Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mean Girls

So, I talked about It Girls the other day, and now I want to talk about Mean Girls. But I don't mean the mean girls you think I mean.

There is this unspoken attitude in the competitive realm of womendom that it's OK to be mean to hot girls. The idea being, "She's pretty, guys like her, her life is probably made, so I can be a little snarky to her because I'm the underdog." This makes a lot of us Mean Girls.

I myself am a recovering Mean Girl. Growing up, the prettiest girl in my grade was my best friend. She was get-offered-free-stuff-all-the-time pretty. She was so pretty that one time at a carnival, the ride operator would not let us off the Tilt-a-Whirl because he was using each time around as a chance to jump out at her and scare her. (An odd and ineffective way to flirt.)

Anyway, once I was a bit older, I realized that I was sometimes mean to this friend. I treated her differently than other girls, less privileged girls. I would condescend to her and be less generous and kind than I would be with a less genetically blessed girl. Subconciously I figured she could take it, hey, the world adored her. (She also called me an ugly duckling once, that helped.) I apologized years later to her for my snarkiness.

I think this snarkiness is the insecure women's security blanket. We subtly mentally place ourselves as superior to the pretty girls because we've had to battle it through without the world throwing itself at our feet. My personal security blanket has always been my intelligence. In my mind, I used it as my steel wall against other women, "You may be pretty, but I'm smarter than you." (I told you, I'm snarky.)

I have a friend, we'll call her Sally, who is oppressed for being a hot chick. (I have advised her to write a book entitled, "Oppressed Hot Chicks." If she doesn't, I will.) Someone in Sally's life told her that she was too intimidating because of her looks, and she needed to try harder to be more approachable. This may seem like not a big deal, but it shows our unfair attitude toward pretty people. They should have to try harder to be extra friendly so us ugly ducklings don't feel so bad. This attitude rests on the myth that pretty people do in fact have it better, and therefore owe the rest of us something. But the pretty people have just as many problems and insecurities as the rest of us, sometimes more.

When I lost some weight a couple of years ago, I noticed this subtle shift in attitude toward me in some of my interactions with women. I went from the non-threatening chubby friend to the...I don't know what...The one it's OK to be occasionally snarky towards. (I have since gained some weight back so my size 4 tushy isn't quite as intimidating.) But it was odd how some women suddenly treated me as if I was one of them. One of those skinny women you can "tsk, tsk" at and be annoyed at because life must just be easy for them. I would get snarky comments about how it's just so easy for me and I can't understand. Yeah, right. They had no clue the inner turmoil I was going through to be skinny.
Point is, life isn't easy for any of us. We're all in the same old mess. Pretty women are just as insecure about who they are as everyone else. We're all dealing with the same old issues and insecurities and problems and struggles. It's just not easy no matter how you slice it.

So, in conclusion, play nice, be fair, and love one another.


sarahbri said...

Amber, don't flatter yourself. I'm not snarky to you because you're hot. I'm just snarky. Suck it up.

sarahbri said...

Oh, BTW, can't wait to see you this weekend!!!!!!!!!

Brandy said...

Wow, Amber. Incredibly well-said. I so appreciate your honesty and insightful thoughts. You totally should write a book!

Amber said...

Whatever, Sarah, I wasn't saying I was one of the hot girls, I'm saying I'm one of the mean girls! I'm excited to see you this weekend too! Finally.

Brandy, thanks for your sweet comment.

blissfullykrissy said...

I agree with Brandy and think this is a very insightful post.
It's a difficult task to step back and put yourself in someone elses shoes, but when we do, we always always have a better perspective on every situation.
Thanks for posting and making us think...again! :)

Michael Jonathan Van Schooneveld said...

I think you were claiming to be a mean girl and a hot girl. Sorta like Lindsey Lohan in that movie. From hater to hated. As for myself, I don't claim to either mean, hot, or a girl. But I will join Sarah's club of being unabashedly snarky. But not for any particular reason. Just for recreation. And because I'M BETTER THAN YOU!! End of statement.

Tara said...

Are you saying I'm FAT?!!

Aloe said...

I completely identify with this post, both from the position of being a mean girl and a hot girl (which, I don't consider myself one but I sometimes get the impression that others do. And, that's hard to say without it sounding egotistical...). I have been guilty of being mean, especially when it comes to the scrawny long blonde hair FSU girls that can't be over 19. But I have also experienced discrimination for being 'thin' (far from Hollywood thin). I really just consider myself healthy and it's humbling when people are mean to you. Not saying I enjoy it but it puts things in perspective.