Editor’s Note: This is a continuation of our core conversation, “Extraordinary Women Change the World.” In our first post, I introduced our Core Conversation series and how women’s empowerment has manifested in my own life. Today, Woman Extraordinaire, Michele Woodward, the founder of MicheleWoodward.com and author of I Am Not Superwoman! and Lose Weight, Find Love, De-Clutter & Save Money , shows us how Mean Girls, Tina Fey, and John Lennon can guide us to better relationships with other women.
A few months ago my 16 year old daughter and I were lazing around on a Sunday afternoon and she mildly asked if I’d like to watch her favorite DVD with her. Now, if you have a 16 year old of any gender in your house, you know how strikingly unique that request truly is. Most teenagers rocket out the door just as fast and as often as they can, taking any available money from your wallet along with your car keys and some unsuitable boy.
So, I fully appreciated the meaning of my daughter’s request and quickly said yes in the event she changed her mind and would prefer to lock herself in her room with Facebook for a few hundred hours.
She popped in 2004’s “Mean Girls”.
Do you know the film? Written by Tina Fey before she was Famous-Sarah-Palin-
I’d seen the film, oh, 312 times, because it’s really funny (it’s Tina Fey, people!) but this time for some reason I watched it with different eyes.
And what I saw was a dark truth about relationships between women – a dark truth rarely discussed:
Mean girls exist in the real world. In the adult world. In my world. In your world.
For all the talk that goes, “You’re my sister! I love you! I support you! I’m your Facebook friend! Here on the Interwebs, I am your champion!” there’s also plenty of rumor-mongering, backstabbing and trash talking. And that’s just on Twitter.
Yes, I saw it in the movie. I see it in real life.
Adult mean girls are just as possessed with shoring up their egos as the Plastics in the movie. What mean girls really want is sycophants to buoy their own ego. And they will go to any lengths to get what they want.
I don’t mean to bring you down. But the harsh reality is:
Not every woman in your circle really wants the best for you.
Not every woman in your circle will support you.
Not every woman in your circle gives a rat’s ass about your “empowerment.”
And if you have mean girls in your circle, then… you’re in the wrong circle, girl.
Get out, and get out now.
Because there is nothing more beautiful than true, unfettered support – woman to woman.
There is nothing better than knowing that another woman has your back.
That she wants nothing from you other than to be your friend.
That she doesn’t want to be Plastic either, and will show you her true self.
That you trust her, and she trusts you, and because of that – you trust yourself.
That, sisters, is a beautiful thing.
And, in my best John Lennon style, I ask you to imagine. Imagine there were no mean girls.
Imagine that when one of ”˜em tried to work her evil Plastic voodoo on you – you just got up and left?
What would we have then? No hell below us, above us only true friends.
I like that.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but – hey – I’m not the only one.
There’s me, there’s you. And there’s Tina Fey.
Angela Wheeler says
Michele, thank you so much for sharing this here at PF. Your work is truly inspiring for women. I love “I Am Not Superwoman.” So approachable to such a wide audience. I remember my mother-in-law sitting down and reading the book and laughing out loud at times. What I love is that my mother-in-law and I loved the same book. Now, THAT is rare.
“Because there is nothing more beautiful than true, unfettered support – woman to woman.” So beautifully said. It’s our sisters (by blood and by choice) that can be our greatest sources of love and support throughout our lives.
Denise Canellos says
Great post, Michele. I am amazed how much adult life is still like high school. When we realize that there is enough for everyone, there is no “perfect,” and we all have something valuable to offer we will finally say goodbye to the mean girls. A girl can dream big…
Oh, and let’s be sure we aren’t being mean to ourselves – that really has to stop.
Angela Wheeler says
@Denise Canellos “…let’s be sure we aren’t being mean to ourselves – that really has to stop.” Yes, absolutely. We have to love ourselves and be kind, be gentle.
@michelewoodward Thank you for being part of the conversation. I love how you used #MeanGirls to get to #empowerment. @CharlieGilkey
Such a wise post, Michele. I think that when true sisters (soul sisters, as I tend to think) connect in this spirit of love and support, mountains can be moved.
Fairground Media says
I’m late to the party, unfortunately, but this is such a great post! I’m constantly shocked by the way women speak of even their “best” friends behind their backs. Here’s to removing toxic influences from our adult lives. Thanks for writing, Michele.