LIFESTYLE

Girls Are Mean. But! We Can Totally Be So Kind, Right? (Inside: 40 Ways to Be A Little Bit Kinder)

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Girls are mean.

Sometimes.

Okay, more like a lot of times.

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When someone is mean, I get this sudden urge to release glitter into the sky above their head + watch it shower over them like a baptism of kindness.

When someone is mean, I’m also teletransported back to Art School.

Art School was brutal you guys.

My Master’s program at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago only accepted 8 graduates per year. It was a very competitive program. And there was this super mean girl. I won’t say who she is. I’ll just say this: Her name begins with “J” + ends with “ulia”.

When I think about the zombie Apocalypse, I think about her.

When I’m feeling inadequate + untalented, I think about her.

When I suck at something? You bet… JULIA! JULIA! JULIA! Her condescending Dolores Umbridge-like voice pops in my head. It’s terrifying. TE-RRI-FYING.

So that brings me here.

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It’s time. It’s time to end this mean girl epidemic, ya know? Kill these dementors once in for all. By the way, my patronus charm is a unicorn. Ahem, ahem, just thought you should know.

Alright so… what do we know so far? That girls are mean. But! Girls can totally be so kind if we had a little bit more faith in each other. Right? Deep down in my T-Rex heart I truly believe that. And I know you do too.

Imagine a world where girls aren’t passive aggressive with each other. Where girls don’t bully each other… call each other fat or ugly or whatever. Where girls don’t tear each other down.

Imagine a world where we all play nice. Where success is measured in selfless acts. Where kindness is queen. Where lifting each other up is the philosophy of life. Where we actively + aggressively believe in each other + praise each other + defend each other + think the other deserves the world. 

That’s the world I want to live in. That’s the world I want to help co-create. With you!

The ripple effect starts with one. One person to hold open a door. One person to leave a note on someone’s car complimenting their awesome parking skills. One person to write a thank you letter to a teacher. One person to be a spark of kindness when another really needs it.

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Here’s 40 ways to be that person:

  1. Bring your co-workers a special treat.
  2. Write a poem to someone special.
  3. Give pretty flowers.
  4. Help fund a Kickstarter project.
  5. Leave a generous tip.
  6. Plant a tree.
  7. Introduce two people who should meet.
  8. Call your mom.
  9. Gift a book you have read + enjoyed for someone else.
  10. Don’t gossip.
  11. Send a gift card.
  12. Surprise someone with balloons.
  13. Do the dishes.
  14. Make pancakes (extra bonus for bringing them to bed).
  15. Give a bear hug.
  16. Really spend time with someone without your smartphone.
  17. Thank the police for doing their job.
  18. Treat someone to fresh fruit.
  19. Organize a lunch date with da’ girls.
  20. Leave sticky notes with inspirational messages.
  21. Arrive on time.
  22. Buy dessert for someone else.
  23. Donate _____ you no longer use.
  24. Make a new friend today.
  25. Mail someone a hand-written letter.
  26. Lend a hand to a gal pal.
  27. Listen to a friend’s problem without trying to fix her.
  28. Send a thank you note to a blogger you inspires you.
  29. Keep a gratitude journal.
  30. Book a mani + pedi date with yourself.
  31. Call someone on their birthday, don’t just congratulate them on Facebook.
  32. Bring wine to your next dinner party.
  33. Help a friend think bigger with words of encouragement + pom poms.
  34. Pay the toll for the person behind you.
  35. Greet people with name tags by their name.
  36. Invite others to join a conversation.
  37. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in you life.
  38. Help change a tire.
  39. Leave quarters at a candy machine.
  40. Add yours here: ___________.

I challenge you to be that person.

Use the hashtags #BringingKindnessBack #KindActivist to document this much needed revolution.

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How we make others (especially other girls) feel about themselves, says a lot about us, our femininity, our sisterly superpowers, our womanhood.

If you think a girl is pretty… pretty smart… pretty strong… pretty funny, for God’s sake tell her. Say so. “Dang girl love your shoes.” “My gosh your skin is glowing.” “I see what you’re doing + you are rocking it.” Do it! Because you will probably make her really reeeeally happy for like 21 days.

You know who else will be happy for like forever? You! It’s true, the best way to make ourselves happy is to make other people happy. Works. Try it!

This is our mission. This is why we are here. To leave the world a little bit better than we found it. What else could it be? This is it!

Do good. Feel A-MA-ZING!

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Do you remember the last time you felt a happiness boost just for being generous + providing support + giving presents or contributing to make the world a little bit better? Share your story in the comments bellow to help inspire more and more and more random acts of kindness.

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Here is to kind girls everywhere. May we be them. May we inspire them. May we raise them.

Mean girls, take note or STICK IT!!! Life is way too short to condensed. Share stories that inspire other than gossip to trash. Pull up other than push out. Plant other than pain. Give other than suck the living life outta people. The world really doesn’t need your bitchin’.

Which reminds me…

Oh Julia! Julia who made me cry every single day after Visual Critical Studies: Creative Criticism class. Julia who really took the “criticism” part to heart. Julia who was so busy hating on people that she forgot to live. To be radically happy. To matter. Apparently. At least according to Google. She’s not even in the first 5 pages #karmaisabitch.

Oh Julia! My arch-nemesis. The PC to my Apple. The Darth Vader to my Obi Wan. The Magneto to my Professor Xavier. THANK YOU for being so hard on me that you made me want to be kinder that much badder.

We all have a Julia in our lives, don’t we? I know you’re thinking of her name right now.

