14 Valuable Life Lessons Every Woman Can Learn From The Women Of Shondaland
Shondaland is a magical place, where women are the bosses, and they are romanced by the kind of men the rest of us only dream about dating. It's also a dramatic place, where everyone has a secret, and no one is safe from tragedy. That emotional rollercoaster would normally lead to an emotionally draining life, but man, it makes for some riveting television.
Shondaland, of course, refers to the powerhouse TGIT (Thank God It's Thursday) lineup on ABC Thursday nights, consisting of “Grey's Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How To Get Away With Murder.” Each one of those shows is either created or executive produced by TV mastermind Shonda Rhimes.
These shows have become the ultimate Friday morning topics of watercooler conversation after TGIT viewing parties. The twists and turns have been posted by millions all over social media, making each episode appointment viewing unless you want to live in a cave until you catch up.
But more than the drama, the women on these shows are the pinnacle of complex, strong females. Meredith Grey, Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating: these names have become part of the pop culture lexicon, synonymous with empowering GIFs and quotes that we post to our friends' walls when they need a dose of strength.
These women and the rest of the women in the TGIT universes may deal with insane situations, but the outcome they influence is always a lesson that we real ladies can take to heart.
You're worth two men vying for your affections.
Love triangles are par for the course in TGIT. The women of these shows command not just one hot guy chasing them, but two. And why wouldn't they? An amazing woman deserves her pick of the litter.
Olivia wasn't getting what she needed from her presidential paramour Fitz, so she let Jake Ballard sweep her away to an island on “Scandal.”
And Annalise Keating's husband isn't the only one cheating on “HTGAWM” – not when she has the perfectly-toned cop Nate on her case.
Business wear can be sexy.
When we grow up and get into the real world, we feel like we need to trade in our fun clothes for boring pantsuits. But Olivia Pope has taught us that blouses, trenches and capes are ANYTHING but boring.
Own who you are.
And never apologize.
Real families are dysfunctional.
You may think your family is the only one with drama. It's not. In fact, other families have it worse. Like, secret-children worse.
That's why you make your own family in this world.
It sounds cliché, but friends really are the family you choose. They can be there for you through the problems you have with your real family, and offer the kind of support that family members can often mess up.
Don't be afraid to go all-natural.
There are a lot of beauty products in your drugstore, each one claiming to be the best. But sometimes, what your skin needs is a break. Embrace the real you and ditch the makeup once in a while.
Wine is an acceptable dinner. Or therapist.
Dancing is also an acceptable therapist.
Be skeptical of people.
The women of TGIT don't advocate living the life of a hermit, eschewing all social contact, but they always approach people with their guard up. You never know what someone is hiding, so it's best to be skeptical until you're given a reason to trust.
Make him work for you.
Don't make it easy for that guy to catch you. Even if you know you're head-over-heels in love with him, don't show all your cards. You're worth the effort, and he'll know that if you make him put in the effort. You'll earn the kind of respect a lasting relationship is built on.
Don't be afraid to listen instead of contribute.
Sometimes it's ok not to speak. A strong listener can be just as powerful as a strong communicator.
Drama can be handled.
When your friends are freaking out over not getting invited to that party, when your boyfriend is flirting with another girl, when your work enemy is bad-mouthing you behind your back; it doesn't matter because you are in charge.
You are in charge, and you can handle the drama. You have all the tools to calmly fix the situation.
Call out men when they deserve it.
Even in this, the 21st century, there are plenty of men out there that are anything but enlightened. They still have narrow views of what women can do and what women can be. You don't have to stand there and listen to them be dumb. Call them out on their BS. If you've changed even one man's opinion, you've won.
If all else fails, break out a monologue.
The signature move of a TGIT show is a powerful monologue. Monologues are the perfect accessory for any occasion: getting a man to love you, breaking up, family dysfunction, work drama, everything in between. Monologues show grace under pressure, and they manipulate the emotions of the person on the receiving end enough to get what you want.
Practice your monologues in the bathroom mirror to get that perfect tone down.
Tune-in to TGIT each Thursday starting at 8|7c on ABC.