Bossy. Blonde. Bitch.
These are all terms I’ve had applied to me at different times in my life.
The intent behind them, obviously, was to hurt. Belittle. Devalue.
And a different ages, they have. These simple little words that happen to start with a B have hurt my feelings. They have made me feel less than. They have made me stop being myself.
But, good things come with age. Because now, now I’ve learned to accept these B terms. Some of them I even embrace and enjoy as some of my best characteristics.
B word no. 1: Bossy
Bossy [baw-see] adjective – given to ordering people about; overly authoritative; domineering
Let’s be honest, most women have been called bossy at some point in time in their lives. It usually comes when we’re taking the lead in a situation or sharing an opinion (almost always one that someone else disagrees with).
My earliest run-in with the word – that I can remember and that wasn’t my little sister rightfully calling me it – was from the mean girls in grade school. As one of the youngest, shortest kids in class who was a perpetual teacher’s pet I kind of had a target drawn smack dab in the middle of my forehead.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I don’t like seeing others struggle so I have always tried to take control of the situation when it looks like things are going off the railings. That includes answering questions when no one else is raising their hand, or taking over group projects (oh man, there’s a story I could tell from college here… some other time!).
Of course, that’s not always seen as helpful, but I do it with the best of intentions. If that makes me bossy by nature, so be it.
Bossy can have it’s advantages. Especially in my line of work, like when I’m being asked to wrangle a C-level executive into an event so we can get the show on the road.
Yes. That really happened.
In fact, he wound up saying, “You’re a bossy little thing, aren’t you?” He meant it in jest, but I was still relatively new at the company at the time so I was a bit thrown off (this was a high level doctor who just called me bossy, after all). I think I just kind of looked at him and went, “Yup. Now let’s get inside the auditorium.”
And now I use that as an example of how I don’t really get intimidated having crucial conversations with anyone. Ha!
B word no. 2: Blonde
Blonde [bländ] adjective – of a flaxen, golden, light auburn, or pale yellowish-brown color
Fun fact I just learned, with an ‘e’ on the end is for females, so my little boys are blonds. Who knew?
We all know what the negative connotation associated with this word is. Anyway…
As you can see in the previous picture, my natural hair color is dark blonde. I started going lighter with it once I was allowed to highlight my hair (I’ve also since gone darker, red and now even blue, green and pink, but that’s neither here nor there). The first time I was ever called “blonde” like it’s a bad thing was probably in high school.
With that term, I leaned into it right away. In fact, some of my best friends started referring to me as “Barbie” because of it.
In my eyes, being blonde has never been a hindrance. I tend to think of it as my more fun and extroverted side. Besides, if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s dumb.
Forgetful. Definitely, especially as I get older.
Dumb. Nah. Green and growing is more like it.
B word no. 3: Bitch
Bitch [ˈbich] noun – a dog in heat
Obviously out of all the examples, this one is used with the most spite. Usually in some sort of commentary about who I am as a person.
The thing about this word, it tends to lose its power if it’s aimed at someone often enough.
Some may still consider me to be a bitch. I just see myself as blunt.
Granted, it’s taken a long time for me to learn to embrace my bluntness. But I eventually got tired of trying to mince words while getting the point across about why something isn’t a good idea.
Guys don’t have to do it. Nor do they apologize for putting their ideas out there, so why should I? Besides, in the world of PR, SMM and marketing, you’re not doing any of your clients a favor if you try to let them roll with poorly planned concepts.
Bonus B word: Basic
I like what, I like. If that makes me a basic white girl, so be it.