If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive. – Audre Lorde
Also published at Elephant Journal.
I refuse to be the “chill girl.”
If you interrupt me I will not let it slide.
I will pull you up on it, to the awkwardness and embarrassment of everyone else in the conversation.
And say “can you tell me why what you have to say is more important than what I have to say?”
Even if my voice shakes, even if I don’t want to do it, I will.
Because I’d rather be called a bitch for standing firm in my boundaries
I’d rather create that palpable riff of social friction
Than be hailed ‘chill’ for always swallowing my tongue and putting others comfort and needs before mine.
If you tell me “I am not like other girls”
That I am “easygoing”
I will not take that as a compliment
Other girls are funny and brilliant and loud and terrifying and intuitive and fierce and emotional and powerful
Easygoing? No. I don’t go easy.
I am made up of little pieces of every woman I’ve ever met.
If you make a throwaway, lighthearted joke that grates at my values
Against everything I stand for
That shows your refusal to look at your privilege
To see what’s really there
If you speak words that seek to make anyone who does not look, talk, eat or love like you, feel like less
I will not laugh
Even if it’s one word, one joke you used without even thinking about it
I will call you in to re-evaluate
And I won’t care that you’re in a rush or you’re embarrassed or you just want to get on with whatever it was you were doing
Because I’d expect people to do the same to me
Because we all have a long way to go and there is not time for complacency any more.
“She’s cool. She’s chill. She’s a guys girl.”
God, how I used to crave that in my younger years. How being seen as low-maintenance was a badge of honour.
What that says to me now?
She’s swallowing her tongue. She’s bending and warping just to fit in. She is threatened by other women.
“You know those girls who, like, plaster themselves in make-up?”
Yes. What about them?
What does the amount of powder someone puts on their face in the morning have to do with who they are as a person?
Sometimes I come from the surf every morning and stay bare-faced all week
Other times I can spend hours in front of the mirror, blending different shades of brown in the creases of my eyelids
Following my cupids bow with blood red lipstick
Until there isn’t a square millimetre of bare skin left of my face
Why? Because it’s fun. Because it makes me happy. Because I can.
“Guys prefer a more minimal look”
Real men prefer whatever the fuck a woman wants to do to express herself and feel good
“She’s high maintenance.”
Firstly, she’s not a high performance car that needs constant tending to.
Or a Bonsai tree
She’s a human.
Sorry if you need clarification on what that means
Sorry that she has an inner world just as rich and layered as yours
And ambitions that could swallow the sun
Sorry she won’t fold seamlessly into your life, tight-fitting and flexible like lycra.
If you wanted someone who adored you
Who followed you wherever you wanted to go
Who came at every whistle and call
I hate to be the one to break this to you,
But I think what you are looking for is a puppy, not a girlfriend.
Yes. Humans are multi faceted. Not every woman feels the need to roar at the sky.
Some women are more free flowing water than fire, and I get that. And I love both.
But this is different.
Being the chill girl is when you bite down on your own desires, thoughts and needs
Out of fear of not being accepted. Out of the belief that they are not important.
Its when you decide your emotions are too ´messy´and you’d be more desirable
If you just pretended they weren’t there.
Its when you don’t honour your boundaries
Out of fear of being seen as a bitch or a stuck-up or, my favourite, a “difficult woman”
Its when you say I’m not like the other girls
And wear it like a badge of honour.
No. I will never be the chill girl.
Feature image: Cait Miers Photography