The Patriarchy Ate My Friendship
They are friends. They sit across from one another at a table in the common’s area– each with a laptop. They are programmed to think somehow they are either superior or inferior to the other based on societal standards towards beauty. The inferior one is looking at the superior girl’s Facebook page. In every picture, the inferior girl is glowing. Tall, tan skin, toned midriff. The inferior girl wishes she could be just a few inches taller, a few inches smaller around the waist. The superior girl is not looking at the inferior girl’s Facebook page but is instead browsing a Buzzfeed article about Kylie Jenner. No words escape their mouths as they immerse themselves in social networking. The superior girl’s phone vibrates. There is a text message from Kara asking where they are so she can meet up with them. Kara always texts the superior one first. “Kara’s meeting up with us,” the superior girl says to the inferior girl in a bitter tone. The inferior girl clicks over to Kara’s Facebook page and looks through all the pictures from last night. They are holding up bottles of UV Blue Vodka and Sprite, making kissy faces and groping each other’s boobs. The inferior girl looks like she is trying too hard with that shade of orange where her skin should be. The superior girl laughed about it in the bathroom last night, “Tan can’t hide fat!” she exclaimed in a piercing cackle right before taking a selfie in the bathroom mirror. “She’s not fat! And her hair rocks,” Kara said defensively, “Why do you have to be such a bitch all the time?” “Whatever.” the superior girl said rolling her eyes and chugging her beer. ILY! SRSLY! I can’t wait to PARTAY again w/you girl! :D the inferior girl posts onto Kara’s Facebook wall. The superior girl sees this and wants to be the most-liked. She dm’s the inferior girl even though they are sitting across from each other: Isn’t Kara ANNOYING? Such a basic bitch. The inferior girl types back OMG I KNOW RIGHT because they are friends and she wants the superior girl to like her and she wants to hate and love all the same things that the superior girl hates and loves because maybe she’ll never have to show up to parties alone and then maybe she’ll stop hating herself for not looking like Kylie Jenner because finally someone will think she is good enough, finally someone will know how cool and cute she is and maybe she will get that boy who looks the other way whenever she smiles at him to finally smile back at her. She is such a slut the superior girl types. The inferior girl looks up from the screen and makes eye contact with the superior girl who then smiles. The superior girl thinks it’s funny because nobody knows that she had sex with that guy in the bathroom last night. The one with the black, flat billed cap. The one that took Kara to the movies last week. The one that Kara likes. She then types She dresses like a slut too! The inferior girl stares at the pictures of Kara from last night. Her shirt is pale blue, tight but modest, flattering. The inferior girl wants to wear that shirt. She wants to look like Kara when she wears that shirt. Kara is so fucking goddamn beautiful she can hardly stand it, so she types back to the superior girl I fucking love you bitch! You are hilarious! LOL Suddenly, the superior girl shuts her computer. “Hey, slut,” she says in a playful tone, giving a wink to the inferior girl. Kara stands at their table, bright and shining, oblivious. The inferior girl thinks the superior girl is a sly devil and gives her a knowing smile. Kara smiles too and laughs a bit, but just because she’s happy to see them. She’s happy to see her friends after such a fun night. She sits down at the table next to the inferior girl and opens her laptop. The inferior girl thinks Kara smells amazing, that she is so fucking nice and pretty. She hates her. The superior girl can’t believe that Kara didn’t sit next to her, she hates that basic bitch. They smile at one another. They are friends.
Azia Archer wishes people would stop being such assholes to one another and realize societal standards are bullshit. You can find her online via Twitter @aziaarcher. About this piece: "I wrote this after witnessing two girls talk major shit about their friend and then her sitting down oblivious to what had just been said. It drove me crazy. My heart hurt for all of them."