It’s Not That Great To Be The Girl Everyone “Loves To Hate.”

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Look. I know, it seems like being the girl “everyone loves to hate” has some significant perks. Veronica Lodge had really good clothes. Blair Waldorf knows how to rock headbands. Brenda Walsh was the only interesting person to watch on 90210. All of them are girls you can love to hate, and all of them are compelling, and they all have really great hair. Another thing they have in common is not being real people.

I know. I know, in spite of that, being the girl people love to hate can seem superficially appealing. There’s a line in one of my favorite books, Some Girls, (all the books with authors we interview are my favorite books) where the main character states:

“You plot. You scheme. You jockey for position. You take revenge. Isn’t that the person you want to be? Or do you want to be the girl with the steadfast, good heart, the girl who gets stepped on, the girl you inevitably wish had less screen time because everyone else is so much more interesting?”

To be fair, she was in the Sultan of Brunei’s harem at the time, so I think some allowances are made for “royal court intrigue” situations.

And then there’s this piece on XoJane stating:

Honestly, all of this makes me think of a defining little moment in my journey here at xoJane. One day last week, when Jane and I met with a few different production companies regarding a potential reality show, she accidentally let drop the one-liner she had on me. In front of me. It was a total awkward brilliant mistake. It just slipped out. “She’s the girl you love to hate,” she said. Everyone nodded. Uh-huh. Right.

I think that people who know me — and perhaps Jane, too — recognize my kindness and introspection and resistance to the easy sadistic urges that come with working in this industry. But if my role on the Internet is to be the “girl you love to hate,” then I suppose I will learn to accept that. I am tired. I am not trying to emotionally manipulate or subject other people to anything other than the journey that comes with personal memoir. And now I am saying: I understand. I get the game behind the game. I am the girl you love to hate.

It’s nice to finally have a place to call home.

Huh? What? No. No, that’s like people saying “I guess you guys think I’m a sociopath, and I’m going to celebrate that and run with it. I’m running in spiked heels over children now. Freedom to be the kind of woman I want to be.” No. Don’t do that. Especially if you think you’re a kind-hearted person, because it seems to indicate that you’re communicating in a way that people are misinterpreting wildly.

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    • Maggie

      After high school, when former “girls you love to hate” are looking for “grown up” jobs and having to socially interact in adult situations, they learn pretty fast that that kind of behavior is not acceptable in the real world. Being catty and manipulative, scheming to “get” people, etc. as an adult doesn’t make you a girl everyone loves to hate, it just makes you a girl everyone hates.

    • jamiepeck

      I really need to start reading XOJane more.

    • Randi Newton

      Love to love you Jennifer! <3

    • Cee

      Because some of the sites I frequent are still down, Im actually READING this site. I read this article before it was pointed out here, I also read all of Jane’s nonsense phone posts. I’m going to quietly sob now.
      Also is it me or is she trying to look like Jenna Lyons with those glasses.

    • ndonnelly

      Great piece of writing; strong case to not be an asshole.

    • Person

      Interesting piece, but it doesn’t address the following issues:

      1. Who hates you? Everyone? I’ve found that, when it comes to women, girl-hate and guy-hate are two different species. For dealing with guys, not being a mommy/cheerleader figure and not adding verbal bubble wrap to your words results in an automatic “OMG! She’s not nice! Hate, Hate, Hate!”, which sort of leads into…

      2. Should you adjust yourself for every person so they don’t hate you? Or, stay true to who you are? And,

      3. It’s rather unreasonable to accept that everyone will like you. I think that the “dinosaur-loving kid that grows into a paleontologist” and similar individuals, based on life experiences of not being like everyone else, realize that not everyone is going to like you.

      4. Being a people-pleaser means you shut up and get stepped on. Always. I think it’s better to be stronger (ie: a person with a backbone) than to be this obsequious chameleon, which is kind of what you’re suggesting.