When you hear the label mean girls, you are probably brought back to the retched days of high school or junior high when insecurities in girls ran high. I know that’s what comes to my mind. I think about the girl Kristen who constantly teased me in junior high because my grades weren’t very good. I recall the embarrassment I faced when Nicole and Amy would follow me down the halls of high school and bark at me. Mostly, I think about the moments I felt insecure and put down other girls to make myself feel better.
When I think back to the days of when insecurity ran through my blood and so devilishly came out of me by hurting another, I feel upset inside. However, I know that once I recognized what I was doing I made a change immediately. The moment I decided to rid of my insecurities and realized I am awesome, I also rid of all the mean bones in my body.
For nearly a decade I only faced a little harassment from mean girls. I think it’s because after high school and all the puberty stuff most girls realize that there’s no need to be insecure. We realize there is nobody you should love more than yourself and you should always love yourself just the way you are. In recent months though, I’ve started to take on a lot of ridicule for writing and talking about sex. I knew it would happen, but I forgot just how hurtful it can be.
After my very sexual book, Dating Chase Walker, got published I sat waiting for the ridicule to begin. As a writer, I’ve faced many years of people telling me my writing isn’t good enough so I was pretty numb to people criticizing my work. I expected scholars to ridicule my technical writing and maybe a church group to approach me for talking about sex, but I never expected men and women to attack me personally for putting myself out there.
It began when I received a not so nice message on Twitter from an ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend. Right after that I began receiving other harassing messages and emails from women calling me names like whore and slut. From there things only got worse when I started to receive harassing blocked calls at all hours of the night. It all came at me at once and the pain caused me many tears at first, but then I sat down and really thought about it. I brought myself back to the insecurities I felt in high school when I said things to other girls that I regret. Why did I feel the need to put another person down? Because I wasn’t happy with myself. I was battling something in my head and thought that by bringing someone else down I could feel better. As I thought more about the mean messages, the late night blocked phone calls, the whispers of women as I walked by them in the club, and all the harassment in general, I put myself in their shoes. I didn’t know what was going on in these girl’s personal lives. Maybe my ex’s girlfriend was dealing with personal problems that day. Maybe the girl who whispered “whore” as I walked by her in the club had too much to drink that night. Maybe the person calling me from a blocked number all hours of the night deep down wanted the courage to expose their dreams the way I was. I didn’t know what was making these people feel so hurt and insecure.
Once I began realizing the many causes of insecurity in people, it was so much easier to let the harassment go. I love what I do for a living and if someone has an issue with it, well it shouldn’t bother me. The words I put together might not all be grammatically correct and scholars probably cringe at how I write, but sitting here right now and writing makes me happy. If someone is happy why would you want to do or say anything to them to chip away at their happiness? Who cares if what they do is taboo or if it doesn’t align with your beliefs, it’s their life so let them live it. Don’t put them down and pull them away from what makes them happy. Let them live their dreams and you live yours too!
View more of Jillian Conley’s blog posts here: http://jillianconley.blogspot.com/