You know the type. They’re pretty, they’re popular, and you just KNOW they’re shallow. They have no depth. They think they’re the greatest little tanned bodies south of the Mason Dixon line. They could wear the exact same outfit as you and be the winner of “Who Wore It Best?” every time. You know what else they are? Totally unapproachable. When they walk up to the group you’re talking with you think, “What do I have to say to her?” and “How can she take this perfectly great conversation and turn it in to something I have no input on whatsoever?” We all have those girls that we don’t want to talk to. The girls you don’t even want to see. Those snotty, two-faced, fancy pants-wearing, jerks. Ugh.
Wait a second. Let’s fast forward a few years from the above way of thinking. Let’s go to my first year working as a big girl. There were a few people that I “met” whom I had already known. Particularly, a girl who I graduated high school with. We never had the same classes, and hung out with different crowds. After a few months of working together, we became pretty good friends. We were so comfortable, in fact, that she shared something with me. “I always thought you were kind of snobby.” she said to me once. Pshew! WHAT?! My brain imploded on itself. I asked her why and she really couldn’t give me a reason. We had never spoken to each other before working together. We just knew who the other person was. How could she think I was snobby without knowing anything about me?! I wasn’t even one of those pretty girls who woke up early enough to be that cute.
This was the first time I wondered if people thought of me in this way. I’d always hoped people liked me, or thought I was cool (which I was not), but I’d never once thought anyone would think I was a snob. I couldn’t believe that someone had labeled me unapproachable. I wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t a snob. What had I done to make her think that I put myself above everyone else? Then, it hit me. What had “those girls” done? Why did I find them unapproachable. Why did I take them as unfriendly and arrogant? Because they were pretty? Because they worked out and took care of their bodies? Because they cared about themselves enough to take a shower, brush their hair, and put a little lip gloss on before going out in public? OH MY GOD I AM A SNOB. I was a reverse snob. I judged people for looking their best. I took people as shallow based only on their appearances. How shallow is that? I had invented personalities of people I didn’t know who I thought were better than me. Because I thought they were prettier, funnier, smarter, or more popular than I was, I just assumed they agreed. They probably wouldn’t even want to talk to me. What could I say that would keep their attention?
It’s so scary how our brains work. We can create disdain for someone based on fantasies in our heads. Looking all the way back to middle school, there was a girl who I just didn’t like. She was super cute, super nice, and everyone liked her. She was even nice to me. She would say “Hi” to me and ask me questions about myself, and I just hated her. I knew that she was only mocking me. She was only being nice to me to keep up her “good girl” persona. I wish I could go back in time and punch myself in the face and say, “SHE IS TRYING TO BE YOUR FRIEND, YOU IDIOT!” Since I can’t, I will just learn from my mistakes and remind myself that the best thing to do, is to assume everyone is just like me.
Everyone is self-conscious. Everyone thinks that people are looking at them when they aren’t. Someone out there right now probably thinks I’m a major you-know-what based on some weird perception they had of me in eighth grade.
The best way I fight this instinctive feeling to avoid “those girls” is to remind myself that someone once told me they thought I was one of them. I ask them questions and try to get to know them, and almost every time, I find out that it was only my little middle school voice trying to scream out of the deepest crevices of my brain. One day, I will get to her and smother her with a pillow. Until then, a toast to the popular girls-I know you can’t help it.