The Perks of Being a Woman: A Tale of Female Friendship
This is a series of stories I’ll revisit on my blog anytime I REALLY enjoy being a woman. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the negative parts of womanhood such as the struggle of monthly pains, feeling continuously crazy due to hormonal changes, outward pressures of looking good, the juxtaposition between work and home, and the list could go on. However, there are some really wonderful things about being a woman. I admit, sometimes I begrudge my womanhood, but when it’s all said and done, I’d never trade it for the world. This series will celebrate all those perks of being a woman.
Current State of the Female Friend
Female friendships seem to be getting a bad wrap these days. I applaud their focus on women empowering women instead of depending on a man for their happiness. But with celebrities like Taylor Swift flaunting her squad around social media, and Beyonce and Nicki snapping shots of their matching outfits, these social media curated friendships can leave ours feeling inadequate. We start questioning our own friendships, wondering if they are strong or close enough. Maybe I don’t have enough girlfriends! Maybe I don’t spend enough time eating fancy brunches with them! Maybe I’m not showing them off enough on social media!
Articles have been written about the positive and negative effects of the barrage of these celebrity friendships all over the internet. Some claim it’s a positive step toward feminine empowerment, while others say it portrays a mere picturesque, unattainable rendition of female “friendship” sans the nitty gritty of every day life. I’ll be the first to admit that these inundations sometimes make me question the strength of my own friendships and if they are cool enough, strong enough, deep enough and interesting enough (read this to the tune of Stronger by Kanye).
Wake Up Call
However, after this weekend, I feel absurd for letting those measly posts instigate such thoughts. I am blessed to be surrounded by strong, interesting, big-hearted women. I have also been blessed to call these women my friends since I was in college. We’ve celebrated life together and mourned together, but most importantly supported and encouraged each other through it all. Even when I lived 19 hours away, we still managed to pull off our secret santa tradition and stay in touch. These women are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, lawyers, journalists, doctors and my best friends.
Each one of them have taught me the importance of being a friend and the benefits of strong female companionship. When you surround yourself with people that truly love you, those individuals who are honest, relentless in their loyalty, and sincerely have your best interest at heart, you feel unstoppable. You feel like family. You are family. This type of community is rare, but when you find it, hold onto it.
It’s Raining Compliments
Saturday night, I attended my first bachelorette party in honor of one of my best friends. The night was consumed with laughter, poll dancing (stay tuned for that article), eating, drinking, playing games and sharing stories. One of my favorite things about female friendships are the compliments — those unabashed showers of confidence only friends can give. “I love that dress.” “Your hair looks amazing.” “It’s so shiny.” “You smell amazing; what is that scent?” If you haven’t made your friend slightly uncomfortable with compliments when she enters a room, you haven’t done your job as her best friend. This exact exchange occurred last night when one of the ladies entered the party. I remember someone exclaiming, “This is why I love being a girl.”
When you have healthy female friendships, you should feel confident. If you currently find yourself in a female (or male) “friendship” that doesn’t make you feel strong, confident and vital, it’s probably time to re-examine those relationships, even if your brunch Instagrams are beautiful. Genuine female friendships are a diamond in the rough, so when you find them, hold tight and count those blessings!
What are your favorite things about your female (or male) friendships?
**Featured photo is a beautiful sketch from my best friend’s little girl, CeCe Downs. She drew a picture of her Aunties, paying special attention to our different hair color. She added her little brother to the right.