Before I get started on my little Ted Talk, you may have read the title and asked, “what is a Pick Me?” Social media (Twitter, to be specific) has officially coined a term for the type of female who goes out of her way to broadcast her amazing qualities and achievements. If she is single, you will often see complaints about how men love hoes and ratchets and overlook good women like her. If she is in a relationship, she will give lectures on how to get and keep a man, and if you can do neither, it’s because you’re lacking something in regards to your looks, character, and/or bedroom skills. There is a male version of this as well, I like to call it the Nice Guys Finish Last Syndrome. You know those guys who are constantly complaining about how they would treat a woman like a queen but we only want jailbirds and cheaters? I can’t wait to expound on that topic. Anyway, I went to Urban Dictionary to read the colorful definition of this term I knew they were sure to give, and I was not disappointed:
Are You a Good Partner or a Pick Me?
Most of us enjoy doing nice things for the ones we love. I am a gift giver. I absolutely love giving gifts. I have some great people in my life, and to show my appreciation, I tend to put a lot of thought into the things I do for them. I don’t expect anything in return except that they continue to put a smile on my face and bring me joy. I’m quite shocked I’m more of Quality Time/Words of Affirmation Love Language than Receiving/Giving Gifts. If you’re a Pick Me, your Love Language is an antiquated 1950’s version of Acts of Service. You’re still socialized to believe that in order to keep a man, you must be Martha Stewart with the sex appeal of Rihanna, but only in the house, because if you show your body off to outsiders, you’re a hoe. I read something once where some poor soul admitted to doing her boyfriend’s homework, made his lunch each day, washed all of his clothes, and you know what he did? He went out and cheated. The girl was so perplexed. Why would he cheat? After all, she did everything a good woman was supposed to do. He was well taken care of, so he should have been content, right? WRONG. Self-imposed slavery is not the key to faithfulness. I see women brag about being Holly Homemaker all the time, then you see their Instagram 6 months later and all those pictures of bae have magically disappeared. I guess all those Thanksgiving sized plates she was making every night weren’t fulfilling enough to hold the relationship together. Why are you basing what you can bring to the table off of how well you can bake a cookie or fold a shirt? Most of these men can barely boil water, yet you feel pressured to have a PowerPoint presentation showcasing all of your top tier wifey material traits. I remember thinking that I needed to amp up my culinary skills because no man wants a woman who can’t cook. I’m decent in the kitchen, but if you’re looking for Paula Deen, you might want to keep searching. I eventually stopped caring because if a man is really into you, he’ll sit at the table and eat Hot Pockets by candlelight. It’s best to do things in a relationship because you enjoy them, not out of some sense of domestic obligation. You don’t want to put on airs in the beginning in regards to how you operate because you will burn out. The other shoe will drop and he will see you have been living a lie. Just bring your true self to the table. If he doesn’t like what you’re serving, he can go eat somewhere else. We all have strengths and unique qualities that we should be proud of, so take some time to find out what you like and what you are good at. Develop yourself. Pretending to be someone you’re not is a surefire way to failure, so stop the false advertising.
One of the most underrated scenes in Bridesmaids is at Lilian’s engagement party when one of the other bridesmaids kept reminding Annie that she didn’t have a husband. This is so common. Getting a man to walk down the aisle is seen as an accomplishment for a woman, because oh joy, a man finally picked you out of all the others. Marriage is a beautiful thing, no doubt. Committing yourself to one person and embarking on a life journey together is lovely, but so many women act like they’ve won Miss Universe because of it. For men, settling down is often seen as a punishment. No more late nights with the boys, no more one night stands, no more juggling as many chicks as your hands could handle. How funny. Either way, I blame society. We’ve been force fed for centuries the idea that all decent girls get married before they hit middle age, and if you can’t keep a man, something is clearly wrong with you. Until you had a ring on your finger, you were supposed to keep your legs closed and be a “good” young lady, otherwise risk being called a street woman or a hussy. This was much more of an issue back in the day, but many of these sentiments are still prevalent. Let a married woman or even a woman with a boyfriend have a disagreement with a single lady, and I would be willing to bet my last dollar that somewhere in the argument, “you don’t even have a man” will come up. Internalized misogyny everywhere! Too much of your identity is tied to your relationship status if you think you can make assumptions on another woman’s character simply based off if she has a significant other. It’s always “you don’t have a man,” “maybe if you did x, y, and z he would still be around,” or “that’s why you’re still single.” If you do this, please stop. People are here today, gone tomorrow in this life, so you never know when you’ll be buying a new home in Singleville. The perceived embarrassment that comes with being perpetually single is what drives so many women to settle for men they wouldn’t have looked twice at in the past. You had all these extravagant standards for what you wanted in a man, but you settled for 2/10 things on your list because being able to say you have a man is better than saying you don’t. After all, how can you taunt other women with “where your ring at, sis?” if you keep waiting on Mr. Right to fall into your lap? Mr. Right Now will just have to do. Don’t fall for that logic. If you’re single, embrace it. Not every woman is dying to have a man strapped to her hip, but most people do want companionship. Love will come, and the more time you spend exploring your own hobbies and growing into the woman you’re meant to be, the less likely you are to settle. As a person who has been single for awhile, I sometimes find myself thinking about when I will find that one person who will make me give up the single life, but it’s not because I feel the pressures of society weighing on my shoulders, and certainly not because I feel like I have to compete with other women. I just know what I’m looking for, and want to take my time to find it.
As I matured into a more well-rounded young woman, I stopped seeing relationships as a prize and realized I am the prize here. I want my fellow ladies to realize that their worth is not tied to being picked by a man. Life is not The Bachelor, we are not here to audition for the honor of being crowned a girlfriend or a wife. I believe that marriage should not be a shallow goal, but a desire to find that person that makes you feel happy and cherished. I hate to see women weaponize their love life against other women. Who knows if sexism will ever cease to exist, but let’s not perpetuate it by judging the lifestyles of other women because they are more sexually liberated, dress a certain way, or don’t have the most luck at love. It’s just not a good look. Men have started wars over us, but here we are acting like they are the ones who belong on a pedestal. I often poke fun at Pick Me’s, but then I realized it was important for me to acknowledge that I used to be one as well. I didn’t pop out the womb with this mindset. Like many women, I believed that if I did well in life, was nice to people and wasn’t loose that I would be wifed up by 25 with a picket fence. Funny how life works out. Be who you want to be, not who you think a man wants you to be.