I know how I look. I know the way in which I act. I know what I sound like and I know what people think when they meet me. I have manicured nails and a hair color that I wasn’t born with. I wear layers and layers of mascara and sometimes I add on fake lashes. I have an oversized bag around my shoulder and even bigger sunglasses covering my eyes. I wear lipstick with t-shirts and my gym shorts aren’t just reserved for working out. I spend a lot of money at Target and I love a good bottle of wine. I’ve never been camping, I’m not a very good driver, and I surround myself with Diet Coke the way a mermaid would envelop herself in salt water. I squeak when I see spiders and flip my hair when I laugh and I sometimes break into uncontrollable giggle fits. I tweet a lot and gossip even more. I watch reality TV shows and I’m not ashamed to purchase a tabloid at the grocery store. I probably care too much about what other people think of me and I most definitely rely on my father for more than I should. I have monogrammed attire and letters on my chest and sometimes, yes, there is a bow in my hair. I am a sorority girl, but that does not make me stupid.
People on the outside looking in stare at me with judgmental and knowing eyes. That girl, they think. In their minds, they know me. But they don’t know me — and it isn’t fair. Yes, I am the girl who gets metaphorically lost in Target and Cosmo and perhaps a bottle of cheap white wine. Yes, I am the girl who loves ribbons, and pink, and Ryan Gosling’s smile. Yes, I am the girl who listens to Taylor Swift, and Dave Matthews, and Nelly. Yes, I am the girl who drinks out of a red Solo cup at tailgates and who wears dresses even when it’s not seasonably appropriate. But none of that, none of those things make me dumb.
Because while I’m the ‘Yes Girl’ to all of that, I’m also the ‘Yes Girl’ to so much more. Yes, I’m the girl who studies hard and goes to class to learn. Yes, I’m the girl who spends Sunday afternoons in the library and has missed a night out at bars because of a test the next day. Yes, I’m the girl who gives dollars to the homeless and who cries during animal shelter commercials. Yes, I’m the girl who goes to church, or temple, or mosque. I’m the girl who picks up a tabloid at the grocery store and reads it while watching The Sean Hannity Show. I’m the girl who volunteers with children for my sorority and who volunteers for political campaigns for my country. I’m the girl who takes pride in what I do, be it school, work, or relationships. I’m the girl who knows the difference between right and wrong and I’m the girl who would sooner die than hurt someone I care about. I’m the girl who doesn’t deserve to be judged by you.
Maybe I do say ‘like,’ and ‘whatever,’ and ‘duh,’ and maybe I say them all with a high-pitched voice. Maybe I make abbreviations out of words that in no way need to be shortened. Maybe I say ‘byeeeeeeeee’ frequently and, yes, maybe I say it without really going anywhere. Maybe I say ‘jokes’ and ‘lawz’ ironically. Maybe I use excessive hashtags and maybe I’m even guilty or saying ‘#hashtag’ because I think it’s really funny to do so. And while I maybe am guilty of all of that, while I maybe am a living, breathing, walking “that girl,” maybe I deserve to continue to be able to do so without fear of repercussion. Maybe I should be allowed to order my venti, non-fat, no-whip, soy latte and maybe I should be allowed to consume it without feeling the eyes of every person who doesn’t really get it on me. Maybe I’m everything you would expect, but I’m also everything you wouldn’t. I am a sorority girl — and that does not make me stupid.