In Defense of the Sad Girl

While I do not owe anyone an explanation for my work, I would like to clarify a few things. First and foremost, my intent with The Rise of the Sad Girl was never to glamorize sadness and/or depression. In no way was I trying to say that it’s cool to be sad, but rather that it is a normal emotion and that we should not feel ashamed to convey it. I am always reminded of this when someone asks me “How are you?” I used to always answer with some cryptic response even though I really wasn’t. (Why do we do that?) I am not going to make up an excuse about having a friend who suffers from depression so that it gives me a pass on discussing the matter like some sort of self-proclaimed expert— I have suffered from semi-depression for most of my young adult life, and it is not something that I have enjoyed seeing as a trend on Tumblr. It’s not cute to pretend you have problems for the sake of getting attention; those who are diagnosed with these disorders are unable to control the horomonal dysfunctions in their brains. I could rant for days about how annoyed I am with people who try to live their lives like a Lana Del Rey song, day dreaming about a superficial type of sadness.

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Second, this was not an advetorial piece. I was not endorsing or promoting Sad Girls Guide, and they did not pay me to mention them at the end of the post. That last line was meant to be a personal shout-out to the SGG community, a place where I feel like people simply get my logic and understand what I am all about. While I have befriended some of the ladies who are affiliated with the website via Twitter, we are not BFFs IRL. (Although I totally would not be opposed if we were because I think they’re all super cool chicks that I would want to have slumber parties with.) I merely wanted to give them some credit because they were the first to brand the sad girls identity, and I respect them for it.

The way I set this piece up was supposed to be a breakdown of everything that I know about the characteristics of a “sad girl,” my personal experience in relation to the new term, and then the idea of how that label could possibly apply to your own life. It’s supposed to be funny and I wanted you to laugh while you read it, but I also hoped that you would realize that at the same time, being sad is not a joke and when someone you know admits that they’re sad, your first reaction shouldn’t be to brush it off. More and more girls out there are proud to wear their hearts on their sleeves and embrace their sensitivity. Who knows, maybe the sad girl is the next manic pixie dream girl, I have no idea. If that’s what you think, I won’t argue against you.

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Going in, I knew that this was different than the usual Toast content that you all expect, but I did not anticipate the backlash that I read in the comments section in regards to the content of the piece. (Approximately 43 comments, I read all of them as they came trickling in.) With that being said, your perspective made me want to re-examine. For me, learning about this world of sad girls was so interesting and I thought that it was worth sharing with the rest of the WWW. If it becomes the next trend, so be it, but the only thing I can be blamed me for is warning you! I chose not to talk about the MPDG because everybody already knows about those girls and this wasn’t supposed to be a thorough investigation about how our society glorifies these ridiculous personas.

At the end of the day, you all read the piece and had lengthy conversations about it, and that’s all I can really ask for. I’m glad that a few of you could identify with some parts of it, and even if you couldn’t relate to what I wrote, thank you for taking the time to read it anyway. You don’t have to latch on to one emotion as a part of your identity as a whole, but if it becomes something constant for you, maybe you should own it? Believe it or not, people are capitalizing on the simplest of things these days, emotions included. I know I’m not the only person out there who went through a scene phase… And emo is “making a comeback” so that shouldn’t be something new to any of you. It amuses me that even the tone of my voice in written form crosses a fine line between serious and sarcastic, and no one can distinguish between them. I stand by what I said, but perhaps I will consider being a little clearer next time…

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I have nothing more to say about this so if you still don’t get it, go listen to Lana Del Rey or something. Now I know what it’s really like to live a day in the life of the boy, Drake. I have experienced criticism far worse than this– being a subject on Eagle Rants will be one of my fondest college memories to look back on– and it only ever makes me want to write better. Much love to The Toast for allowing me to get this out into the world and many thanks to my gal pal Mallory for believing in me. Sad Girl Saturday is coming to a radio station near you soon, this isn’t over… ;’)

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End note: Whoever pretended to be Jane Lane made my day. While I am flattered to have been grouped with the fabulous Quinn, I would much rather be a Jody any day.

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2 thoughts on “In Defense of the Sad Girl

  1. A Toastie here. You do not have to defend Sad Girls. The issue with the Toast piece is fit, more than anything, and no amount of defense is going to make this audience fit your piece (my hackles went UP when I realized the word “girl” in this piece was being used to refer to adults–there isn’t a lot you can say to make someone like me a fan, ya know?).

    The whining about ~*advertising*~ is totally petty (notice that no one whines about The Toast linking to websites that suits the audience), AND it’s a (petty) stab at the editors more than it’s a stab at you, so no need to fight that battle, either.

    I hope this doing deter you from finding your audience. Good luck!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sam. I 100% accept and respect the fact that not everyone can get down with it, I just felt like I had to say something because things were getting misinterpreted and The Toast doesn’t deserve to deal with that. I suppose that this is what happens when you explore different audiences every once in a while… Now that I know what you Toasties expect, I am officially done with this battle!

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