Bizarre Behaviors of the Female Gender
If someone were to walk into my bathroom right now, they would see enough products to beautify an entire fleet of females. In my shower alone: five bottles of half-used shampoo and conditioner, various containers of hair revival serums, hair removal lotion, three different razors, vanilla-cream scented shaving cream, five different scented body washes, and three loofas. All of these products line the walls of my shower, some resting on the four-shelf shower caddy, and the rest are strewn about the floor of my bathtub. If I ever wanted to take a bath over a shower, it would first require the removal of about ten bottles of half used goo-products. I’m often mortified whenever someone visiting goes into my bathroom, because who in their right mind needs that much shampoo?
What I would like to talk about today is the fact that I find my own gender baffling. Females are strange, majestic creatures that behave in unfathomable ways that I do not understand, myself included. We buy pounds of new beauty products, while barely-used ones live lonely lives on our counter tops. Purses and shoes are worn once before they are outmoded and thrown away. We speak in ambiguous code. We judge other females we don’t know. We act indecisively. We say that “nothing is wrong” when we really mean everything is wrong. These small, bizarre behaviors are considered to be “typical” female stereotypes. They do not apply to every female but I find that many of them are present not only in my life, but in the lives of other twenty-something year old girls around me.
Part One: Goo-Hoarding
Every day my email gets bombarded with advertisements for sales and specials. My mailbox gets stuffed with catalogs from various stores like Victorias Secret, Bath & Body Works, Ulta, and Sally Beauty. Every time I click on enticingly titled “30% off ONLY TODAY” emails, or open shiny, smooth, brightly-colored, delicious catalogs, I’m instantaneously mesmerized by the beauty of all the glorious new products. I’m doomed at this point, there is no returning. There is no escaping from the in-your-face, glamourous advertisements. They reel me in one after another, persuading me to buy merchandise that claims to be more effective than what I already own and use. In my brainwashed state I grab my keys and speed all the way to the nearest beauty store, credit card in hand.
Whenever I set foot in Ulta, a beauty store large enough to house about fifty elephants, it’s like I’m a five year old kid entering Disney-Land for the first time. The floors are shiny and glisten under the many rows of illuminating lights above. The sales clerk awaits me in the entryway, seemingly as excited and starry-eyed as myself. She hands me a shopping basket and says warmly: “Hello there! Welcome to Ulta! Let me know if you are looking for anything.” She smiles so hard she squints and I feel like I’ve just been hugged by Mickey-Mouse. Rapidly my basket is filled with products. “What? These shampoos are buy one get one free? I need these, I mean, I’m going to run out of the ones I have eventually,” I reason to myself. “Oh, this mascara will make my lashes three times more voluminous? And this eyeshadow shade is limited edition?” Before I know it they join the product party in my shopping container, dancing and jingling every time the basket bumps into my merrily maneuvering legs. After making my rounds of the store I take my position in the line at the check out counter. I gleam at the girls standing in line before me; all holding shopping baskets in their hands, equally as excited as I am about all the new products we are about to own. Just as I’m about to pay, a lip gloss catches my eye on the median display shelf like a shiny object in the eyes of a raven. It has gold sparkling flakes and a pink tint, which I have in two separate glosses, but this one has them combined into one. It sneaks it’s way into my palms and somehow appears on my receipt. With my orange Ulta shopping bag in hand I skip back to my vehicle and begin my journey to the next emporium. Venturing to the next amusement park awaiting exploration, eager and delighted for the treasures awaiting my arrival.
I refer to the excessive purchasing of beauty products as “Goo-Hoarding.” When I buy a shampoo or conditioner, I’ll use half of it, and then replace it with a more enticing brand that smells different or claims to make my hair shine and move like the silky unrealistic hair you see in commercials. In the television show “Hoarders,” the lives of people owning jam-packed and cluttered homes are revealed to the public. All of their treasures and keepsakes build up, overtaking and demanding every inch of room available in their homes. While I wouldn’t consider myself as extreme as someone on the show, I still find the many half empty goo-products in my apartment excessive. I couldn’t fathom throwing any of it out as it’s still perfectly usable. As a result it all gets pushed to the far corners of my bathtub, stored away under the sink, or crammed into odd places in my room.
While I’m concerned by the collecting containers I’m also comforted in knowing I’m not the only one with this problem. I’ve watched friends disclose many different lip products from their purse. I’ve taken showers at their apartments, all of which are excessively stocked just as mine is. Sometimes we get together and paint nails, resulting in a giant plastic bin of nail polishes revealing itself from it’s storage place under the bed. While I’m sure that not every female hoards products, it’s a strange phenomenon that has occurred in my behavior as well as the girls around me.
