The culture of hating other women, bitching and being catty is one that originates mean girl style in high school. It’s heavily slated in the media as journalists and celebrities call for a union of women to love each other and stick together, girl power!
It’s something we all do and those that say they don’t are (probably) lying. It’s very much about some other girl having something that you wish you had. It could be the style of her hair, the size of her lips, dress size, fitness level, money, car, job, boyfriend whatever it is it creates in you a fiendish desire to have what they have and because you can’t have it your frustration inevitably ends up directed at the innocent party whose only crime is having what you want. So I decided to run through a couple of common situations and see if there’s a reasonable way to stop. Or more pointedly is there any necessity to stop?
The girl – your ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend
The situation – Probably the most popular form of girl bitching is your ex’s new girlfriend. This girl is the devil incarnate and many an enjoyable evening can be spent with friends looking through her social media pages and tearing her to shreds
The quotes – ‘she’s definitely fatter than me’ ‘who wears pink eye shadow these days though really?’ ‘That dress is from Primark in last year’s sale’ ‘she works at the co-op?!’ ‘He always told me he didn’t like false nails on girls’.
The resolution – I think we should be able to keep this one. It’s a natural part of life that you’re going to compare yourself to the new girl in his life. If she’s prettier than you it makes you feel bad and if she’s uglier than you it’s almost worse. Tearing her to shreds behind her back isn’t going to hurt her as she’ll never know and it’s a great way to make yourself feel better if you and your friends can agree on her low points.
The girl – your ex best friend
The situation – you used to share everything with this girl from your deepest darkest secrets to boyfriends. But now you’ve fallen out and suddenly hate each other’s guts.
The quotes – ‘she had this annoying habit where she did….’ ‘I’ll tell you a secret about her’ ‘I always thought her dress sense/hair/nails/eyebrows were bad’
The resolution – the reason your slating this girl is because you miss her. She was your best friend and now you never talk and you hate that she’s getting on with her life without you. Whether slating her is right or wrong really depends on why you fell out. If she’s done something terribly wrong (stole your boyfriend/poisoned your cat) then fair enough go for it but if it’s just that you had a silly argument or drifted apart maybe your slating is a clue that what you really want is to get in touch and kiss and make up. As for telling secrets no matter what your friend has done think about how you would feel if you knew she was spilling your private life to everyone. Secrets among friends should never be spilled no matter what the reason for you falling out.
The girl – that perfect one
The situation – we all know one. That girl who is literally flawless, she has money in bucket loads, a fancy car, a lovely home and a perfect partner and/or family. She never breaks a sweat in the summer and while you’re freezing and snivelling with cold in the winter she’s gliding around with a perfect tan and the best winter wear money can buy.
The quotes – ‘it’s not fair that she can be so gorgeous and have brains as well’ ‘I heard she’s… *insert scandalous comment here*’ ‘I don’t know how she got that job’ ‘two kids and she’s still THAT skinny??’
The resolution – this one is a case of pure envy. The top and bottom of it is that everything about her is what you want to be. By slating her you only continue to beat yourself up and make yourself more insecure. This is a definite case where you need to stop. Hating her isn’t going to make you any more perfect it’s just going to cause you further upset and insecurity. To resolve this you need to learn to love yourself (and maybe ask her for the number for her hairdresser). In a lot of these cases (if you’re anything like me) the girl is perfect because she makes an effort that you don’t do. She spends her money on skincare, hair and beauty appointments and designer clothes instead of pizza and drunken nights out, she gives her time up to go to the gym and works hard with her personal trainer. If you’re prepared to put that kind of effort and commitment in then sure, go for it but if you (again like me) prefer pizza and tequila then shut up and put up is the only way forward!
The girl – the celebrity
The situation – naked selfies of Kim Kardashian’s flawless giant butt, Selena Gomez looking perfect just before bed in a onesie and no makeup, Victoria Beckham managing a perfect figure at her age and with 3 kids under her belt. It’s hard not to feel a little insecure about yourself when your boyfriend and the rest of the world are in love with some model/actress/singer etc.
The quotes – ‘definitely botox’ ‘no way her bum is really that big she’s got to have had fillers’ ‘that’s been airbrushed’ ‘she’s had loads of plastic surgery you know’
The resolution – to be honest as long as you don’t take it next level crazy and start tweeting abuse at said celebrity, then I think it’s ok to give them some stick between you and your friends. What is key to remember though is that most of the above comments are right. Most celebrities have had plastic surgery, their photos are airbrushed and edited and they have the money to employ personal trainers and dieticians to help them look the way they do. Tag that to an easy lifestyle of doing a job you love and it’s a recipe for perfection. Slate away but remember not to let it get you down as unless you’re the next Kate Mosse or Amanda Siegfried you’re never going to be on their level and that’s ok.
In summary I think a little bit of bitching never hurt anybody. As long as you aren’t sharing secrets, using social media to become a cyber bully or making comments known to the object of your hatred bitching can actually be helpful in some situations and make you feel a little bit better about yourself.