By Nuala Murray
No doubt you’ve heard it said, seen it written or even said it yourself. It’s not new. For a long time, it was the ultimate compliment or at least, a sure way to secure a blockbuster movie trilogy.
It begs a lot of questions.
Who precisely is the Other Girl?
How do I avoid becoming an Other Girl?
What if I am unknowingly liking something that the Other Girl would like?
When should I stop liking it?
Do I announce that I don’t like it?
What if I’m too late and I have already been corralled in with the Other Girls??
How do I escape??
Do I have to Kill-Bill my way out of here with a samurai sword or am I caring too much like the Other Girl already does???
And so on.
If the spiralling seems familiar to you, congratulations, you’ve made it to the other side. If not, you have just experienced a sample workload of the female brain.
I argue, that the female friendship is the world’s greatest commodity. True, rich and undiluted female companionship. It could fuel spaceships. Womanhood and femininity, be it loud or quiet, soft or rageful hellfire, has an ability to transform simplicity into true happiness. As soon as we begin to recognise that being more like our fellow woman leads to exponential bliss and laughter, it’ll be a damn good day. When the allure of seeing each other as competition wears off and the ‘race’ you were running on turns out to be nothing more than a hamster wheel, the Other Girl will more than likely be your greatest source of love.
I do believe that no one is, or was, immune to the fear of ‘Other Girl’. We’re told, men and women alike, that we should be moulding ourselves into someone that everyone should simultaneously think is cool. And attractive. And unique.
This task is a lifelong occupation and incredibly, unequivocally and relentlessly, difficult. It’s a life without reward at the end. The dangling carrot that’s never caught. It is impossible and heartbreaking.
There is an alternative route and reward out there! If you can successfully crawl through the teenage years and if you can bear to wait for it, there will be a moment. Big or small but a moment, when you get to sit comfortably, when your face is allowed to fall naturally, when you get to laugh with every part of your body, when the act of existing completely as you are, is easy. And it is amazing.
When that happens, the urge to share it becomes UNRULY. The alternative is exhausting.
Why be anything other than what I am? Wholeheartedly, just like other girls.