“I’m not like
other girls, you know?”
she tilts her head back
and smiles strangely at me
like she’s inviting me in
on a little secret she’s been waiting to tell me
When I ask her
exactly what does she mean by that
rolling her shoulders up and down
“just that -
I’m just not like the rest.
I actually eat
I don’t wear make up -
I’m just not like them.”
So you’re saying
every other girl is stupid
and every other girl never eats
and every other girl wears make up
every other girl is a mile high billboard
six feet tall
with photoshopped skin
and a waist roughly the size of your ankle.
You see one of these girls in the mall
and you turn your nose up at them
sneering – how silly they are
how stereotypical they are
I’m not like them
I’m better than them.
But in reality
other girls don’t actually exist
other girls is something
told to us
from the day we first learned
that pink was our color
and make up was our thing
and our boyfriends are supposed to hold our purses
and wait for us outside.
much like Snow White
and much like Cinderella
is a bed time story
told to you every single second
of every single day;
you grew up
learning to hate every other girl
you grew up
on the idea that what has been
assigned to your gender -
by a society
and a media
that wants to make money off of you -
is something to be sneered at
you grew up
on the notion that pretty and thin
are synonymous with stupid and vapid
But isn’t that they want us to be?
Isn’t that what they’ve been telling us to be?
Because if we’re not pretty and thin
then we’re not worth anyone’s time
but then if we are pretty and thin
we’re turned into a joke.
A joke – like
a 23 year old woman
who’s been producing and writing
her own music since she was sixteen years old
being reduced to nothing more
than the sum of her boyfriends
a joke – like
a 22 year old man
who’s been producing and writing
his own music since he was sixteen years old
who is applauded and respected
and even that
boils down to other girls -
other girls date your favorite boy band member
other girls are pretty and thin
other girls are ‘sluts.’
Other girls are the enemy
pretty girls are the enemy
because we’ve been taught that pretty girls
get every thing so much easier
but this is only true
in the sense that they get
the burdens that we all must face
handed to them on a silver platter
instead of on a wooden plank
and is it so much better
What is it that you hate so much
about your own gender
that compels you to separate yourself
and claim yourself as above them?
Don’t you see that when you divide us into ranks
we create an enemy on the inside
while the real enemy
1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.
2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.
3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.
5. Always use ‘we’ when referring to your home team or your government.
6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
7. Don’t underestimate free throws in a game of ‘horse’.
8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
9. Don’t dumb it down.
10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.
11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.
12. Never park in front of a bar.
13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.
14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first boy/girlfriend.
15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.
16. A suntan is earned, not bought.
17. Never lie to your doctor.
18. All guns are loaded.
19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.
20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.
21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.
22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.
23. A handshake beats an autograph.
24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.
25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.
26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.
28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.
29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.
30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.
31. Eat lunch with the new kids.
32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.
33. It’s never too late for an apology.
34. Don’t pose with booze.
35. If you have the right of way, take it.
36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.
37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.
38. Never push someone off a dock.
39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she’s pregnant.
40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry; live up to it.
41. Don’t make a scene.
42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.
43. Know when to ignore the camera.
44. Never gloat.
45. Invest in good luggage.
46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day, too.
47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.
48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.
49. Give credit. Take blame.
50. Suck it up every now and again.
51. Never be the last one in the pool.
52. Don’t stare.
53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.
54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.
55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.
56. Admit it when you’re wrong.
57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.
58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.
59. Thank the bus driver.
60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.
61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
62. Know at least one good joke.
63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.
64. Know how to cook one good meal.
65. Learn to drive a stick shift.
66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.
67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.
68. Dance with your mother/father.
69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.
70. Always thank the host.
71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.
72. Know the size of your boy/girlfriend’s clothes.
73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.
74. Be a good listener. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.
75. Keep your word.
76. In college, always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately.
77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.
78. Be patient with airport security. They’re just doing their jobs.
79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.
80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.
81. You are what you do, not what you say.
82. Learn to change a tire.
83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.
84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.
85. Don’t litter.
86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.
87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest. But you can be the toughest.
88. Never call someone before 9am or after 9pm.
89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.
90. Make the little things count.
91. Always wear a bra at work.
92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.
93. You’re never too old to need your mom.
94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date, commit to keeping them on and keeping your trap shut about how much your feet kill.
95. Know the words to your national anthem.
96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun then sitting on the bench alone.
97. Smile at strangers.
98. Make goals.
99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.
100. If you have to fight, punch first and punch hard.”