Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of female role models in my life. All my dance teachers were men. All athletes I looked up to were men. I listened to male music artists. I had a strong relationship with my dad. I didn’t really get along with my mom. I had more male friends that female friends – I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Females basically S-C-A-R-E-D the sh*t out of me.
To me, girls were more likely to undermine each other behind each others backs. Guys would just compete in sports and beat each other up if they had a problem, and then they would move on from there.
I definitely didn’t trust my own gender for many reasons, and it wasn’t until two years ago that I realized the importance of strong female relationships.
Being “One Of The Guys”
When I was around 17 I switched from one class to another, and had the experience of being “The New Girl” in an environment with a few girls and a lot of guys. Being new was definitely difficult, and I didn’t connect with more than two girls right away. Therefore, I always hung out with the guys, since they felt safer.
They were silly, fun, sarcastic, and did a lot of dumb funny sh*t that never failed to make me laugh. They would tell me if they were upset, not take everything so literal, and even though they were always there for me – I didn’t owe them anything, and they didn’t owe me anything.
I loved playing sports, majority of the girls didn’t – so again, I would naturally play with the guys.
As a result of hanging out with the opposite gender, the girls became less and less friendly, I got more nervous around them, and my solution ended up being: Stay tf out of their way.
And then it began: “She’s only hanging out with the guys to get with them”.
Confrontation – Hell no
We all went to a music festival in the summer. The 8 girls shared a tent, while my best female friend and I shared another. My tactic was still to physically stay out of their way and just be with the guys that I considered as friends.
We had the most fun playing ridiculous drinking games like this body bowling game in the rain, where you would put on a classic trash bag like a dress, pour shampoo on a tarpaulin, throw yourself on your stomach, and slide like a big fat penguin to hit all the empty beer cans with your body. (I told you, it was ridiculous).
Then a girl from the big girl’s-tent tapped me on the shoulder:
“Can I talk to you for a second?”
“Just a heads up – the girls in our tent are talking about that they think you’re just trying to steal our guys, so if I were you, I would probably back off.”
I said: “Oh okay, uhm, thank you”, smiled, went back into the tent and cried. It’s very humiliating and embarrassing knowing that people are talking about you like that. Especially when you’re a teenager.
How I (didn’t) deal with it
I was the only girl who didn’t get invited to a birthday party, this one time when we were all pregaming and I finally thought we were cool, I would leave the room for a second, just to come back to someone whispering: “They all just talked about you and what you just said, when you were gone”.
I don’t know if I would call it bullying, because it was so subtle and indirect, yet so hurtful. And I never said anything to either them, to my family or anyone else.
My closest male friends started picking up on it and gave me a hug every time something happened, but in the end I was anxious to a point where I made up an excuse to drop out of the class and switch to another.
Years later, I decided to let females into my life again, but as my best female friend unfortunately slept with my ex-boyfriend, my brain decided once for all:
Do not trust females ever again. They will hurt you.
Moving To Los Angeles
Imagine being terrified of females. Then imagine walking into audition rooms with hundreds of strong, sexy, confident, well-dressed, fit, talented, passionate women that are there to stand out and book a job in The City Of Los Angeles. Yoooo, it was intimidating the first year, and I always assumed that every single female dancer hated me more than Joe Exotic and Carol Baskin hate each other.
I stayed away from heels classes (also known as the epicenter of strong female energy) and went to fun, up-tempo classes instead taught by – yes, you guessed it, male teachers. I admired how the male dancers always hung out in big groups, and instantly called each other “brother” after literally meeting each other once.
I didn’t think that would ever be possible in a female environment.
When Things Changed
I’m not sure exactly how or when it happened, but things started to change. Maybe because the entertainment industry forces you to be around your own gender so much. I started meeting low-maintenance women, sarcastic women, emotional women, “who-the-f**ck-cares”- women, women that were fun, women that didn’t gossip, laid-back women, spontaneous women etc. etc.
It’s shocking how mind blowing that was to me.
I wish I would have discovered earlier how important female relationships are. I finally have so many strong women in my life, that I am proud to call my friends. And now that I have them, I have no idea how I would ever survive in this world without them.
Women need each other
For the longest time I took pride in definitely not being one of the girls. I didn’t look at being a woman as something positive. But wow, it is. We won the lottery, ladies – minus period cramps and the whole giving-birth-to-a-watermelon-sized-alien-part that’s yet to come.
Women need women. We need the support from other females, who understand what we’re going through, in a way only women can. You can share things without being judged, without feeling shame and without having to explain yourself – because they know what it’s like.
And then the most awesome part: Associating with other strong females will make you stronger.
Why I am sharing this
This is all very vulnerable since I’ve never talked about it, but I’m sharing it anyway, hoping that it ressonates with someone out there who’s going through what I went through. It’s important to me to tell you that even if it doesn’t always look like it, there are so many strong, supportive and loving females out there, that are waiting to be your friend.
And if anyone – male or female – is making you second guess yourself and your worth, if anyone is making you feel like you don’t belong, just know, that these people are not your people.
But not until you let go of environments and people that hurt you, you will have space in your heart to let the right people in. I know, because I lived it. And I learned that the only way I can find out if I can trust a woman, is by trusting her.
You got this <3