I’m fairly certain there is a website dedicated to hating me somewhere on the internet. The site admins included ex boyfriends, girls that have never met me and dislike me for unknown reasons, and men that consider me intimidating. This blog post should give plenty of photos to support their theory that I’m a bitch.
The thing is, I’ve been called a this quite a few times. People have said that I’m a “bitch” or something synonymous such as a “mean girl”, “Heather”, and “self centered”. In typical Alton fashion I initially question the validity of their statement: Am I mean? Am I self centered? Have I wronged this person in some way? So far, I’ve generally found these self awareness questions to conclude that I’m not a terrible person, but I’m biased.
The most interesting part about these statements is that they often come from someone I’ve never met in person; it’s generally a remark made on the internet or by someone that’s “heard I’m a bitch”. It started out as offensive and something I didn’t understand. What about me created such a negative response from people who didn’t know me? Why was I typically targeted as this even if I was with a group of people when the statement was made? Turns out there are a few things that elicit this type of remark.
- A Strong Woman: In a 1995 interview with Princess Diana she said the following about the Royal family: They see me as a threat of some kind. . . . I think every strong woman in history has had to walk down a similar path, and I think it’s the strength that causes the confusion and the fear. Why is she strong? Where does she get it from? Where is she taking it? Where is she going to use it? Why do the public still support her?” I believe that people are confused by a strong woman and this can be misinterpreted. It becomes a quality that is feared and, therefore, generates negative responses and alienation.
- My Face: My face, in its resting position, appears angry. I believe the medical term for this is Resting Bitch Face and its ICD code is RBF31.2. This is a common misunderstanding and the main reason why I smile in every photo.
- Only the Underdog Gets Love: A good friend and accomplished running coach recently told me a story about an athletic, fast, beautiful, smart and kind runner he coached. He explained to me that he would watch his group practices and observe the other women’s interactions with her. She was always sweet, helpful, and encouraging. However, at the end of every practice the other women would talk about how “cocky” and “rude” she was. He then stated that the women would consistently build up and support the slowest (and, as the coach described her, “laziest”) woman at practice. Call it an experiment in sociological relationships, but the cliques were staying away from the seemingly “perfect” girl and justifying it by declaring she was “a bitch”.
Now, I’m not claiming to be as altruistic as Princess Diana or masterly as the fast woman my friend coached, but I do believe that these theories contribute to the unsolicited feedback I’ve been given. So, since I have this lovely label attached to my name I want to identify that bitch can mean many things.
- Basic Bitch: Lover of all things pumpkin, wearer of North Face when she’s lounging, and Uggs boot extraordinaire. This type of bitch snuggles with puppies, enjoys a good selfie, and consumes everything pumpkin-flavored she can from September through January. Not so bad, right?
- Raging Bitch: This is the beer I’m drinking pictured above. It’s a delicious Belgian style IPA brewed in Maryland and makes for a great source of hydration during a hike. I’ll gladly be associated with this!
- Ride Or Die Bitch: This is the friend you can count on at all times. They’re the one person that never asks questions or says no. They’re with you: whenever, wherever, for as long as you desire. I’m proud to be this type of bitch.
- Independent Bitch: This girl has listened to Beyonce since she was in the womb. She pays her bills, fixes her own car, and controls her destiny. She shines every day of the year, not just on July forth. High five, girl!
I guess I’ve determined that being called something lacks power when we assign new meaning to it. I’m okay with being called a bitch if it means being the person I am today. In the words of Jay Z, “I’ve got 99 problems, but [being] a bitch aint one”.