Killing Regina George: Confronting Your Inner Mean Girl

How do I begin to explain Regina George?

reginageorgeisflawless

We all know Regina George. That girl who comes to school every day with perfect hair and the cutest outfits, the woman at the gym who sweats in the most beautiful way, the mom in Target with well-behaved children in adorably coordinated outfits, the lady at the office who brings delicious snacks to the break room each week. Everyone has a Regina George in her life.

I can guarantee that every girl and woman can think of at least one girl or woman who has made her feel bad about herself at some point in her life, whether it was intentionally or unintentionally. Many times, it has been intentionally. In fact, most of us can think of more than one Regina George who victimized us at more than one time in our lives. These incidents leave deep scars on us, down in the hidden parts of our hearts that we don’t want anyone to see. And we do a lot of unhealthy things to try to heal that hurt.

liferuiner

But what we learned about Regina George is that she is just as broken as the rest of us. She doesn’t have a good relationship with her mom and dad. She’s been with a lot of guys. She’s insecure about her appearance. She covered up her issues with a cocktail of manipulation, gossip, false compliments, nice cars, and pretty handbags, and created a cold, shiny, hard, plastic veneer to keep the world at bay.

Now, we could all get together and sit in a circle and share our stories and cry and hug and talk about baking a cake of rainbows and smiles and we could all be happy.But if we were honest for one second, we’d realize that it’s only a temporary fix, a small Dollar Store Hello Kitty band-aid over a gaping, festering wound.

alotoffeelings

I think we need to approach the problem from a different angle.

All too easily, women play the comparison game. I teach middle school and high school students, and I hear it every day.

“Today, I weighed…”

“Okay, did you hear what she….”

“Oh my god, what was she…”

This greatly distresses me.

Not just because I know how physically, emotionally, and spiritually dangerous this game can be, but also because I know that this is only the beginning for them. Today it’s their bodies and the number of followers they have on Instagram. Then it will shift to boyfriends, colleges, weddings, husbands, careers, income, homes, cars, pregnancies, post-pregnancy bodies, children, parenting skills, and on and on and on. And they will continue to play this game for the rest of their lives.

But the only way we are going to begin to fix this problem is to face the pure, sweet, difficult truth.

There is a Regina George in all of us. And she thinks that she should be better than everyone else.

We know this because our natural reaction when we feel the “injustice” of another woman’s success is not the celebrate but to tear her down. We scoff at the first time mom’s decision to use cloth diapers, calling her “naive” and “idealistic” despite her thorough research and careful decisions. We downplay our neighbor’s healthy weight loss by crediting good genes or an excess of free time instead of recognizing the hard work and dedication it took to get there. We ignore our own unique beauty and the beauty of other women around us because we’re too caught up in measuring beauty by unrealistic magazines and Pinterest boards. We keep our own personal “burn books” in our hearts and visit the pages whenever we’re feeling sad, angry, disappointed, or inadequate.

burnbook

It’s time to kill Regina George.

It’s time each of us recognized that little Regina George in all of us and pushed her in front of a speeding school bus.

“Regina George is an evil dictator. And how do you destroy an evil dictator? You cut off their resources.”

#1) Stop surrounding yourself with women who let their inner Reginas thrive.

#2) Practice thinking about yourself in a realistic way.

#3) Be excited for the women in your life. And not just your friends.

It’s going to be so fetch.

When your wedding is more popular than you are.

I have been a wordpress blogger since September of 2011. Since then, I have had a total of 722 views. It’s safe to assume that at least 100 of these views have been from my mom.

On April 29th of this year, I told a certain young man that I would marry him. I was telling the truth. Several days later I built a wedding website, courtesy of theknot.com.

As of today, that website has had 825 views.

The conclusion? My upcoming wedding is more popular than I am.

As an aspiring writer, I am enormously offended. Just because a handsome and talented young man puts a gloriously radiant ring on my finger, suddenly I am interesting, witty, and charming.

I have always been interesting, witty, and charming.

Perhaps not. More like snarky, biting, and abrasive. In my defense, people seem to like that. That’s why the reanimated corpse of Joan Rivers has her own show on the E! Channel.

So why this sudden surge of popularity? There are several possibilities.

1) People are assuming it will be outrageously tacky and they are pumped to have a good laugh over it. If that is the case, I’m uninviting everyone ever.

