Many of us probably felt the need to rebel back when we were teenagers. We wanted to stand out, be different and not like the others. And while we’re not saying it’s a bad thing, sometimes the strive for uniqueness at any cost can make you miss some important things. Artist Julie Hang recently created an eye-opening comic about not being “like the other girls” based on her own experiences and it will make you understand that being unique shouldn’t mean alienating yourself from others.
In a recent interview with Bored Panda, the artist said she used to be a shy and anxious kid that had a hard time making friends. “Instead of recognizing my anxiety and trying to overcome it, I’d thought there must be something that separated me from other girls,” said Julie. “Reading ‘me vs. other girls’ comics online validated those negative feelings and stereotypes I had towards other girls, and made me feel like it was the ‘cool’ thing to do.”
Julie says she became judgmental and presumptive towards her peers, categorizing other girls into stereotypes without getting to know them. “I made such a point of staying away from those stereotypes that I didn’t let myself experience things that I thought ‘other girls’ were into, including ‘girly’ things like going shopping, dressing up, and getting your nails done – things that I later found I actually enjoy doing!” said the artist.
Eventually, the artist’s realized that her outlook might have been wrong. “Meeting more people and getting to know them helped open up my world view, especially when I attended summer camp in high school and, later, art school,” said Julie.
“It was a blank slate for everyone, which presented me the option to let go of all of those categories and those stereotypes towards “other girls” that I had held onto for so long. So I did just that. What followed could only be described as an epiphany – I had been setting myself apart from the very people I felt I belonged with the most,” said the artist. “There was so much I had in common with ‘other girls’! I made lifelong friends from a variety of backgrounds and interests who are bright, hilarious, loving, kind – girls who are unique in their own way!”
Image credits: juliehangart
“When you’re young and still trying to figure out who you are, the one thing you really want to have is individuality,” says the artist. “There are lots of healthy ways to discover yourself, like joining a club where you can meet people with similar interests. Then there is the ‘I’m not like other girls’ theme online that communicates that you are indeed unique, but does so by putting other girls down.”
Julie says she noticed that webcomics are headed in a more positive and inclusive direction, becoming more considerate towards the readers, and she’s happy to be contributing to that movement.
People loved Julie’s comic