Part Two: Carryall Receptacles
Inside the closet of my mother’s office there are three different purses hanging on hooks: a black leather cross-body bag, a black briefcase, and small blue clutch. Each one worn for different occasions to match a certain outfit, carry specific things, or used when she travels. In comparison, my mothers friend has a shrine for her purses. I discovered six Louis Vuitton handbags in her hallway closet one afternoon while I was hanging up my snowy winter jacket to dry. All of the bags were almost the exact same size and style, just made with different variations of the printed “LV” design. I worked at a local grocery store in the neighborhood before I went to college and every day she would come in with one of the Louis-V bag’s displayed on her arm, showcased for everyone to see. This was entirely different from my mothers approach, who uses the same bag daily, and rarely changes to an alternative one.
Personally, I don’t fully understand the purpose of owning multiple bags. I comprehend the idea and utility of having several bags of different sizes for different occasions, but to have multiples of the same sized purse confuses me. As a female who carries a bag, I can disclose how much stuff we generally haul around on a daily basis, and how having multiple bags complicates just about everything. Of course we carry the essentials: a wallet, keys, and a cell phone. Then the moderate essentials like Chapstick, lip gloss, snacks, gum, feminine products, writing utensils, sunglasses, hair ties, and bobby pins. More odds and ends manage to find their way into my bag over time, one week I was sick so I had tissues, cough drops, and cold medicine. On another occasion I was taking a late night walk so I brought headphones and a mini-flashlight. If I have gum or food wrappers, receipts, movie tickets, or business cards in my hands with no where to put them, they end up in my purse.
Similar to the idea of hoarding goo-products in the bathroom, a purse becomes a vault for not only the essential items, but a place where tons of other junk collects over time. That being said, the idea of having multiple purses frightens me because all that stuff that I carry around daily would need to be transferred to the bag I’m using that particular day. This provides the perfect opportunity to forget or misplace one of the crucial fundamental items needed when leaving the house. In comparison, if Batman had ten different utility belts he alternated between on a daily basis, he could easily forget to transfer his utilities from one belt to the next. You cannot just simply forget your Batarangs when leaving the cave for the day. Oh, whoops, I forgot my grappling gun in my other belt, guess Gotham’s screwed now.
Part Three: The Science of Complimenting
Several years ago, I only owned one purse: a military green small handbag. It was like an accordion, expanding when opened. It could fit just about everything I would need on an outing, making it the perfect sidekick and trusted companion. Due to it’s daily use, the handles were discolored to a muddled brown. The seams were ripping at the rippled edges, and there were several bizarre animal-shaped stains on each side. It wasn’t a glamourous bag, but it served it’s purpose, and I liked it. This all changed while I was out to dinner one night with my boyfriend at the time, and he questioned why I used the same small purse every day. “That one is getting so old and worn, and it’s not very feminine looking,” he declared to me. I countered his comment by snapping back, by saying something defensive. Believing whole-heartedly that he was just being rude and inconsiderate when in reality he was just commenting on his observation. Later that evening what he said was still rolling around in my brain. I studied said bag, noticing it’s deterioration for the first time. I had liked this bag, but ever since his comment in the restaurant it’s been sitting un-used and accumulating dust on the top shelf in my closet.
I’ve discovered over time that most guys do not understand the weight and power of their compliments and comments. They have the potential power to ruin an entire outfit, just based on what they say about it. “Oh hey, you look like a wizard today!”, “Well you look like you just broke out of jail,” and “Nice clown pants!”, for example. After I get upset about what they say, they counter with something like “Oh no, I like it, I like it, I was just kidding around.” Well, it’s too late. I will never want to wear this outfit again, and if I still have the receipt and price tag, it’s going right back to Hogwarts, to the jailhouse, the costume shop, or wherever you think it came from.
Part Four: All Girls Are (B)Witches
Guys may be clueless about the effectiveness of their words, and it might come across as insensitive or rude, but generally I believe them to be innocent. Girls whispering about other girls, however, is a force much more deadly and destructive. I’ve been not only a witness, but extremely guilty of trash-talking or badmouthing other females in the room. Just a couple weeks ago a girlfriend and I were out at a party on halloween with our boyfriends. After waiting in line for about an hour in the freezing windy weather in our tight, spandex-y, not-so-modest unicorn costumes, we had finally gotten into a fraternity’s party. Our boyfriends were left out in the line, because they didn’t have the particular assets the male frat door-bouncers were looking for. My girlfriend and I waited inside the door for about twenty seconds before deciding the boys would find their way in eventually, and that we should probably scope out the inside of the place.
