Scarlett O’Hara was my original spirit animal. She has the Old South wardrobe, the guy (kind of), and most importantly, the perfect Pinterest home. I even considered naming my firstborn Scarlett until I realized that would leave her destined for the pole. As an almost adult, I realized that Scarlett might have some very minor character flaws. There’s the vanity, the uppity attitude, and the fact that she’s kind of a backstabbing bitch. If she lived in the ’90s, she would have rocked Limited Too “Spoiled Brat” shirts. If she lived today, she would redefine Queen Bee and rival Queen Bey. Despite her multitude of flaws, if there was a Reconstruction bad bitch contest, Scarlett would take first place by a landslide. Here are the five most important lessons she teaches us in “Gone With The Wind.”
1. Life is better when you break the rules.
Scarlett is the ultimate southern belle, which means she’s a rule breaker. She would have been a standards chair’s nightmare and a social chair’s dream. For Scarlett, an act of rebellion means attending a ball when she should be in mourning. For you, it might mean a few (dozen) trips to Standards. Is someone spreading juicy, albeit mostly true, rumors about you? Margaret Mitchell said it best: “Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.”
2. Your not-boyfriend is not necessarily the one for you.
3. Scarlett pioneered resting bitch face.
Sure, the word “bitch” isn’t exactly a label ladies are dying to hold, but if it means you’re tough, who cares? Scarlett is self-obsessed, vain, and conniving, but I can think of worse qualities. After all, who would be president of a sorority, Scarlett or Melanie? If you have the kind of face that makes strangers ask, “Why are you so upset?” you know that resting bitch face is a serious condition. Not only did Scarlett pioneer it–she owns it.
4. Who says you can’t go home again?
No matter how long you spend away from your own personal Tara, you can always come home. Even when you’re away for long stretches of time, you know it’s always waiting for you. Soldiers haven’t knocked it down, even if your mom did turn your bedroom into a makeshift guest room.
5. Life goes on.
No matter how hard life seems, or how many vodka shots and inspirational pins you need to get through it, tomorrow is another day. Life is about survival, and no one’s better at that than Scarlett. While Scarlett is deeply flawed and a borderline sociopath, she is strong and ultimately invincible–she finds a way to overcome not-boyfriends, war, famine, and frenemies.
Image via Theiaopolis