2) People think it is a joke and that any day we’ll pull a great big “SIKE!” If this is the case….I’m indignant.

3) People have heard me talk about my “Beyonce sang at my wedding” dream so much that they think it’s real. Well, as of yet, Beyonce has yet to respond to any of my letters, facebook messages, emails, telegrams, tweets, carrier pigeons, or smoke signals. But if anything changes, I’ll let you guys know.

But really, the only obvious answer is that I am marrying the coolest person on earth.

Seriously, the guy that I get to marry (I’m purposely not using his name to appear more mysterious, though I’m pretty sure most of my readership knows him in real life) is the nicest person ever. People love him. He can talk to anyone, and they feel like he really cares about what they have to say, because he does. There’s no phoniness about him at all.

He loves helping people. Helping them move things, helping them do yard work, helping them find jobs.

He makes people and his relationships with them a priority.

He is easy going, kind, funny, fun loving. He is eternally optimistic, one of the things I love most about him.

He is wildly creative and he loves sharing that with people.

He’s the coolest person ever and I couldn’t be happier with anyone on earth, not even Zac Efron. (I can’t believe I said that but it’s true!!)

So if I’m cooler by association because I’m with the most over-the-moon incredible guy, I am perfectly fine with that.

But I would like for all of you to subscribe to my blog. Just sayin’.

PS: Here’s the link to the wedding website. http://SmolenParker.ourwedding.com

PPS: I realize this is a little more sappy than my usual stuff. Cut me some slack! I’m in love!

Stuff Christian Girls Say

Christian girls speak their own dialect of English. Who really knows what “Where’s my Boaz?” means other than Christian girls? They make so many obscure Biblical references that even hipsters don’t know what they’re talking about.

“I want to be an Esther!”

Translation: I want the cute, popular guy to notice my humble beauty.

“Where’s my Solomon to tempt me with apples and figs in the vineyard of our marriage?”

Translation: Girl, I need to get married NOW.

“Watch out for the Gomer.”

Translation: That hussy’s shirt is way too low-cut. Lock up your man.

But my favorite thing Christian girls say is this one: “I’m dating Jesus.”

This is probably the single most confusing thing that is said in youth groups and Bible colleges across the country. More confusing than the debate between God’s sovereignty and free will, pre-trib and post-trib rapture, and whether or not Adam and Eve had belly buttons.

Ladies, let’s be honest: Jesus is out of your league.

Dating Jesus is like being on The Bachelor, minus the hot tubs.

I once overheard a guy say, “I don’t know how Jesus has time to listen to my prayers when He’s too busy dating  every girl at Bible college.”

Why do Christian girls think they can get away with the Jesus excuse? 9 out of 10 times it backfires on them. Here’s the deal, when you say “I’m dating Jesus” or “I really need to focus on my relationship with Jesus right now” what a guy hears is “I’m super holy, thus making me an ideal wife candidate, and even though I’m dating Jesus now, I won’t always be, so you should try harder.” The Jesus excuse only prolongs the inevitable, painful, awkward “let’s be friends” talk. And even that conversation is filled with so much ambiguity that it takes hours for the message to get across.

What do I suggest? Just be honest and straightforward: “I’m flattered, but I’m not interested in you.” Simple. Sure, it sounds terrible, but it’s kind of like pulling a tooth. It’ll hurt, but if you leave it in there, it’s only going to hurt more.

#BOOM

The girls are going to be so encouraged.

The Trials and Tribulations of Dating a Musician

Every girl secretly dreams of dating a musician.

Shakespeare said, “If music be the food of love, play on.”

How many times have women listened to songs like “Jesse’s Girl”, “Sweet Caroline”, or “Hey There Delilah” and longed to be the inspiration, the girl standing in the wings backstage, exchanging stolen glances with her musician while he plays to thousands of screaming fans and reveling in the knowledge that they knew his true artist’s soul? *SIGH* Butterflies. It’s the stuff of dreams.

I’m here to blow the lid off that fantasy.

There are hazards to dating a musician. I’m talking about more than just the constant threat of some fast-and-loose groupie trying to scoop your man in a frenzied backstage moment. There are very real, physical, mental, and emotional hazards that every women should take into account before getting involved with a musician. And as different as Beethoven’s 5th symphony is from “Stairway to Heaven”, so are the hazards of dating a drummer over a guitarist, a bassist over a songwriter, a tambourine shaker over a keyboardist. I’ve compiled a helpful guide.

