“She just, like, hates the world,” my friend Nadine* said as she sipped her cosmopolitan. We were sitting next to each other on bar stools and talking about girls -- which, as much of a refreshing change as it was from our usual topic of men, was unsettling me.
“If Anna* just stopped being so sour, maybe she'd actually be able to get a boyfriend,” she laughed.
“Yeah,” I said snarkily. “Totally.”
Normally I'm not snarky at all. But get a glass of wine or two in me and I'll jump head-first into a roasting sesh. Nadine wasn't wrong -- if Anna were just a tad nicer, she probably would be able to attract a great guy -- but who was Nadine to point and laugh? Nadine isn't perfect.
Nadine is f*cked up. She's just as f*cked up as Anna, only in a different way. Nadine is a serial monogamist for a very specific reason: She doesn't know how to be alone. She doesn't want to be because she hates herself, and she knows it. Validation from men is what keeps Nadine going. Maybe pretending that that isn't one of her biggest flaws by talking about why Anna hates herself makes Nadine feel better about herself, but that doesn't make Nadine's problems any less real.
Later that same evening, Nadine and I met up with Anna. As I watched them hug each other and exchange greetings -- Oh my God, I haven't seen you in forever! I missed you so f*cking much! Where is that dress from? You look incredible! -- I couldn't keep from cringing.
The whole thing was so … fake. We were all so f*cking fake. We might as well have been on a stage performing our own Broadway rendition of "Mean Girls." We all love each other, but we low-key tear each other down, and I honestly just don't see the point.
I don't gossip about girls. OK, I'll rephrase: I don't instigate or encourage the gossiping. It isn't because I'm sooo secure (I'm probably the most insecure person I know); I just recognize that we all have our demons, and it's kind of fruitless to talk about someone else's bad hair day or rolls of fat.
Nadine, Anna and I are all hot messes. Nadine is needy. Anna is too independent for her own good. I'm an emotionally unavailable f*ckgirl who also somehow manages to be a total pushover. We all have our sh*t, so can we quietly accept that without publicly acknowledging it, move the f*ck on and talk about something that really matters, like global warming or where a girl can buy the dope bomber jacket Rihanna wore to her last concert?
Why can't we celebrate each other's wins instead of capitalizing on each other's missteps? Do we really have to dwell on that time Anna was at the club and told a cute, smart guy to f*ck off because she didn't feel good about herself in her too-small romper? And who the f*ck cares if that happened to her? Can't you see she's trying her best to deal with it, and she doesn't need negativity from her support system to discourage her even more from getting where she wants to be?
As corny as it sounds, I always try to put myself in someone else's shoes, and I know I'd be devastated, angry or just plain sad if I found out my own kind was talking smack about me. Girls have a lot of the same problems, and you'd think we'd be just a little more empathetic and a little less abrasive. It's not a competition about whose life is less f*cked up or who should reassess her life because she doesn't love herself.
We're in this together, guys. We need the bonds of sisterhood to fight through the muck. We need to stand in solidarity in order to survive. Do we need to hate on each other? Come on. We can still get our fix by gossiping about men! Men don't count.
My theory that is we try to minimize our own problems by focusing on the problems of others, and that isn't real. It's fake AF. It's living in denial of our own struggles. I don't point and laugh because I know I've got my own issues, and though they're different than the issues other girls are dealing with, they're no worse, but they're also no better.
We're all equally as f*cked up as one another, which by default makes us equally as beautiful. Equally as brilliant. I hope you're all hearing me when I say I that there's beauty in the flaws, and picking them apart helps no one.
Maybe I'm naive, too damn sweet or just a tried-and-true, harmony-loving Libra, but I've got one question for all womankind: Can't we all just get along?!
*Names have been changed.