The context: Someone in a bookish Facebook group I’m in posted this comic.
I’d link to the post but it was deleted by the admins.
People had a lot of problems with it. Mostly centered around hating that it perpetuated the “not-like-other-girls” trope. Some said it was sexist. Some said it ignored those who like both books and makeup. Some said it was saying that if you like books you can’t like makeup. And some just said it was accurate.
None of them were wrong.
Art is subjective. We’re supposed to see it and relate to it as individuals based on our own ideas, experiences, and points of view. It’s supposed to make us think. It’s supposed to challenge us and create conversations. It’s supposed to offend.
What was wrong, was when those who took offense, who said the comic was bad for whatever reason, attacked those who identified with it and felt it accurately portrayed their own lives.
The offended preached that women have to stick together while berating women for finding common ground with the OP who said she related to it.
Every opinion expressed about the comic was valid whether I agreed with it or not because I formed my opinion based on my own experiences as I’m sure everyone else did. But why did some have to attack? Why did they have to make me relive one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had with women and the reason why I related to this comic?
Let me tell you a story…
In 6th grade, every girl in our class (about 30 of us) were invited to one girl’s birthday slumber party. We were all having a good time, watching the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie that had just come out on VHS and listening to Ace of Base on repeat. Then, well after midnight, a bunch of the girls decided we should play hide and seek. Nothing was off limits. We could hide outside or inside, wherever we wanted. So, we all split up and I and a few others went outside.
Fifteen or twenty minutes went by and I was getting cold. It was fall in Iowa and there was a constant mist in the air and all I had on were thin, cotton PJs, so I decided to go in. But I couldn’t because the 30ish other girls had all conspired to lock me out.
Then it started to rain.
They all watched through the sliding glass doors while I shivered and banged on the door for them to let me in. They ignored me for over a half an hour while I rang the doorbell, constantly. You might be wondering where her parents were. So was I. I assume they ignored it because they were allowing us to do whatever we wanted. It didn’t raise an alarm because they assumed we were just playing and being obnoxious eleven-year-olds.
It was over an hour before the girls got bored and finally let me in. I was soaked and shivering and they laughed.
Whatever the artist’s intentions were, when I saw this comic, I didn’t see a girl with a book surrounded by girls obsessed with makeup, I saw myself in that sea of 30 girls who locked me out in the cold and laughed. I relate to this comic because for someone I don’t know to have drawn how I felt shows me I’m not actually alone. For me, this comic is not a comment on society but shows the thoughts of one person, me, feeling alone and different. And I like it because now I don’t feel so alone and different.