So No One Told Me About Her….

Her body has gone to her head.
– – – Barbara Stanwyck (about Marilyn Monroe)

 

Elizabeth Taylor’s so fat, she puts mayonnaise on aspirin.
– – – Joan Rivers

 

She’s like an apple turnover that got crushed in a grocery bag on a hot day.
– – – Camille Paglia (about Drew Barrymore)

 

When we were in high school, as girls at the height of hormonal fluctuation, there was a litany of problems to endure. Every day we faced a new dilemma: was this outfit ridiculous, will this guy stay interested, will that little argument with so and so ostracize you from the entire group? It was a delicate balance, trying to seem as if you didn’t care about such things, while constantly stressing about every little detail all day long.

With your close friends, it was a game of tug of war. One day you think everything is fine and well; the two of you telling each other your deepest, darkest secrets, the next day your friend suddenly loathes you. And she refuses to give you an explanation, other then “ you know what you did”. After asking around, you find that something you said half-heartedly as a joke, to another friend you thought you could trust had been twisted and amplified through the rumor mill and now your friend thinks you are gossiping about her. The only hope we could cling to was that when we got older and more mature, all of the foolishness and drama would stop.

But it doesn’t, it only gets worse..

If you are like me and have the pleasure of working in an industry that is predominately female, you know the joys of dealing with drama and high levels of emotionally-charged individuals. Now, I am an honest person, and I tend to be sarcastic, some may a little too much. When I worked in an office with all men, this was never a problem. I feel like I’m back where I was ten years ago, stepping on egg shells with every comment, joke, or look.

I don’t mean to lump all ladies into one group, but there is truth to the fact that when we are all together in one setting, trouble brews. Just look at all of the success of The Real Housewives franchise;

groups of different women in different states, their every day lives being documented. But it’s not their every day lives that America cares about, it’s the table-flipping, hair-pulling, drink-throwing in the face type of fighting that goes on between these women. In one reunion of the Real Housewives of New York , Kelly Bensimon accused the other cast members of “systematic bullying”, saying, “ I just don’t like gossip”. To which Countess LuAnn ( a cast member), retorted, “ That’s probably why you don’t have that many girlfriends.”

Bravo’s senior vice president of programming has a unique perspective on why the franchise is so successful. He thinks being in the persistent spotlight in front of the cameras brings out the id- the unconscious desires that the women would normally suppress in public. “I think the deeper we go every season with our wives, the more comfortable they are in front of a camera, the more heightened their relationships get,” he says. “I think this season didn’t necessarily bring out the best in everybody and I think it did become kind of like high school.”

Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees, is an expert on teen and young-adult behavior. Her book was also the basis of the movie Mean Girls, one of the greatest movies out there, because everyone can relate to it.

“In our culture,” she says, “we get rewarded for mean-girl behavior, so we see adults behaving in ways that we typically assign to teens … Getting attention is the most important thing.”

According to Wiseman, the part of your brain that can recognize future consequences and choose between good and bad behavior fully develops at the age of 25. As a teacher, she saw some girls reach this maturity by the age of 15 or 16. ” On the other hand, we see lots of women in their 30s, 40s, and beyond acting more foolishly than their daughters. “It’s not fair to say they are acting like a teenager,” says Wiseman, “because some teenagers are very mature.”

So what does it all boil down to, ladies?

Well, to be honest, I’m not really sure. This was just one that I felt compelled to write based on recent events. But maybe we can all just try to be a little more sensitive to one another, try not to take things so personally, and scale back on the gossip. I know, we all say we don’t do it, but when work gets boring and someone starts telling a tale about you-know-who, no one is blameless in listening in.

Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.”

 Dr. Joyce Brothers

 

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