July 14, 2024

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A review of her new book

A review of her new book

DrThe only way to not hear anything about Sophie Passman today is to hide under a stone, as the twenty-nine-year-old has long been one of the most prominent faces of her generation. She maintains hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and Tiktok. You can recognize her as a presenter, actress, podcaster, and author in the features section of “Zeit.” She also publishes highly successful books. Her most recent work is titled “Pick Me Girls.”

The term of the same name has recently become an online profession. Not particularly glamorous. Because the phrase “pick me girls” refers to women who do everything in their power to set themselves apart from their peers in order to gain male recognition. “Pick me a girl” shows clear disdain for vulgar women’s interests (shopping, wearing make-up, obsessing over weight loss), is extremely unsophisticated in every situation and says sentences like: “I just feel more comfortable in men’s circles” all day long and Bassman expands on his diagnosis “Pick me Girl” to the tragedy of female existence: “I think all women who grow up under patriarchy choose me, girl.” sometimes. Or earlier. Between them.” The exceptions are unthinkable. The ultimate “Pick me a girl”, according to this logic, is the woman who claims she will never be a “Pick me a girl.” Because this automatically meets the “Pick me a girl” criterion: the desire to be Different from other women.

Adapts unconditionally to the partner

To illustrate this claim, Passman draws on bits and pieces of her autobiography, full of “pick me girl” phases, and combines this with a meandering foray through pop culture and the Internet. It’s about eating disorders, failed relationships, sexual harassment, Botox, sitcoms, and shitstorms. The entire tune is aimed at entertainment and outright, word-laden cruelty to self and the world. In places, it’s definitely worth reading, such as when Passman looks at her teenage self and describes a specifically female version of the inevitable coming-of-age passion story, those years between the longing to belong, the need for differentiation and nagging feelings of embarrassment.


Sophie Passman: “Choose me girls.”
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Photo: KippenhauerWitch

But above all, the author does one thing: unobstructedly entrench gender stereotypes, even if she sometimes pretends to dismantle them. She does not criticize the dominance of the male gaze so much as invokes it. She describes the fact that women are “absolutely and constantly focused on men” as an almost law of nature. So the goal cannot be to free yourself from it, but to come to terms with it. It seems that Basman only knows women who abandon themselves in relationships and adapt unconditionally to their partner, while the latter seeks to practice his hobbies and callings as a matter of course. This observation leads to another. “Women today are not as interesting as young men,” Passman discovered. Is this still a post-ironic critique of patriarchy or is it a blatant expression of internalized misogyny?

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