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In Defense of Britt: Why Being Catty is So Middle School

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

Even though I know The Bachelor is a ridiculous, even somewhat sexist, show, I still can’t help but watch it religiously every Monday night. A little part of me loves the drama, and an even bigger part loves the promise of romance, true love, and soulmates. I totally believe that when a couple “falls in love” on the show and gets engaged, that they have the possibility of the real thing, and it makes me so happy when the couples I love actually last.

However, last week’s episode threatened to make me stop watching The Bachelor forever. I was turned off by all of the obviously scripted drama, the crying, and the backstabbing. It was just sad to watch all of these girls rip each other apart behind their backs, like it was totally in private and that they weren’t all going to see this on TV in a few months.

The thing that bothered me most was the complete tearing apart of Britt, a girl on the show who apparently never showers and wears full makeup to bed. To make matters worse, this issue of her hygiene has gotten an incredible amount of media attention in the past week. I’ve seen more than a few articles from reputable sites posting about Britt’s hygiene and how disgusting it is to not shower for weeks at a time. Yet not ONE of these articles has pointed out that this “fact” might not even be true. And even if she doesn’t shower, the girls on the show never said that Britt smelled or wasn’t clean. It is extremely possible that she doesn’t shower for environmental or personal reasons, and that she instead washes her body with a washcloth or some other less traditional way. Just saying, it’s HIGHLY doubtful that Chris could canoodle with her so much if she smelled terrible. It’s just not possible.

But what is the point of me saying this? It goes along with a thought I’ve been developing in the back of my mind for several months, after experiencing plenty of drama in my own life as well as seeing it on TV. I don’t understand why we, as women, still feel the need to be catty towards one another. What is the point of talking about someone behind their back, even if they’ll never know? Why do we feel so inclined to gossip and talk sh*t and put others down?

It all comes back to confidence, and how we clearly don’t have enough of it. I always learned that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you’re better off not saying anything at all, and I believe that. Yet every once in a while, I’ll feel the need to gossip about someone, mainly because by doing so, I’m able to push someone else down and bring myself up. We all have weak moments. We live in a world where having confidence is rare, and that’s a shame. But it’s even worse to let one’s lack of confidence affect someone else, and it’s about time we stop this catty gossiping crap before it becomes an aspect of our generation.

If you’re having an off moment, don’t talk about someone else. Talk about yourself. Tell your friend that you’re feeling down about yourself and that you need to do something positive to fix it. Go shoe shopping or get your nails done. Get a really great meal and savor every bite. Treat yourself to happy things so you can be happy. And if you still feel the need to gossip after doing all of this, then go for it, because perhaps you have an issue with someone else that truly does need outside perspective. But for God’s sake, PLEASE stop gossiping because you’re bored or feeling ugly. It will get you absolutely nowhere. And I guarantee that the more you build your confidence, the more friends (and boys) you’ll attract! After all, what boy wants to listen to you gossip about other girls? Like none of them.

So be kind. Spread love, not hate. Treat yourself to joy and put yourself first. Fake confidence until you achieve it. What do you have to lose?


Stacey Oswald, originally from South Florida, came to Vanderbilt as a member of the class of 2015 and got involved with HerCampus her freshman year. She became assistant editor that year and is now the Campus Correspondent for Vanderbilt HC as a sophomore. Stacey is currently a columnist for Ask Miss A- Nashville and the life section of The Hustler. She's also very involved in her sorority, Kappa Delta, as well as Invisible Children. Outside of school and her extracurriculars, Stacey finds happiness in many sources, the most crucial being exercise and the sun. She loves to attend exercise classes and is an avid runner; she recently completed the Country Music Half Marathon. She also loves Vitamin D, especially when on the beach- though of course, she only soaks up the sun after applying SPF. A few of the things Stacey couldn't live without? Good food (especially from Sweet Cece's, Bricktops, and Samurai Sushi), great books (The Hypnotist's Love Story is a recent favorite), her family back in Florida, her wonderful boyfriend, and all of the great friends she's made at Vanderbilt.