Immediately after swiveling around, ten pairs of judgmental freshman-girl eyes greeted us coldly as we made our first steps inside. Since the frat wasn’t letting any boys in, all of the girls were left drunkenly lurking inside the premises. Some of the girls clawed at any guy that walked by, like eager zombies searching for fresh flesh. The rest stood against walls in small groups, glaring at anything that walked past them in heels. My friend and I assumed a position alongside the wall, and scoped the area just as the other girls were doing.
“Look at that slut over there,” my friend said as she gestured towards a slightly chubby girl in a cat-woman suit who was trying to win the attention of a boy standing next to her. “She’s trying way too hard. Can’t she see how ridiculous she looks in that skin tight velvet? Time to hit the gym,” she finished as I nodded in agreement.
That ill-fitting cat suit didn’t keep my girlfriends attention for long, as moments later she was on to the next victim.
“Look, just look, at that girl over there-” she pointed at a girl dressed in what seemed like a white latex set of underwear with angel wings.
“She looks good” I said, noticing her tan skin and slender body.
“Yeah she does, she’s making me look bad! My ass could never fit in those shorts,” she finished.
This type of conversation is so very typical of females, in any type of situation. We criticize those who look worse than us in attempts to make ourselves look better, and we criticize those who look better, due to jealousy and desire to look like them. It’s a never-ending circle; until I decided to break it. After dancing away at the party my friend and I were at, we decided to leave. On our way out I saw that same girl in her latex bikini angel outfit. I go up to her, and tap her bronzed shimmering shoulder to get her attention. “You look good. You look really good. Just wanted to tell you that,” I said as I smiled at her. She probably thought I was some crazy lesbian by the way that she first looked at me, obviously shocked by my compliment. However after a few moments she returned the smile and thanked me; I turned on my heels and walked out of the party.
Part Five: Talkin’ In The Girls Room
At the party, secrets are whisking around like tumbleweed, catching and clinging to the ears of all the short-skirt wearing, high-heel’d clacking, makeup drenched, drunken girls. Boys try to listen in, attempting to grasp the accursed words crawling from one ear to the next. These words are not meant for them to hear, and when they start listening, the girls cluster together and make their way into the most sacred place. A place where all boys are forbidden, and girls can talk freely amongst themselves: The Bathroom.
The bathroom is basically the equivalent of a football huddle. Girls strategize, planning venomous strikes on the boys they want to hook up with. They reassure one another by getting second-opinions on makeup, and fixing any damage done to their hair from the night’s journey. They check out the competition in the room, eyeing the other girls and making sure their one step ahead.
I was at a wedding reception party a couple months ago for one of my boyfriend’s friends who had just gotten married. Unlike most wedding receptions, they had beer pong, club music blasting, and plenty of shots for all the underage guys and gals who attended. I didn’t really know too many people there, so I stayed close to my boyfriend and his friends and watched the short-skirt wearing bridesmaids get blackout drunk. One of the bridesmaids, who’s name escapes me, had taken interest in one of my boyfriends friends, Grant. She joined our posse, and with her came a bottle of Jack, and some rainbow light-up flashing shot glasses inscribed with “Just Married!” on the side.
After twenty minutes of watching this girl drunkenly allure Grant (she threw herself at him, danced sloppily with him, and lip synched R. Kelly’s ‘Bump N’ Grind’ a little too loud in his ear), I decided to escape to the bathroom. After I announced where I was headed, this girl jumps off of Grant, grabs my arm, and shrieks “I’m coming in with you!”. I gave my boyfriend a slightly alarmed and confused glance from over my shoulder, as she dragged me into the single-stall room.
Once we got in there, she started questioning me about Grant as she used the toilet. I didn’t know if I was supposed to look her in the eye when I responded, instead a politely turned my head and made eye contact as little as possible.
“I have a boyfriend, I shouldn’t be messing around with him. Grant is so cute though, and I just can’t keep my hands off of him!”, she slurred. I heard the toilet flush and the sound of her dress being zipped back up. “Hey, does my hair look okay?” she questioned. I turned to inspect her hair, and nervously smiled and nodded, telling her it looked fine. There was a long unbearable pause as we both stood there. I no longer wanted to use the bathroom. In any other situation this would have been fine, but I hardly knew this girl, and there was no way I was using the bathroom in front of her while she drunkenly gawked at me like an owl. After reassuring her that I didn’t have to go (except I really, really did), I ushered her out of the room and returned her to Grant. The girl turned and winked at me, as she dragged him to the dance floor.
Part Six: Female Finale
These are few of the many miscellaneous, magical, atypical behaviors I have noticed in the female gender so far in my twenty-one years of life. I’m curious about how, or if these aspects of female behavior change as I get older, and if more appear. Even though I still really don’t understand why we act the way we do as females, it’s entertaining to talk about them openly, and share stories that some people reading can relate to and laugh at.