What's A Pick-Me Girl?

"Pick-me girls" are being pointed out in literature and mocked on TikTok. But what, exactly, is this elusive species of woman that — appropriately — seems so easy to pick out?

You may have come across the term "pick-me" in reference to online figures, movie characters, or literature protagonists. On the surface, this label is exactly what it sounds like. It's used to describe people, typically women, who focus their energy on receiving male's attention and acceptance. Meredith Grey, the starring character in ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," is often portrayed as the ultimate pick-me, as noted by Fem Magazine. With her iconic, "Pick me, choose me, love me!" line, the doctor cemented her place in the Pick-Me Hall of Fame.


Of course, the intricacies and history of pick-me behavior go a bit deeper than even the complex plots of Shonda Rhimes' hit. On closer examination, the behaviors associated with being a pick-me girl are rooted in internalized misogyny, and often put other women down in an effort to get male approval.

Some take pride in not being like other girls

While the exact origins of the pick-me phrase are ambiguous, online references to the phenomenon date back for years. The hashtag #TweetLikeAPickMe occasionally surfaces onto Twitter, providing perfect examples of "pick-me" phrases. "I prefer being [friends] with guys, they are not jealous and hypocrites ... And they are wayyyy better friends than girls," penned one Twitter user.


Indeed, one common refrain of those dubbed pick-me girls seems to be a preference for male company and traditionally masculine activities. As Metro notes, they seek to adapt a "cool girl" demeanor as someone who can hang with the boys and is low-maintenance. By putting down the preferences and behaviors of other women, pick-me girls hope to distinguish themselves as better potential partners.

The pick-me persona is alive and well, and has even made its way to TikTok. Viral videos under the hashtag #pickmegirl have garnered over 2.3 billion combined views, with users creating hilarious TikTok hits like "The 'pick me' girl goes to prom."

Navigating pick-me culture

While much of the content and commentary surrounding pick-me girls is created by women attempting to highlight the ridiculousness of the behavior, navigating the discourse without falling into misogynistic put-downs of your own can be difficult.


After all, the behavior that accompanies being a pick-me is rooted in insecurity and a desire for social acceptance. By placing them into boxes, we develop stereotypes rooted in the same misogynistic impressions of women that created contrarian pick-me girls to begin with.

As InsideHook explains, while pick-me behavior is hurtful to the women it rejects, it's also harmful to mock those being called pick-me girls. Speaking to the website, TikTok star Kelsey Jensen (who often portrays pick-me girls in her videos) revealed, "... we can't just hate these people. We have to have compassion, because there's a reason for it. Maybe they are simply malicious. But I think there's something a lot deeper than that."


We might find ourselves laughing at the TikToks that perfectly characterize the over-the-top behavior of high school mean girls, but it's important to extend empathy and remind pick-me girls that acceptance can be found outside of the opposite sex.