Sunday, 2 March 2014

What Happened To Girl Power?

A note from Joelle...
I am currently writing this post on my phone in a lecture of a course I don't even take. I am pretending to take notices to avoid awkwardness, but have also resorted to eavesdropping on conversations to pass the time.
On my left is my friend that does take this course, but on my right are some girls bitching about their friend who has just left the lecture theatre to get something.
The girl has just returned with drink and is completely oblivious to the fact that seconds earlier, her 'friends' were making jibes about her frizzy hair.
I really can't understand how girls can do this to one another and then pretend to be all chummy with the same person they were dissing just moments ago. It's one of the most hurtful things you could do, but we all still do it, even me at times.
This little moment of eavesdropping on their conversation makes me think back to secondary school, where this behaviour was so common (I went to a all-girls school) and how damaging it can be for everyone involved.
*Okay, I'll finish writing this somewhere else because people are looking over my shoulder... *
When I think of Girl Power, I think of The Spice Girls (of course) and how they helped to shape a positive female attitude for a short period of time. I also think of empowerment, loyalty, trust and confidence - things that all women and their friends should have. Here's what some fab people on twitter think:
 So, why are girls so mean these days? Whatever happened to 'Girl Power'? Why do some find it hard to support their friends and be loyal?
I guess it's not really a new phenomena. It has been going on for centuries in the female world, but everyone just blames hormones, which is only a wee fraction of the problem.
Think about it, the reason why the film 'Mean Girls' was such a hit was because almost every girl could relate to it in one way of another, right? It was funny and outrageous because no one had ever really done a film about how cruel girls can really be until then.
I am sure we have all been aware of our social ranking in school/uni/work, it can either makes us happy that we have a lot of people around us, or makes us feel like there's something wrong with us because we are not attracting the people we want to hang out with.
The constant battle for attention/the leader of the clique crown/most likes,  can seriously ruin friendships from the inside and cause unnecessary friction. All of this could have been avoided if we didn't feel the need to hold feelings in all the time and just trust that our friends would support us and give advice.
The way some girls treat others does have a lot to do with how they see themselves, which is sadly in a                                                                                   negative light. 
The main problem is self esteem: Oh yes, the phrase that teachers and counsellors shoved down our throats in every PSHE lesson.
I used to roll my eyes so much because I didn't believe that every girl had insecurities. I just thought that the mean girls craved attention and used their confidence/annoying loudness to become the most powerful in the school grounds.
It was only after I came out the other end of years of verbal bullying, that I realised that those girls had serious personal issues, which they took out on other people who threatened them emotionally. Instead of opening up and talking to their friends about their problems, they found it easier to exploit  and then attack their friend's (and others) vulnerabilities in order to make themselves feel better about their personal situation.
And for a moment, it worked. My self-esteem was practically non-existent due to the bullying and then I started to turn on people, the same way the bullies did to me (but I just  bottled all the emotion/anger in my head instead of being abusive out loud).
What I was doing was quite similar, because at one point, I didn't have anything nice to say about anyone and genuinely felt better about myself by pointing out other people's flaws. 
After a long hard talk to my mum and myself, I realised that I'm actually an OK person with talents and qualities, just like everyone else. I shook off that bitchy facade and I felt like me again!
The reality is that no one can succeed on their own. We need need loved ones, whether it's just friends, family or both!
We need to realise that just because someone else might be experiencing their moment of success/attention, it doesn't mean that you are a worthless pile of poop who is going nowhere. 
You should be happy, supportive and know that your time to shine is coming soon.
As soon as we humble ourselves and learn that we are stronger as a collective of bright women, we can go further and maybe even get on with each other.
So is Girl Power dead? Not at all, but it is not as strong as it used to be and needs a serious revival otherwise we are pretty much fcuked as a sisterhood.
It tends to come in waves and is never continuous, which is why there are thousands upon thousands of girls and women worldwide who are lonely, depressed and feel they can't even talk to their mates/family about their issues.
All we need to do is be kinder to one another and we're halfway there. Being false and mean will just come back around and bite you on the bum. After all, Karma is the Queen of  all bitches.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think! :)
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