“If you should die before me, ask if you could bring a friend.” – Stone Temple Pilots
I met my B.F.F, Courtney, when I was three years old. The details surrounding the beginning of our friendship are blurry, but we’ve shared countless joys and overcome many obstacles in twenty-four years. We both had our first kiss with the same boy… behind the shed at his house. We grew apart when her ex-fiancé became abusive, and I could not stand idly by and support him hurting her. But I was by her side at her wedding (don’t worry- to a different guy), her marriage, and now her divorce.
Nothing compares to a friendship between women. Only a woman can relate to the pangs of menstrual cramps, the struggle to not eat your feelings, and offer resolutions rather than criticism. No man, regardless of how much he loves you, can relate to the surreal joy of finding the perfect dress or succeeding at something you once thought impossible. Female coworkers are the only ones who get the challenges of working and competing with men on their own turf. Women are warm, intuitive, analytical and don’t secretly hope to get in your pants one day. And a BFF is the best woman of all because she loves you at your lowest points… and celebrates you at your highest points.
But what about other women you meet? Women are said to be the weaker sex… and if you are talking about biceps then it’s generally true. But women have many strengths…. and have struggled hard to have these strengths respected as equal with men in the world. If fact the only thing that is weak about woman is how critical we can be of each other- socially AND in the workplace. Our foremothers fought for the right to vote, to education, to work, and most importantly, to express ourselves freely. Its important that we honor that struggle by honoring each other. Rather than pass judgment, we should support and encourage EVERY woman we meet. Not just our inner circle of lady friends.
Even if you don’t like her politics, admire Sarah Palin and her audacity to run for Vice President of the United States. Even if you don’t like her style… respect Lady Gaga for creating a massive following around her misfit image. Give kudos to Maya Angelou for her diverse poetry in which she openly shares personal events that have affected her life. Love Marilyn Monroe for combining sex appeal with comedy and personality in a voluptuous figure. Give props to Angelina Jolie for using her wealth to improve the lives of orphaned children to the best of her ability.
Regardless of their hard work and general success… these women have all been criticized by the media: Palin for her parenting skills, Gaga for her strange performances, Angelou for being a feminist, Monroe for her sexual encounters, and Jolie for her affairs. You don’t have to AGREE with them to respect their effort and their struggle.
Every woman can contribute something to the world. And it’s our job as GIRLFRIENDS to remind each other of this… and ENCOURAGE each other to do this. In her poem “Phenomenal Woman,” Maya Angelou sums up why women need women.
Men themselves have wondered / What they see in me. / They try so much / But they can’t touch / My inner mystery. / When I try to show them They say they still can’t see. / I say, / It’s in the arch of my back, / The sun of my smile, / The ride of my breasts, / The grace of my style. / I’m a woman / Phenomenally. / Phenomenal woman, / That’s me.
We are all amazing and can only become MORE amazing by supporting each other. Our BFFs… our BFs… our Fs… and every single women we are fortunate enough to meet in this life. If we can’t respect ourselves, we can’t expect men to respect us either.
Edited by Jackie English
Tell us about your BFF. Why do you love her?