Years ago, one of my friends said that she doesn't have ugly friends. Having announced this amongst a group of her close friends, while we were all outwardly outraged, inside we were quietly cheering, happy to have made the cut.
Those of you who know the struggles with my ongoing hair journey will be aware of how, growing up, I longed to have the long wavy, non-weave looking, flowing brazilian weaves belonging to my sexier, au fait with MAC girlfriends. And my old and new friends have only gotten hotter as I've gotten older. As a case in point, in an earlier conversation with my brother today he complimented me on "the calibre of girls in your social circles". Over the years, lots of practice has helped me to become a pretty good wing woman (email add on the contact page if you need my services) and occasional c**k blocker where that's needed.
I've been on the receiving end of plenty of supposed explanations for this. I'm "too tall", "too stush (stuck up)", "too intimidating", "crazy hair colours", "no hair" etc. I don't like the list of rubbish excuses but having realised that having lots of attention isn't the same as having the right attention, I'm (almost) over it! So it was interesting to see a fellow never-that-girl (N-T-G) girl crying it all out on live television last week.
For those of you who don't know, Love Island
is a reality dating TV show (which, to the detriment of progress everywhere is aired daily) which focuses on a bunch of beautiful singles living together in a beautiful villa in some tourist-tired part of Spain. On opening night, the boys went in first and lined up while the presenters brought in one girl after the other and asked the boys to step forward when they were attracted to the girl. Yep, all your high school nightmares brought back into play. One by one the girls came in and one or more boys stepped forward showing their aesthetic appreciation. That is until my fellow N-T-G, Lauren came in and not.one.boy.stepped.forward. Not one!!! Imagine the horror! The embarrassment! The pain! Your rejection aired so publicly and so blatantly. Having dealt with that, Lauren knew she would have to spend the coming weeks with the people who had so casually told her she was ugly. I have to give it to her, this girl is strong. She finally cracked after a few weeks in the house admitting to another housemate that she was tired of "never being that girl", of never being the girl that gets picked by the guy; of being the girl that other guys barely look at. It was a very real breakdown and I felt her pain. But I also wished she could put that into perspective.
There was another girl, Jess, who came into the house at the beginning and who caused quite a reaction; only it wasn't a reaction of indignation from the viewers this time, it was a reaction from the boys who all
stepped forward in mutual appreciation. This girl was clearly not
from the N-T-G camp and in a short video introduction we learned that she was a newly published page 3 girl
and aspiring glamour model. So far so typical right? So what would happen in real life is that the other girls would feel rejected and not good enough and jealously imagine that any one of the boys could be riding off with Jess in the sunset of amazing sex, marriage, babies and happiness, right?
Well thank God for reality TV because thanks to this ridiculous show we've been given a glimpse into What Happened Next, and what happened next is this: In the month or so that this show has aired, three of the boys have become happily loved up with girls (none of whom are Jess), Jess has been rejected twice by two guys for the same girl, Jess has been called countless degrading names referencing her perceived sexual promiscuity by both the boys and the other girls, two of the other boys had a conversation in which they confirmed that Jess was "good for a shag but not a long term girl" and, as I write, Jess is one of the only original girls in the house still single. On the other hand, most of the other boys in the house have named Lauren as their best friend in the villa and, despite having no love interests, she has been picked by more than one boy to stay in the villa based on the very fact that her prescence adds something to it. Lauren has won challenges and been declared most marriage-worthy by the viewers; a fact immediately echoed by one of the most sought after boys in the house who said: "Of course you'd marry Lauren. She's definitely marriage material."
Still want to be the girl that every guy picked? While I actually feel sorry for Jess, she's put up with alot of crap for someone who was initially the most favoured girl, I do think we girls need to get wise to this. It can take time to get to know if you really like someone (unless you're Jon and Hannah
, Love Island's greatest love story) and you won't always be initially attracted to the person that's right for you. Sometimes it can take a while - and it works both ways. How many times have you "friend zoned" a guy because there wasn't an initial attraction only to later realise how much you were missing? And as much as I like to complain about my N-T-G status, I'm as guilty of that as anyone.
So, Lauren, as your wise fellow Love Islander said to you, don't be down! He may not be in a villa full of self-appointed beautiful people but he does exist and now you've exposed your every credential to the entire TV watching world, whenever you get off the show, he may well be there waiting for you.