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Girl Talk: Accountability and Friendships

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowie State chapter.

As women we feel the need to be perfect all the time. What we do, say, think, and wear is all seemingly policed by our society. 

We have to sit up straight and be poised.

We have to smile all the time to seem approachable. 

We must watch what we say and be unnervingly kind.

Current beauty standards and social media doesn’t help that issue either. We are constantly stuffed into the box of shame for who we are. Well, I’m tired of it. I’m not perfect, neither are you and that’s okay. 

I’m sure you’ve heard that women don’t take accountability for their actions. “Women never admit when they’re wrong” or “Women don’t apologize” are frequent terms thrown around on social media. The reality is there is truth to it. 

Accountability is by definition, “the obligation to report, explain, or justify something.” To be accountable means to be responsible for your actions. 

It’s hard to admit that you made a mistake or that you didn’t meet the expectation but, allowing yourself to be imperfect is what makes you strong. I struggle with this more frequently than I’d like to admit.

I do something that maybe I don’t feel was wrong and I get angry when brought to my attention that it was incorrect. I panic and tell myself I tried my best and that it should be good enough.

I doubt myself and my character based on one thing I’ve done. It’s unfair to be held the impossibility of perfection by anyone, including yourself. 

The false sense of perfection can affect your job, relationship and even your relationship with yourself.

J. Kay. Coughlin states that, “Among the countless teams and individuals we have worked with, the idea that something can be “perfect” is one of the biggest and ugliest roadblocks that must be overcome. Perfection is a moving target, a fuzzy definition of “done,” … If what you really want is progress, what you really need is accountability, not perfection”.

Learning how and when to be accountable is the goal.

My friends were the main part of understanding this. They know who I am and trust in my character. When we fall out or disagree, we understand that it is just a moment and what was said or done doesn’t define us as people. Then explain with both sides of the story and listen to each other. After that we establish some boundaries and apologize where we were wrong or may have hurt each other.

Women need other women!

Dr. Bash declares, “We get busier, with more responsibilities,” she says. “It makes us feel nurtured and validated to hang out with friends we can be totally ourselves [with], minus the outside pressures.”. This practice with accountability in a safe space has helped me admit many of my flaws and understand how to carry myself in real world situations. 

Now, no matter what it is I acknowledge to myself first that I did try my best and if it wasn’t enough, it’s okay. I listen to the feedback that is given about my mistake and instead of internalizing it I let it go.

Let me tell you again in case you didn’t read it. I LET IT GO.

Don’t get it twisted, I hate being wrong, but I can admit when I am and I try even harder next time. The priority is to be kind to the beautiful and powerful woman you are. Let her know she is doing great and let her know when she isn’t. 

The best version of you is the one that’s constantly growing and evolving. Don’t limit yourself to today’s “perfect” when you could be forever yourself.

Aniya NiKole

Bowie State '23

Aniya Ingram is a senior at Bowie State University. She has a passion for learning and a love for writing. She enjoys making jokes and laughing with her friends. Her hobbies include shopping, traveling and helping others. She aspires to build her community through her advocacy in her Broadcast Journalism- Communications major.