Why You Shouldn't Force Yourself To Be The Beer-Drinking 'Chill Girl'

by Zara Barrie
Guille Faingold

I hate beer. I hate the way it smells. In fact, I wouldn't even say it has a smell, I would say it exudes a vile stench that makes my spit do that thing where it gets really thick before you vomit. When I smell beer in the air, I violently retch. Which is dramatic, I know, but these things can't be helped.

Even the disgusting dark yellow color makes me feel sick. It's like dehydrated urine. I'm sorry for that visual, but that's where my brain goes every time I see or hear or smell a beer. I think of piss. Ew.

But most of all, I hate the way beer tastes on my tongue. It's both bitter and sweet and sugary and sour and always seems like it's a little off or expired.

It's not fresh and I want to be surrounded by freshness all the time because when it looks and tastes and feels fresh, it gives me a falsified sense of "togetherness." It's why I keep my apartment clean and Instagram pictures of flowers. It's all a facade, baby.

And we all know I have a laundry list of screwed-up body image issues, but I swear to the higher power up above, my hatred of beer is not because I'm worried it's going to make me fat. Don't insult my intelligence, asshole.

Because I shamelessly love lots of things that have the ability to make a person fat: brie cheese, blood red wine, powdered doughnuts, the list is endless. This isn't me being one of those girls who refuses to drink beer because she's wearing a flimsy crop top and is attempting to avoid the inevitable beer bloat the sorority girls warned us about.

I drink wine like it's water and white wine bellies are a very, very real thing (sadly the sorority girls will not warn you about it, but Gigi Engle will). I'm living proof that the wine belly is real. And I slug back the wine in flimsy crop tops regularly and have just accepted that I have a lifestyle bloat and it will be cute to the right person.

I used to want to be a beer girl so bad. In fact, when I was in art school for five minutes before I dropped out and moved to Hollywood, I used to force myself to guzzle cans of beer.

All the rich trendy California babes in art school (art schools are a microcosm of celebrity children and trust fund kids trying to look poor) would slug back beer after beer after beer on our weekly Thursday night art openings. And they were so cool and ironic with their mentholated cigarettes and silver cans of PBR that perfectly clashed against their Chanel "Black Satin" nail polish. I wanted to be cool and ironic. But I'm so not ironic. If it's expensive, I want it to look expensive, you know?

But I idolized the girl with the pierced septum who chugged canned beer. In fact I couldn't tell if I wanted to have sex with the girl with the pierced septum and the canned beer or be the girl with the pierced septum and the canned beer. That's how deeply rooted this is.

Once when I was 20, I was stuck at this fuckboy party somewhere in the Valley. It was a teeming sea of West Coast bro types and as a pale, gay Manhattan native, I was in my own personal hell.

I was hiding in the backyard by myself, totally hating life and forcing beer down my throat because it was either that or well liquor and even though I only made $8 an hour working at Fred Segal, I was too full of myself to drink well liquor, even if that's all I could technically afford.

Anyway, the air was hot and sticky and some terrible acne-ridden boy who had been trolling me all night found me stewing in misery, like a poor little lesbian Beverly Hills princess.

"Hey girrrrl, I got you a beer," he said in that really slow LA drawl that just makes me want to grab a person by the shoulders and scream, "SPIT IT OUT ALREADY, DUDE!"

My eyes zoomed in on his pockmarked skin. He wasn't touching me, but his energy was so violating he might as well have been groping me.

I didn't want to drink that shitty beer but I accepted it and thanked him, because that's what girls do, right? If a guy offers a girl a beer, she better take it or she's an awful bitch. And I wasn't yet comfortable in my bitch skin at that point. So I drank the beer. And I laughed at all the dumb jokes and even smoked joints strung with dirt weed with all of his friends because I just wanted to be the chill California girl so bad.

The next morning, I woke up with an inexplicable taste in my mouth and ash in my hair. I looked in the mirror. I looked like shit. I was all black eyes and oily skin and fake tan. I looked like Snow White in Malibu Barbie drag.

And I felt as bad as I looked because you always look like shit when you're not being authentic and true to your natural style.

In that moment, I decided I was going to make a change. I decided I was going to fully accept I will never drink a beer again. I decided to walk away from the damaging chill girl trope manufactured by our stupid patriarchal society that likes to oversimplify women.

From that point on, I've gone as myself for the most part. I've fully accepted that I like nice things. I will never be the cool removed hipster who is at home in the dive bar. I hate dive bars as much as I hate being thrust into a large sweaty crowd at a music festival. I will always look wildly out of context in places like Bushwick. And that's OK because I don't even like Bushwick (gah, someone call the Brooklyn Police and file a report!).

I prefer Madison Avenue with its MILF Lululemon-sporting moms and ridiculous stores like "Armani Kids" and its civilized restaurants with flickering candlelight and $16 kale salads. And I only ever want to drink wine and champagne.

I guess I'm just not a "chill" girl. Which is a shame because lesbians love to be chill and drink beer and wear snapbacks and talk about sports. Not me. I have to go to therapy at least once a week or I start behaving bizarrely.

I have sky high, unreachable expectations for my life and I don't understand baseball but I cry my eyes out during the Oscars, mainly because I'm not there. And I have such delusions of grandeur that I feel like I've failed at life because I'm 30 and haven't been invited to the Oscars yet.

And to be perfectly honest, if we want to be real here on this Friday, I've never really met an authentic chill girl, have you? No. Because the chill girl is just a prototype, and we're too multifaceted to be prototypes.

The chill girl is just a prototype, and we're too multifaceted to be prototypes.

Beer or no beer, we all have shit that makes us tick. We all have shit that drives us wild and shit that irritates us too. Some girls like cheap beer but only wear designer shoes. Some girls (me) like expensive drinks but are too cheap to get their hair done so let their roots grow out past their ears.

What I'm really trying to say, babe, is that we all wrap way too much of an identity around what we drink. We think if we order white wine one day, we're basic white wine girl bitches and have to act like basic white wine girl bitches. If we order champagne, we have meltdowns and think, "OMG, am I a girl who orders champagne now?!"

When really, it doesn't matter. We should just drink what we like and realize what we drink says nothing about WHO WE ARE INSIDE.

So yes, I'll never be your chill beer girlfriend. But I'll be your over-therapied, white wine-slugging, complicated, complex girlfriend, who will never bore you a day in your life. And that's OK.