Rachel Paige
October 04, 2014 6:16 am

Do you know what’s worse than an underwire bra digging into your side all day? Perceptions of female friendships. Why is it assumed that all female friendships are made in the same stale, cookie-cutter shape? Movies and TV seem to have given up trying to create a variety of different females, and instead stick to the same boring clichés, time after time. There’s always a Mean Girl in every group. Then there’s one girl who rejects all girly behaviors and interests. But most of our friendships don’t fit this model.

Female friendships are vital to our lives. Think of how many good, close girl friends you have, and think about why you need each and every single one of them in your life. The way TV and movies depict women’s relationships often belittles the awesome, deep connections we have with each other. It’s about time we retire outdated misconceptions about women and friendships once and for all and reinvent how female friendships are portrayed for the world to see. Below are a few ideas that need to go.

1. Women are not always fighting over boys

Like, OMG, he’s so cute, and I’ll be so upset if you go over and talk to him. I mean it, Regina. Like, did you see how Aaron looked at me the other day? It’s like we’re practically dating already. Don’t go and talk to him. I’ll be so upset. Like, I couldn’t get over something like that.

That took a lot of strength out of me to even write like that, let alone pretend that there are hordes of females out there fighting over the same guy with their best friends. There’s never a scenario where you should think you need to compete with another girl (especially a friend) for a guy. If there’s ever a situation where a guy is trying to choose between you and your best friend, shutting that down is your best move. Relationships shouldn’t begin with a contest, and proving to your best friend that you deserve that guy more is just unhealthy. Stop making this a major plot point, mainstream media!

2. Females do not decide their bridal party at birth

It might sound like a good idea to ask your best friend from preschool to be your maid of honor or to include your ballet partner from second grade as your bridesmaid. However, unless you’re seeing these girls on a regular basis, maybe they’re not the best picks for your bridal party. For some reason, Hollywood assumes childhood friends stay your friends forever. No matter the distance or time zone or even financial situation, of course the girls who knew you before you wore training bras will be at your wedding. It’s a nice thought, but . . .

Friendships evolve and that’s perfectly fine. Why do I constantly see fictional bridal parties composed of childhood friends? It makes me feel super guilty that I haven’t stayed close with my preschool gang, but that’s life. We all pick different paths. Sometimes, that means we move really far away and sometimes, that means friends naturally drift apart. Stop showing me that female friendships last forever. I’ve only known my best friend for three years, but that doesn’t make her any less of a BFF. It feels like I’ve known her since birth, and that’s what’s really important.

3. All females do not love to share clothing

As much as I love my friends, there is no way one of them is ever going to raid my closet. Remember, females are built differently, so it’s unlikely even one friend of mine fits my exact size. Shoes, bust and butt size varies from girl to girl. While we can agree that the book and movie are great, those traveling pants lied to us.

4. Strong females are not always struggling for power

If two women work together, they can maintain a semi-civil relationship, but the second something like a promotion is dangled in front of their faces, it’s every woman for herself. Women in high-power positions clearly can’t be friends with other women in high-power positions without there being a power clash. There can only be one alpha female. Duh. Everyone knows that.

False. Are you in charge? Do you currently feel threatened by other females in charge? No? Are you just super excited to know that there are so many females in high-ranking positions, initiating change and making the world a better place? Do you wish you had more females with you right now because we get stuff done? That’s what I thought.

5. Not all women pretend to be the Spice Girls/Disney princesses/Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte & Samantha/other girl groups

Okay, you know what, this one might actually be true. But the notion that we still carry on, as teenagers and adults, with these fantastical images in our heads is false. Just because we’re in a group of other females doesn’t mean that we’re going to self-label ourselves into stock characters. There’s no one in the group that needs to be labeled as the ‘baby,’ just like no one else needs to proclaim that they’re ‘Cinderella.’ Time to retire those descriptions. In their place, we can use adjectives that include, but are not limited to: strong, successful, funny, smart, caring, generous, loving, etc. Those are the female best friends we want to see.

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