Image by Ash Vegas
It’s a lovely, warm feeling being in a gang. You feel utterly protected, like a warm blanket is around you at all times. You feel safe and secure, and even when something tries to hurt you, your blanket will always be there. This blanket can shapeshift into many different forms for different people. For some, it may be their family. For others, it may be their job. For another, it might be their cat. For me, however, it’s my girl gang.
It was 2007 when I came across my dynamic group of gurlz. They took non-bitchiness to new levels, and acted with such mature intelligence I actually WANTED to study hard at school. I came from the Gold Coast, where we wore make up to school, and lunchtimes were all about what surfa boi was going to kiss who behind which garden shed. Class was optional, if anything. I failed maths one semester, so my parents ripped me from the tanned clutches of Robina and plonked me at an all girls’ school on the Northside of Brisbane. Dis iz my stori.
It was the second day of school and I was in an Economics class. I hated all girls’ schools and their stupid ankle-length skirts and compulsory nautically-inspired hats. At the GC we hiked those skirts as high as we could go, and bitches would buy school shirts three sizes too small to accentuate the prepubescent pancakes they passed off as breasts. The first Brisbane girl I encountered was Alice*. She was olive-skinned, beautiful, and spoke in a husky voice that was nothing like the high-pitched pseudo-stupid whine I’d heard Coast girls whine. She was arguing against the teacher, but in the most respectful and mature way. I couldn’t believe it. Why didn’t she swear or spit? What was going on! We had to go around the class and say names of brands that we would want to invest in. Alice and I both said Ksubi (year 10 lyf) and became friends immediately. She asked me to sit with her group at lunch, and I happily obliged. Conversing with these girls that were equal parts smart, feminine, sporty and silly was mindblowing.
From that day forward, I was cemented in a girl gang that has lasted the test of time. It has been six years, so here’s six reasons why I love them.
1. We ain’t hoes. If we’re approached by a dude whilst out, no matter how many single girls we’re accommodating, our response is always an ear-shattering, resounding “NO”. When we’re together it’s not about how many guys we can get or chasing a free drink this way or that; it’s about spending quality, genuinely good time together. That might be pouring vodka into our purses for consumption inside a public toilet, but that’s a thousand times better than chasing some herpe-infested limp dick around a grimy dancefloor.
2. We pick up where we left off. In this day and age, people are scattered all over the globe for various reasons, be it education, vacation or consummation. Furthermore, it’s important we don’t lose touch with our loved ones because of their various ventures. Even if you’re in the same city as someone, work or study can envelop you so that you are absent from tangibility for weeks, or even months. To be able to see someone after five weeks and embrace lovingly, knowing you haven’t shared a single mutual experience for the entirety of that time, is truly special.
3. We’ve got all the token stereotypes. We’ve got the girl with tattoos. We’ve got the cat-obsessed. We’ve got the fitness freak. We’ve got the animal trainer, the lawyer, the economist, the accountant, the writer, the photographer, the project manager, the pharmacist, the personal trainer. If you have any sort of problem, one of our careers or endeavours may be able to help you. All these varying life paths mean we all have very different, yet very enriching, experiences to share with one another. It produces a gorgeous chaos, where onlookers have asked, “How do you all get along? It looks like a bubble of mayhem with 10 million conversations going at once.” What they don’t realise is that we feed off one another, and each girl would be bored with others exactly like themselves. Sure, we also have friends who are so similar to us, but those people don’t feed us like we feed eachother.
4. We encourage recklessness. Nothing annoys me more than a pretty wallflower of a female who doesn’t engage and doesn’t contribute. It’s not about being extroverted or outgoing, but it IS about being passionate and informed. Building on this, I don’t very much like to associate with people who employ predictability and mundaneness, either. My favourite times in my life have foundations of surprise and spontaneity. Watching a sunrise is more important to my gang than ~#cleaneating~, and that’s how it always should be.
5. We fight for each other. Once, Karla* had ordered the same meal as three of us when we were at a BYO dinner. Her meal came out 45 minutes later than everyone else’s. It made absolutely no sense. Karla was a quiet girl, and didn’t mind that her meal was cold. Annie* was infuriated, and so was the rest of the gang. This wasn’t fair, it wasn’t service, and it wasn’t what we were paying for. We asked politely if the meal could be removed from the bill, and explained why. When we were viciously reprimanded and told that this was simply not going to happen, we gathered our things and walked out, only to be chased down the street by the manager. Drunk? Yes. Overreaction? Probably. Worth it for Karla’s sake? Fucking definitely.
6. We all think everyone is a solid 10. Wait, before you throw your burning bras at me! You might view this as a media-fuelled, superficial point, but let me explain. I like to think that the modern day woman is viewed a source of strength, intuition, wisdom and beauty. As much of a raging feminist as I am, I will always applaud the beauty of each and every female out there, if it is displayed in an empowering and non-objectifying way. It is important for a woman to feel beautiful, because somehow society has let the distorted view that ‘Beauty Equals Confidence’ be paramount. Thus, it’s mostly inherent that girls want to look good. Having a group surround you who think you are the most gorgeous and talented thing to walk the Earth is empowerment at its essence, and is something every person should feel before they die.
* Not real names. Duh.
Written by Grace Bullen, who is the ex-Creative Director of Your Friend’s House. She’s a socially and culturally aware human who has done thang’s for brands like Everland Clothing and The Arcade Creative. Read her past articles here.