From The Straits Times    |

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Hey you! Have you gone online recently and realised that there’s a whole new lexicon you no longer understand? Like why is the word “core” added to every fashion trend? Or what is a pick me, and why do these people want to be picked? Internet Analysis is a commentary column that helps to break down these new terms that made its debut on the internet and social media, and helps you fellow reader, navigate the confusing world wide web. Just call it your internet cheat sheet.

As with most buzzwords these days, the term ‘pick-me girl’ came about on social media, used commonly to describe girls who essentially… want to be picked. And in this case, usually by a potential romantic interest. Well that in itself has no negative connotations, pick me girls usually do so at the expense of other women to gain validation from men.

Picture this: You’re hanging out with a group of friends. While playing a game, you end up smudging your brows, and you’ve forgotten to bring along your brow pencil for touch-ups. So, you ask the other girls in the group if they have one you can borrow.

While most of the girls there start digging through their bags to find theirs, one of the girls exclaims, “Wow, you wear so much makeup. I wish I knew how to do it like you.” You start to respond to her compliment, but she continues. “I’ve heard guys prefer the natural look though, isn’t that true, boys?” she says, giggling and turning to the guys for affirmation. 

Did you find that girl annoying? Well, that’s classic pick-me girl behaviour. She’s essentially the modern update of the “cool girl” as popularised by Amy Dunne’s fourth-wall-breaking monologue in Gone Girl.

Firstly, she could have just shook her head in response to your initial question. But no — she had to go ahead and disparage you, try to elevate herself in comparison by setting herself apart, and even seek validation from men, all at one go.

There’s no mystery behind why pick-me girls are named as such — they want to be chosen by people they would desire as a potential partner. Her tactic to ensure she’s above the competition is portraying herself as superior or more desirable.

And how does she do that, you may ask?

Here are some of the telltale behaviours that may be commonly attributed to pick-me girls in their bid to gain validation and approval from men:

Putting other women down: Pick-me girls oftentimes disparage other women to make themselves seem superior and more attractive to men. They snark on other women’s behaviours, mindsets, choices and even appearances to set themselves apart from the rest.

Downplay feminism: Pick-me girls may scoff at modern feminist ideals and women’s rights issues, instead displaying a preference for traditional gender roles as they believe it makes them look more appealing to men.

Emphasise their naturalness: Like the example above, pick-me girls highlight their alleged low-maintenance nature to set themselves apart from other women. She may speak of ‘high-maintenance’ activities such as heavy makeup, lash extensions and dressy clothes with disdain, believing that her naturalness will be more favourable in a man’s eyes.

Behave differently around men: At the end of the day, the motive behind such pick-me behaviour is seeking validation and attention from men. So she will likely act differently around them, perhaps laughing coquettishly or batting her eyelashes.

Suppress personal preferences: In the pick-me girl’s belief that men like a certain type of girl, she downplays her own opinions, preferences and desires. They alter their interests to ensure they mirror what she thinks men find attractive, as opposed to just doing what she truly wants.

While the pick-me girl is truly a curious creature with a unique (and predictable) set of behaviours, it’s important to note that it’s not always done with malicious intent, sometimes just plain ignorance. Additionally, such behaviour is not exclusive to women, many men also exhibit such behaviour. 

In the end, we just have to take their comments with a pinch of salt. After all, to each its own — different people are bound to have different preferences, and not every man prefers the bare-faced glow, especially if you’re rocking a bold brow game.