Considering how long I’ve had this blog, it’s surprising that there hasn’t been another Gilmore Girls-themed post before. After all, my domain name was taken from a quote of how Rory described her mom, Lorelai, in one episode. I’ve kind of adopted the phrase ‘multi-faceted abnormal’ as my motto, more and more in the past few years, as I left behind the teenage phase of wanting to fit in.
But really, I’ve always been really rubbish at fitting in. I knew I was different from most of my class mates, and deep down I didn’t want to be like them – but oh, I wished not fitting in didn’t hurt so much… I wasn’t really bullied, but there were incidents and a constant sense of being on the fringe, of not truly belonging. Still, I was Rory Gilmore during her highschool days in many ways: I was the girl who always carried a book (still do), the one who didn’t feel comfortable in groups and had no real wish to conform.
I’ve only started reading about feminism in the past year, as I discovered the blogosphere for myself (after years of being mostly fandom-focused on Livejournal), but from where I stand, a big part of feminism is the freedom to not-conform. To be allowed to be who you are. And while Rory was pushed to be more social in one episode (because her habit of reading by herself during lunch break worried the school), she was soon allowed to return to her own ways, thanks to her mom’s support (and because ‘being social’ resulted in her taking part in teenage behavior which the school didn’t agree with either).
Other than Rory, however, I was never ambitious. I did well in school but never saw it as my main priority (unlike Rory and her dreams of Harvard), which maybe explains why I never “acted out” (I think Rory’s extreme focus on school during her teens led to her more problematic behavior in college). I do think that it’s easier to grow into an independent woman who chooses her own interests and defines her own priorities if those align with what adults consider desirable behavior – my own brand of non-conformity put me at odds with my age group, while simultaneously making my parents trust my judgement: When I started going out to techno clubs and raves at 15 (still not conforming to the culture there either – not wearing the right clothes, not smoking, not doing ecstasy, etc.), my parents allowed me my freedom. The same when I wanted to go traveling by myself at 18 (which was the big experience that led me to become truly happy with myself). On the other hand, Rory went traveling with Lorelai after graduation – not that that was a bad experience or choice, but when she finally had enough of school, the thing that had been the focus of her life so far, it led to a break with her mother.
So while I love Rory (and Gilmore Girls as a whole) for embracing being different, for showing that there is more to being a girl than being a cheerleader (or part of some other group) and that you can become your own woman by following your own path – I’m glad that I’m not really Rory. I’m quite happy being me. 🙂
Yes, I know that the photo at the top shows college-era Rory (though quite early on) – but I love that t-shirt to pieces. I own two of it, just in case the site ever stops stocking it. 🙂