What 'The Golden Girls' Taught Me About Being A Woman

What 'The Golden Girls' Taught Me About Being A Woman

Sophia, Dorothy, Blanche, Rose: Thank you for being my friends.

From a very young age, I remember sitting in my grandmother’s lace-covered living room, watching Walker, Texas Ranger for hours until 4 p.m. rolled around. At this exact time every day, you could hear the faint jingle echoing off the plastic-wrapped sofas: “Thank you for being a friend.” These words modeled my childhood. After school, I would rush home to make the 4 p.m. showing, right before Beverly Hillbillies. During my long rounds of chemo, Golden Girls would be my solace, the familiar voices and stories bringing me back to my great-grandmother’s plastic sofa, as if she were sitting there with me. I never grew up having a strong, independent, older female presence. These four ladies were like my grandmothers, telling me stories about their lives, teaching me lessons from their numerous mistakes. They taught me about how to be a woman, how to love, how to respect yourself, how to love yourself, how to be fearless, and how to be a friend. In honor of Hulu and their graciousness, for allowing me to officially binge one of my favorite shows, here is what I have learned from them over the years:

1. Wear confidence as well as they wear shoulder pads.

You should go through life with a strut in your step, as if your “Stan” is right behind you. Confidence exudes beauty, and you should wear, do, and be whatever makes you feel beautiful, whether you are skinny, fat, black, white or anything in between. Define your personal style no matter how outrageous. Whether you are a bombshell with hair to Jesus like Blanche or a dainty, classic woman like Rose, find yourself and wear it on your shoulders.

2. Embrace your inner Blanche.

Girls, it’s okay to be a slut (you too, guys). Blanche was my inspiration, ever so more now. As a woman in a different time, it is more “acceptable” now be single, independent, and “free spirited”. Even during a time where women were expected more so to be married, Blanche embraced her single life and enjoyed the company of many, may suitors. Even when Sophia called her a slut (as she did many times), she reflected a strong attitude that said: “fuck society, I will sleep with whomever because it makes me happy and independent”. We should all become a little Blanch-esque.

3.You don’t need a man to make you happy.

These ladies go through men like they go through cheesecake. From the Cuban womanizer, the little person, Stan (on many occasions), the beloved Miles, Sophia’s Sicilian, and the gay artist, they go through the same woes as modern day woman experience. In the end, they know that their independence, careers, and love for each other supersedes any fling.

4. Find your inner strength and perseverance.

It is hard not to crumble during times of lose, tragedy, and pain. When Rose had her heart attack, she fought hard to stay alive and rebuild her life. When Sophia’s son died, as a mother, she stayed strong and didn’t lose herself in grief. Letting yourself succumb to the consequences of tragedy will not allow growth. With the help of your friends and your own strength, you can overcome anything.

5.Letting someone disrespect you, even in the smallest ways, is never okay.

Even when rape, assault, and abuse were not so active as they are in today’s culture and news, The Golden Girls touched on issues women face today and every day. When Rose was sexually harassed by her dentist, the girls told her to go to police, to raise her voice and prevent other women from letting this happen. When Blanche’s daughter was being emotionally abused, she stood up for her, advocating that you don’t need to suffer for the sake of “finding a man”. Respect for yourself is the only thing you truly have; you must not let someone take that away from you.

6. Never believe that you don’t deserve true love.

This is one thing I constantly struggle with. Dorothy, a lonely divorced school teacher, found true love with the oddest of people, Blanche’s uncle. Being very Blanche-esque, I struggled with the fact that I deserve to wear white, that I deserve to be loved unconditionally and whole-heartedly. No mater what you have done, who you have done, and how many, you are worthy of love and nothing less. Thanks, Sophia, for making me feel loved.

7. You will always have that one person you will always love, and that’s okay.

Everyone is Dorothy at one point in his or her life, and they have a Stan. I, myself, have a couple of Stans. The connection is there, the relationship isn’t perfect, but fate is not in their favor. They are the loves you aren’t destined to be with, but create the largest impact. You grow with them, learn about yourself with them, love them, and they stay with you forever. Even to the end, when Dorothy remarries, Stan is there for her, holding a piece of her heart and wearing his on his sleeve. It’s okay to feel that love, even years down the road. It’s the most beautiful of loves, the ones that don’t die.

8. No matter what, your girlfriends are your soulmates.

Despite all the bullshit, the fuck bois, the heartaches, the happy times, your true girls will be there for you. Even when you part your separate ways, they will be your home.

Thank you for being my friend, girls.

Cover Image Credit: Touchstone Television

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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