Cattiness. Since the dawn of civilization (or whenever female celebrities beat the rest of us to the top of the food chain; inadvertently leading to ruthless battles for the leftover scraps of “beauty,” “status,” and “unattainable attributes” that they don’t really need), it has been a force that we cannot seem to overcome. Sure, we try the “Girl Power” approach, and it works for a few of us, for a little while. We come together under an umbrella with Geraldine Hoff‘s iconic face plastered on it. We chant, “Run the World” like we are Beyonce’s personal back-up singers. We are women, hear us roar.
But sooner or later, the makeshift umbrella falls apart, our throats get sore, and we drop the act. Your co-worker shows you her beautiful engagement ring from the love of her life, whom she also describes as Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, except–wouldn’t you know it–he’s much cuter! You snark away and wonder how many times he’ll cheat on her before she gets preggers. Onto the too-pretty-for-words eye candy that surpasses your level of physical fitness and doesn’t mind shoving it in your face every time you go to the gym. I mean, she knows you go to the gym at 6:30pm every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so why does she insist on showing up at the same time AND running at a higher treadmill speed than you? It’s just plain obnoxious. Don’t even get me started on the Selena Gomez’s of the world; the young female celebrities who assume that because they’re gorgeous and rich that they have the right to pursue their dreams. Like, don’t you have enough in this world? Show some feminine decency and allow us to dislike you for sex scandals and Daddy issues, it’s only fair.
Think I’m awful for penning the thoughts that every woman, at one point or another, has had floating through her head? It’s awful, there’s no arguing that, and that’s the point. Why are we so quick to celebrate the failures and fuck-ups of the women around us? Would our quality of life somehow improve if our co-worker’s ring was one carat less, or if it was given to her by an SOB that will never treat her right? Will our bathing suits look better if our arch-nemesis gains 10 pounds? And if Selena Gomez falls off that cute/sexy pedestal next week, will any of us really be able to take her spot? Answer to all: (in case you really don’t know by now) NO. Sure, watching Kim Kardashian cry on E! is hilarious (especially in the form of GIFs), but it doesn’t make us any better for it. One woman’s misfortunes are not, and more importantly, should not be another woman’s treasures.
There is a constant power struggle in the workplace, in social settings, in families and in friendships to do the best, to have the best, and to be the best. Having a “can-do, I-want-it-all” mentality is admirable; so is climbing the ladder until you get to the top rung. However, the real problem lies in the trip to the top, and how many women you kick off the rungs below in order to claim the throne alone. The way I see it, the spot was never meant for one woman, and one woman only. If that were the case, we might as well skip the race and dig into a pint of cookie dough, because the odds will always be in Jennifer Lawrence’s favor (I can’t get enough of her) (double parenthesis for the subtle Hunger Games reference).
Judging on a small scale (think of your college, for instance), how many women do you feel threatened by? I mean it, you’re actually scared that they’re prettier than you, smarter than you, overall more qualified for life than you are? Assuming that I’m not the only woman surrounded by positive, influential, truly amazing female figures, I’m guessing you have a list already. Well, I’m here to help you crumple up that list, send it flying from the three-point line straight into the trash (swish), and rid yourself of all that negativity, for good. Unless you’re gunning for the same job, apartment, or wedding dress (dire circumstances, indeed), there’s no need to feel threatened by your fellow females. We all have different qualities to offer, different skill sets to craft, different dreams to pursue; so it’s about damn time we started celebrating them one by one.
Allow me to introduce you to my newest project, and the newest recurring section in ForeverTwentySomethings, “I Am Woman.”
For the sake of readership, and to promote the new section, I’m going to kick off the first few weeks by focusing on female celebrities we all know and adore. But over the coming weeks and months, I encourage readers to leave suggestions and nominate new women to the literary “throne” that I’ve created. My aim is to round up inspiring females throughout the country (maybe even the world) and showcase their individual achievements on a larger scale. I want to meet the 3rd grader who saves up her lunch money to buy Christmas presents for her family; the 8th grader who gives up her weekends to help out at the soup kitchen downtown; the college sophomore who is graduating a year early to ease her parents’ debt; the mothers, cousins, aunts, and grandmothers whose stories have inspired us to keep climbing that damn ladder, day after day. Let’s get rid of the cattiness we all claim to despise and welcome an era of feminine comradery that is long overdue.
If you or anyone you know is an especially phenomenal woman, here’s your chance to let us know why. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the opportunity!