ‘pick me girl’ energy on several occasions since she returned to our screens.

But what does it mean to be a ‘pick me girl’? Are certain morals, values, and/or personality traits associated with the term? Is it a bad thing? Or is it just having more confidence around men?

Let’s find out.

What is a ‘pick me girl’?

When I hear the term ‘pick me’, my mind is immediately drawn to Meredith Grey quite literally asking Derek Shepard to pick her on Grey’s Anatomy in 2005.

Okay, here it is. Your choice, it’s simple, her or me. And I’m sure she’s really great. But Derek, I love you. In a really, big really big pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your bedroom window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you… love you.

So pick me. Choose me. Love me. I’ll be at Joe’s tonight so if you do decide to sign the papers, meet me there.

Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

From this iconic speech, ‘pick me’ was born, but it has evolved over the years and even come back into trend.

Clinical psychologist, Regine Galanti, explained ‘Pick-me’ girls to CNN as someone who “puts her friends down in the process in a way that doesn’t seem like putting down her friends”.

According to Urban Dictionary, women who are ‘pick me’ will often put other women down to achieve male validation, usually by “indirectly or directly insinuating that she is ‘not like the other girls”.

The meaning of a “Pick-me girl” is a person who tries to be ‘different’ to impress men, Pick-me girls will constantly seek attention from males.

Urban Dictionary

It also claims these girls will present with a more ‘carefree’ demeanour and prefer the company of men over other women because they’re ‘unproblematic’.

‘Pick-me girls’ also allegedly adopt the qualities and characteristics of their male counterparts or put other women down in a bid to be more likeable and relatable to men.

@riribibi_ i paused a few times while making this to cry a little #pov #coolgirl #chillgirl #pickme ♬ original sound – Riri Bichri

Examples of ‘pick-me’ sentences may include:

“Girls are drama. That’s why I get along so much better with boys.”

“I could never be into that “girly” stuff like makeup and clothes.”

“Make up just doesn’t suit me. Yours looks so nice, though!”

“I love sports/gaming. I’m not really like other girls.”

“Girls don’t like me, I’ve no idea why.”

The problem with the ‘Pick-me Girl’ trends

While Georgia may be pegged as Love Island’s ‘Pick-me’ girl for exhibiting behaviours associated with the term, a LOT of hate has come with it.

The trend started as a harmless way to poke fun at (and maybe hold a mirror up to) those who participate in ‘Pick-me’ behaviour and share in the reliability of knowing a ‘Pick-me’ person.

Yes, the impact of befriending a ‘Pick-me’ girl in real life may not always work in your favour, but they’re not going to receive an onslaught of hate and abuse about their behaviour if a close friend calls them on it – perhaps just some constructive criticism and feedback to help them work on it.

When social media is involved, it can create a vacuum of hate towards a ‘certain type’ of girl.

This is especially the case for younger girls.

@ingrid.ophelia to the “i barely even wear makeup” genre of pick-me girl #psychology #mentalhealth #trauma #healing #toxic #growth #relationships #fyp #pickme ♬ original sound – ingrid.ophelia

Clinical psychologist, Regine Galanti, explained to CNN why this trend can be problematic and misogynistic.

“Someone who’s going for the external validation of the guy they’re with, it’s not an ideal situation,” she said.

“Most of them will probably outgrow it … but now we’ve made them a meme, and it’s going to make them feel worse for doing it.”

“One of the main challenges of adolescence is figuring out who you are. It’s an identity crisis, literally.

“To find out who you are, you have to try on different identities.”

At the heart of every ‘pick-me girl’ is a person who is simply trying to fit in and earn validation.

“They’re trying to figure out who they are, and people are saying who they are is just someone looking for validation all the time from other people,” Galanti said. 

“And now they have to change that and get your validation instead.”

Galanti adds that, for this reason, the label ‘pick-me’ should be avoided.

The other problem with this trend is that it tears down women who are actually geniunely interested in typically male sports, pastimes, or topics.

Life coach Bayu Prihandito, tells the outlet that it can leave some girls feeling like they don’t belong anywhere.

“If you do like sports or sitting around with the guys and drinking beer, it puts you in this double bind where being yourself makes you a pick-me girl,” she said.

“So it seems like another way that young girls are putting each other down.

“So, calling them out on that just makes them wonder, ‘What do I do now?'”

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