“Don’t question why she needs to be so free
She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be
She just can’t be chained
To a life where nothing’s gained
And nothing’s lost
At such a cost”
— “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones
Welcome to the Outside Girls project! I’m Rachel, your host and guide to this subculture of women in the media.
So, why did I use “Ruby Tuesday” as the hook to this introductory post? Well, because it was a great suggestion from my mom. But it also perfectly describes an outside girl. According to me–so you know it’s true–an outside girl is “a character (usually in her late teens or early twenties) who is unable to relate to her peers and actively withdraws from them.” She is intelligent, independent and funny (just like the subheading says!). Yet she cannot or will not fit in. She sees the world in a different way from her peers and this separates her from them. Depending on the character, this separation is a tragedy or a relief.
To put this into perspective, think of Kat of 10 Things I Hate About You:
She is smarter than the rest of the characters, but is the one on the outside looking in. Not that she minds; Kat knows she is better off. Her choice to extricate herself from high school norms and its social culture is her own. Sure, she might be kind of difficult, but it is her decision to leave nonetheless.
Once or twice a week, I will be introducing you to another character who fits into this trope. She might leave her social circle because of a trauma, because she needs a change, or just because sees no advantage to being like anyone else.
I’m looking forward to sharing this project and am excited about having a conversation with you. If you have any ideas or suggestions about the Outside Girl, please let me know.
Talk to you soon,
(Image courtesy of imgfave.com.)
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