Cattiness online

Demi Moore tweeted this pic of still slamming body at age 47Recently, the actress Demi Moore tweeted a picture of herself in a bikini. I think she looked fabulous. The tweet followed nasty, but predictable rumours that her much younger husband, Ashton Kutcher, had cheated on her with a starlet. Are the two actions connected? I have no idea. But the insults and snide remarks that followed Demi Moore’s bikini tweet were downright nasty and sadly predictable.

 
Joan Rivers, who I respect for her fabulous career and work ethic, remarked how Moore was too old for such antics. Rivers also tossed in an aside about how Goldie Hawn, now a stunning 60ish woman, should now come “sit in the shade” with Rivers. A few other so-called fashion commentators on the E! network’s The Fashion Police show made similar nasty comments. Considering how fabulous Demi looked, and that movie stars are not known for being shy and retiring, this is just pure cattiness directed at an attractive woman.
 
Several articles in major newspapers had similar disparaging comments. It struck me that over the years that as often as Demi Moore has been lauded for her age-defying body, she has also been slammed for it. She has been accused of plastic surgery that would have been impossible. The scars would have been visible even with the best work. When she worked out to reshape her body for the movies GI Jane, Striptease, and Charlie’s Angels, and she was criticized for both the time and money she spent to do it. No one complains about the time and money professional athletes spend for their training. Isn’t Demi Moore entitled to invest in her career and train for her multi-million dollar roles?
 
I find Demi and Goldie inspiring. I think it’s great they take such good care of themselves and look so healthy and happy. I remember them as younger women; I used to watch Goldie on the iconic comedy show Laugh-In when I was in school and I remember Demi on the soap General Hospital at the beginning of her career. I feel as though I grew up with them. Unlike some young starlets today, I don’t remember them running around town without lingerie, drugged-up, or drunk.
 
Yet they are targets for envy and cattiness. And it isn’t just famous women who come in for this treatment. A truly gorgeous young friend of mine has also been attacked by other women. She is movie-star beautiful, and occasionally a tiny bit heavier than she would like to be. Recently, her boyfriend’s  friend’s girlfriend attacked her publicly. She stated that my friend would never be with her the boyfriend — a person of a different race — if she were thinner. In one fell swoop she exposed herself as a hater, and insulted my friend and her partner. She said this publicly at party without embarrassment because we allow it. Somehow it has become acceptable to behave badly, especially towards other women. I find it ironic that as women gain education and power in the workplace, we still tacitly condone high school *ithchiness.
 
I am even more shocked when women my age do it. Recently, I was surprised to be the target of this type of behavior on facebook. A high school friend posted an old photo of several us: himself, me, and two other (male) friends. I thought it was a charming memory of all of us at a party and so did he. I was wearing a cute black dress, pearls, and smoky eye make-up. My hair was long, my head thrown back in laughter, and I was holding a glass of white wine. This picture could be me — with slight changes – at any time during my adult life.  
 
Rocky Horror Picture Show-- the exact character the lady comapred me to --Does anyone see a tasteful black dress and pearls?In no time at all one of his female friends likened me – and not nicely– to a character in the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Charming. In her remarks she also had assumed my friend and I had dated. On the FB page of my other old friend in the picture, his ‘lovely’ friend accused him of having “slutty taste” in high school. Again, charming.
 
What is up with these so-called ladies and friends? What’s with the name-calling and assumptions? Who does this? These women are supposed to be educated professionals. In the photo, I wore pearls and a cute black knee-length dress with no décolleté. I still remember it, and would wear it today. Several of my friends, all different ages, have mentioned (unsolicited) that they would too. I do have on serious smoky eye make-up, not unlike what Kim Kardashian wears for an evening out. I think it is fabulous. I still like a good smoky eye and I was at a party with friends, but if that makes you a slut or a candidate for a horror movie, heaven help us all.
 
I think the assumption both women made was telling. There are four people in the photo. No one is snuggly. We were and are just friends. Do some women just have to strike out at any woman they don’t know, or who they perceive as different or threat – even one from years ago? Do they think it makes it makes them look clever or more attractive?  I don’t.
 
I exchanged a few comments with the woman who called me a horror movie character. My remarks were quite harmless, I simply expressed surprised that my friend had such a lovely friend. I wish I hadn’t, as it may have been awkward for our mutual friend. She caught me off guard. Her comments were actually posted as I sat happily looking at FB one Saturday morning.
 
I know why I reacted as I did; she tarnished a pleasant memory. I enjoy that so many of my old high school friends stay in touch. I like it that they grew up to be such nice generous people. High school was neither the nadir nor pinnacle of our lives. It was what it was supposed to be, a good time with good friends. As for the catty women and their comments, I actually couldn’t care less. I think they both looked bad, catty, mean and *itchy.
 
Another friend, a young, generous, and stunning woman, has also been the target of catty women. Her grandmother warned her about them. She told her it’s hard to have friends when you are beautiful. I think it is sad, but it seems that some women do like to take a shot women they perceive as a threat.
 
And it’s not just looks that attract the claws. Attacks happen at work too. Last year a sweet, smart woman I know was bullied to tears by her mean-girl boss. I often warn friends who are writers or artists that as helpful as a good reader or editor can be, throw their work out for random comments. I think one needs to choose one’s readers carefully during the creative process. Envy, even the unconscious kind, is rife in the creative community.
 
Learn to surround yourself with people who inspire you and elevate your life. I am inspired by my friends. I adore their beauty and creativity. I see it even when they don’t. Isn’t that what friends are for? I will never tweet a picture of myself in a bikini, but Demi in hers looked fabulous. She inspires me to work out a little harder and longer, so thanks Demi! And it will pay off when I am photographed in another of my “scandalous “ black dresses”.  Never let anyone tell you — at any age – to sit in the shade. 
 
