4 February 2020
Feminamity: The warm glow you get when another woman hypes you up.
In sixth grade, right before the first school dance of the year, I had a fight with one of my best friends. We had been growing apart for a while in a way that can only be worsened by middle school. I was a shrimpy Chinese girl with glasses and a Les Miserables obsession. She came from a wealthy family that owned two dogs and could afford Juicy Couture tracksuits. I had to beg my mom to take me to Walmart for new clothes.
We were both in the girls’ bathroom when it happened. I was wearing a new outfit: a skirt, Dr. Scholl’s platform sandals, and a pink flower shirt with ruffle sleeves. For the first time in my young teenage life, I felt beautiful. But Emily S., with her new posse of girls who used curling irons and Wet ’n Wild lip gloss, was determined to nip that right in the bud.
“You’ve been nothing but mean to me since school started,” I told her. Outside, Usher’s “Yeah!” started to raucous cheers.
“Why are you sticking your boobs out?” she replied, sneering. The girls in her posse tittered.
“Stop sticking your boobs out! Jenny’s sticking her boobs out!”
That was the first time I experienced what Mean Girls coined as “girl-on-girl crime.” In that dingy bathroom, as Usher orchestrated 300 sweaty, hormonal bodies into dance moves we would all regret later, my body was used against me. That day, she left the bathroom victorious, and I stared at myself in the mirror, wondering if I had indeed been sticking my boobs out or if I was just trying to stand up straight.
Read the full article in The Cut.