Sorry Scott Bacula, I'm stealing your Quantum Leap catch phrase for this one.
Yeah. Pinocchio. That's a common theme with X-23 for obvious reasons. She's the girl that her mother hopes would become a real girl, not realizing until the end that she always was.
It's these preset notions and pushes that sometimes create more damage than heals. We tell others what they are or all they can be and how they must attain it. We don't look at them for who they are and what they are capable of. We push them and shove them around calling them fake or tell them to be real. Those kinds of acts though are the exact opposite of what they need. A person needs compassion, not commands. The more you try to command a person to do something, the more likely they are to rebel against whatever you say. In arrogance we blame that on them even more so because they wouldn't listen. Yet mostly it's our own fault in how we said it or acted. It's about letting them grow, but also letting them know we support them. That we see their potential if they want to rise to it. That it's a star they could reach someday if they so wanted it.
In life we need to learn to take a step back, take a deep breath, and then step forward again. The more people try to act superior to others, and cast decisions on another's life that they think is best, the more likely a person is to tell them to "buzz off." At least in matters that don't have the well-being and safety of a person in mind. In which case it can be understood why they interfered, and someone that cares about and respects your opinion will listen and thank you for your concerns.
People are wired like that though. The ego does not want to be bossed around, it's looking for equality. Equal footing and respect. The second you remove that respect by trying to be commanding in an average situation where it's unneeded, the second you'll lose it. Life isn't about taking control, and it is never about trying to take control of another. A person asked, or discussed the points with will act fine on advice based on merit. A person commanded to do something though by another that has no business doing so? Like how most animals react when mistreated, they may get bitten. If they didn't... Then the question should be more towards why didn't they. Why would any creature allow themselves to be kicked repeatedly? Why would any person kick another for simply asking them to do the right thing? Why does society let this happen? Why does it rationalize that it's okay? Who says it is okay to do this?
People talk about leagues or a status quo. How worthy another is of goals or not. They base this on looks or some imaginary status; not by the merit of the person or their ideas or their work. People tell others "that's out of your league" or "be realistic" or any other way of trying to demoralize and tell them what little value they have as a person behind double speak that suggests they should know their place in life and never reach for higher. That people are crazy for trying to reach for the stars. It's never been right, and if you look around, really how often has it ever been true? People achieve their dreams everyday. Some through hard work, others through dumb luck or chance, and some through natural ambition. They don't focus on being better than others. They focus on being themselves and doing what they love. Carrying doubt will only weigh you down until you can't swim. (The symbolism of which is even depicted in X-23 v3 issue 7. Laura's claws are what are weighing her down with the sharks in the water. Her claws represent the killer inside of her, yet they are also what provide her a way to save Gambit and refuses to kill in the story.)
Pinocchio may have been a puppet, but he always was more of a real boy than he ever knew. He just couldn't see it himself until the blue fairy granted him his wish because of his selfless sacrifice. It's one of many universal themes from Fairy Tales, and it's one of truth. We often know not what we are, until someone lights the way we never saw before from our own sacrifices for those we loved. Something X-23 does herself time and time again in almost every story she's appeared or starred in. It's just what she does without even thinking about it, and yet, she has always been a real girl and just never knew it. She is real as herself and has always been real just by being who she is. No matter what ignorance or insanity has been thrown her way, she stands up for what's best for others, even if those slings and arrows do harm her. She pushes through, she heals. Not just for herself, but for those lives she's touched as well. She's a fighter, a survivor. The one who will not fall. She learns to adapt and think on her feet. Truly a nightmare child, but also one of hope and perseverance. Truly only a nightmare to those that stand to harm others. Truly only a nightmare to those that try to kick others.