If you’re dating a drummer: BEWARE! You’re in the most physical danger. You are not just the drummer’s girlfriend; you are a piece of percussion equipment. Your drummer may discover he loves the sound of his fingertips slapping out a sweet beat on your upper arm, stomach, or head. Protective gear may sound like a good idea, but it will only increase your man’s desire to drum on you. Additionally, you and your man will experience some issues with communication, because you will never be heard the first time, due to extensive inner ear damage. Be prepared to repeat yourself. And work on your enunciation.

If you’re dating a bassist: I hope you’re a good actress, because let’s be honest; it’s hard to be enthusiastic about bass lines. buuuuhhhhhm……buhbuhbuh…..buuuuuhhhhmmmm……..buhbuhbuhbuhbuh…..“Don’t you love it?…..”That’s so awesome, baby! Your part is the best part of the song! It really fills out the sound!”

If you’re dating a singer/songwriter: Brace yourself for an emotional roller coaster. He’s been quiet and pensive all day, staring off into the distance, barely responding to anything you say. He turns to you with anguish in his eyes. You’re expecting those four dreaded words, “We need to talk”, but the four words that come out of his mouth instead are: “Nothing rhymes with ‘orange'”.  Your man’s happiness depends on his ability to melodically express his thoughts, while rhyming and appearing clever. It’s best to carry a pocket thesaurus in your purse.

Obviously this is not a comprehensive list. These are simply a few observations I have made in recent months and I felt it my duty as a woman to offer fair warning to other women, lest you find yourself the inspiration of a chart topping breakup song. God speed to you all in your quest for musically enriched romance.

Dads and Victoria’s Secret

“Where did that come from???”

The answer was pretty obvious. In fact, it was printed on the bag. But it appeared that my dad, as he gaped at the pink stripped shopping bag with pink ribbon handles and matching tissue paper playfully poking out of the top, had entered some kind of state of denial in which he was suddenly rendered illiterate. At first, I was slightly taken aback, because similar bags had been in the house in plain view before. It took me a moment to realize that my dad was joking (he does that sometimes). However, as my mom and I were laughing along with him, I realized that this situation has probably occured in many other households without as much laughter. In fact, it is probably accompanied with lots of yelling and door slamming and “You don’t understand me”s and “All of my friends do it”s.

The origin of this little bag? Victoria’s Secret.

Dads, let me clarify something for you: Victoria’s Secret is not the red lamp and candlelit brothel it appears to be on television.

Do they sell underwear? Yes. However, Victoria’s Secret does not just sell lacy and racy underthings that look like they will fall apart in the wash and are only made of Chinese silk and Italian lace. You can actually find granny panties and long sleeve pajamas there too. They also sell a wide range of beauty products and makeup, and even laundry detergent. Their entire PINK line is fairly tame and made of cotton, the most innocent of all fabrics.

Is the advertising provocative? You bet. Every picture in that store features a thin yet miraculously busty 20 something with sexy bedhead and the stereotypical half closed eyes and slightly suggestive half open mouth. It’s not those girls’ fault though. They just can’t breathe through their noses.

And this is perhaps where the danger lies in allowing your daughter to shop there. Every girl needs underthings of good quality, and Victoria’s Secret offers that. Unfortunately, if a young woman (or any woman for that matter) suffers from the insecurities that women often do, shopping there can be toxic.

On the recent day that I visited Victoria’s Secret, the outside windows featured the phrase “I love (it was actually a heart) my body.” The model in the backdrop was posing sideways in her undies to feature her tiny waist and hips and full bust. I found myself slightly offended. Now I know that it was designed to advertise for the “Body by Victoria” line but picture clearly gave the impression that there was only one type of body to love. I was saddened as I thought of the young women who would walk by the store that day and think, “If only I was as thin and pretty as her” and the older women who might think, “Maybe if I looked like that he wouldn’t have left or I would find somebody.”

This is just one of the many negative messages women receive every day that they are not good enough. And I realize that this topic has been discussed countless times. Today, I only offer a warning for fathers.

Dads: If you discover that pink bag in your house, it might be a good time to let your daughter know that what she wears on her body will never be as important as what she wears in her heart. This is a lesson that can never be repeated enough.