PS: Darlings, I’d share the picture that caused all the hullabaloo, but it’s not mine and I don’t want cause any trouble for the others in it.
Share



Do you have to be either a snarky b*t*h or a doormat?

Some  mean girls never grow up --what a bore!Recently, I heard a disturbing discussion on the Today Show about how “snarky” women are to and about each other. It startled me. The same week I attended a prestigious press luncheon. A careless woman left her bag sticking out in the aisle between the tables. I tripped over it as I was walking to my seat. The people I was speaking with at the time grasped at me, trying to stop me from falling. They were concerned I was hurt. And as it turned out, I was — a bit banged up. The offender looked me coolly and moved her bag. She did not apologize.

 
Her bag was clearly where it should not have been; it was placed far out into the aisle where many people would have to walk to find a seat. She looked at me quite calmly. She was not embarrassed. I would have understood that reaction. No, she was a simply a “b—-”. The other women’s reaction around me spoke volumes; they were also clearly surprised by her lack of manners.
 
I am perplexed and appalled. This woman is the co-founder of a magazine for women. She is an experienced professional. We do not know each other, so it could not have been personal. Why would she behave so badly?  Is she simply on auto-snark when dealing with other women?
 
Listening to Hoda Kobt and Kathie Lee discuss how badly women can treat each other seemed some what ironic when their popularity seems predicated on their “girlfriend good feelings vibe”. Granted they were not endorsing the behavior.
 
A successful newswoman, Hoda spoke with authority about “how sharp women’s elbows can become at work”. She is not wrong. Darlings, I have had women who have actually lived at my house as guests for months stab me in the back at work.  I have also made generous life-long friendships with women friends in the workplace. We all have a choice about how we conduct ourselves. It’s funny, some of the strongest, most successful women I have worked with are the most generous, professionally and personally.
 
You may dismiss this all as just “TV-talk”, but I think it is important. Recent research shows some of the worse bullies at work and school are grown-up “mean girls”. I have seen my friends’s daughters — all popular and lovely — suffer the scorn of mean girls. Luckily for them, they have observant, savvy mothers who were able to help them though it quickly.
 
I have dealt with my share of snarky b—–s in the work place. I can’t and won’t excuse their behavior. We all have bad days and problems, but we do not have to snap off other peoples’s heads or insult them. These are trying times, but it’s not an excuse for territorial or hostile behavior. No, this is the behavior of a snarky b—-, not a professional or a lady.
 
Mean girls, the young and not so young ones, defend this kind of behavior as necessary. They say they need to be “tough” to get ahead and seize opportunities, otherwise they’d be doormats.  Please! I can stand up for myself and so can you without resorting to underhanded nastiness and bad behavior.
 
A friend just told me about her daughter’s recent plight. The young woman is attending a summer enrichment program at one of the seven sister colleges in the U.S. She recently called her mother distressed because the shared kitchen in her dorm is so dirty that she and her roommate can’t use it. The sink and counters are piled high with their unwashed dishes and garbage. She refused to take her mother’s suggestion to post a polite sign requesting a clean up. She fears social reprisals. I know she is most likely right. It would not be the young men who would bother her, it is a women’s floor. No, the snarky young women who made the mess would treat her to cutting remarks and a whispering campaign for daring to complain.
 
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose; things have not changed much since my university days. I remember being in the sights of mean girls once or twice. Fortunately, it is difficult to socially terrorize someone who doesn’t care for clique mentality and will fight back. But, that type of social pressure can be devastating to gentler souls. I would never recommend that more timid types directly confront their tormenters.
 
I am grateful for the women in my life. We don’t cut up other women, it’s not our style. When I told one of my dear friends what I heard on the Today Show — how some people flip through magazines to find fault with celebrities — she laughed out loud. Why anyone would do such a thing? When they would find the time?  She and I are known for our marathon conversations via Skype. We never run out of conversation about our own affairs. We laugh non-stop as we plan a million things to do together. We have been friends more than 20 years. Her three grown daughters have joined the conversation too.  
 
My friend Gerda Neubacher, a well-known Canadian artist, started a salon to celebrate accomplished women and help young artists. Most women close to me, friends and colleges, celebrate their friend’s accomplishments, children and lives.
 
Catherine Zeta Jones use honey as a beauty treatmentDarlings, we all know some snarky “b—-s”.  I avoid them when I can.  I don’t sit around and snark. What a bore!  If I have a problem with someone, I solve it or move on. If I am stuck with them for a while, I may moan in confidence to a close friend. I do not call this being snarky, but human.
 
I would rather work on becoming better, faster, and smarter than snarking at the competition. If I have a problem, then I can solve it. I suggested a big package of paper plates anonymously placed in the dirty kitchen to solve the problems my friend’s daughter had with the dirty dishes. And maybe if her mom agrees, a tad more dining-out dosh — anything to keep the peace. College dorms are as fraught with booby traps as a guerilla-infested jungle. My way may not be everyone’s way, but the young lady has a job to do and taking on a bunch of brats isn’t it right now. She picks up at home without her mother asking!
 
Darlings, I don’t believe the choice women have is to be a snarky b—- or a doormat. I believe in standing up for yourself in whatever way makes you comfortable. I also suggest you pick your battles. Life is not a sprint, but a marathon, and a lot of the stuff people who to challenge you on is just noise. Tune them out and join a classier conversation that will elevate your mood, mind, and spirit!
 
When the offence against you turns serious, defend your position, honour, and turf — but do it the right way. Keep your head and your heart high, and your elbows down. Believe me darlings, there is no more powerful or attractive force to behold than a smart, honourable, woman.   
 
 
Share