By the way, to all other Julias in the galaxy, please forgive me. I promise it’s only this ONE Julia I don’t like. I don’t think y’all are trolls, or anything. Pinky promise. What? Of course you’re invited to my pajama party. So are you Julia Roberts.

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These are my final words of wisdom:

Dear Girlfriend (yes, YOU reading this),

Should you ever find yourself the victim of other peoples bitterness + smallness + insecurities, remember things could be worse. You could be THEM! 

And with that out of my chest I say, Let’s bring kindness back ladies! Cuz we can.

Don’t forget to use the hashtags #BringingKindnessBack #KindActivist to track our quest + find each other.

It’s time.

*This post is sponsored by Kate Spade NY. All content + ideas + words are my own.

Photography Credit

Susana Aramburú

Flowers

Boutique Flowers

Location

Uber House

21 Comments

  1. Great post mayi… There will always be MEAN girls around, but it is important not to let them hurt us 🙂
    great list… easy to implement…
    let’s go for it.

  2. Awesome post Mayi!!! Yesterday one of my girlfriends did something so kind for me that it made me feel ultra special! Living halfway accross the world with family away can be hard and that’s why girlsfriends are super important! I had to miss girlsnight as I had a nasty cold and one of the girlfriends made me her yummy buffalo chicken dip that I was craving and sent it right out of the oven to my house. What a surprise and sweet thing it made me feel super special 🙂

  3. Dear Mayi,
    I love your posts so so much. I read everyone of them with joy. You´re creating great and meanful content in combination with awesome heardmade pictures. I love it soooo much! Sry, I had to say that again…I also like that Olivia is a part of your business glamour glitter. It just all fits together: You with your big artist heart, Olivia with her sparkling eyes, discovering the lovely world of her mom…. all wrapped up in an emotional post with meanful content. I´m looking forward to your next posts*g*
    By the way: My Julia is named Katharina. She was one of my “best” friends in school, until she canceled the friendship because she got new “better” friends. I was not cool enough anymore- so I was not longer allowed to hang out with her. It´s very hard when someone is saying that into your face. But now I´m older and I´m focusing on the right people*pooops*

    1. HAHAHAHA I was thinking everyone would start thinking of the name of their Julia. You know that happened to me when I started thinking of baby names. All the sudden I could name my baby any name of people who had been mean or bitter hehehe. I thought that was really funny.

      Oh Sarah! Always brightens my day to read your comments. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. I LOVE your sweet energy Mayi. The opposite of mean girl energy. How could ANYONE EVER be mean to your sweet soul. Just saying….
    Also love being in BSchool with you. Will miss you and April when its over. A joy. Hugs, Catherine

  5. YES and more YES! Women need to support each other rather than tearing each other down. I don’t set out to be everyone’s best friend but I do try to be respectful and accepting person whom everyone can be themselves around. Is it really so hard for everyone to do that?! Thanks Mayi!

  6. Hi, Mayi!

    What a lovely, heartfelt post. ❤ I have but one issue with it. I know you and April really love the Gilmore Girls. I had never seen it before and the last fall my hubs was out of town and the place was kinda quiet. I had a bunch of no brainer type of work to do, so I thought I could combine it with some Netflix. Then I remembered the Gilmore Girls! I binge watched every flippin’ episode! I have never watched more than 3 episodes in a row of anything! It’s an adorable show.?

    So, do you remember the character that was always so mean to Rory? Her name was Paris and was she ever the Queen B****, ya know? But it was soon discovered why she was like that, right? She had so many problems of her own and she was one very unhappy and scared girl. Roy figured it out and they became friends. I fell in love with Paris. ?

    I’m not saying it’s okay to be mean, nor should we just take it, of course not. But the truth is, we don’t know Julia’s story. Was she like Paris maybe? When we talk about her here, in a not very kind way, we aren’t we’ kinda doing the same thing? We’re talking behind her back. We are being rather mean spirited to her now.?

    Truth is, we make our own happiness. We need to stop making other people the caregivers of our happiness. We need to not let the “Julias” still control our emotions and guide how we feel about ourselves . . . years and years later. We need to either make them our friend and move on or stop giving them the power to control our happiness.

    Maybe it’s because I’m older than most of you, but I just ain’t got time for that! I’m in charge of what and who makes me happy. Julia has NO control over that. Sorry for the long rant. ?

    Mayi, you are one of the sweetest women I know and I’m going to give you some of the same advice you and April give to your clients, paraphrased of course.

    Do your best, be yourself, put yourself out there. Don’t expect everyone to like what you do or make or say. The ones that don’t, well they are simply not your peeps. Don’t worry about them. Concentrate on your peeps, build up your community of like minded ladies and change the world. You may even be the spark of kindness that will help to change the hearts of Julia and Paris. ❤

    1. Hey Nancy!

      I’ve actually never watched an entire episode of Gilmore Girls, so I don’t know who Paris is, but I think I see what you mean.

      I believe there’s a Julia inside all of us. A Paris.

      I never thought I was a bully, ya’ know? Until I started listening to how I speak to myself. How I grab my thighs + call myself fat. How I look into my x5 magnifying mirror + call out every wrinkle, every imperfection. How I refuse to put on a bikini after giving birth to Olivia, because I don’t feel beautiful.

      I think I owe myself an apology.

      And I choose to forgive myself every time. However many times it takes.

      But! one must seek the light, you know? Show regret. Remorse. Ask for an apology. A sign of kindness. SOMETHING. ANYTHING!!!

      It takes so little, ya’ know?

      I’m not gonna lie, I truly have no sympathy for flat out bullying + no tolerance for meanness. I see it. I call it out. I don’t see that as unkindness at all, actually, I see it as a rebellious act of courage. As protective non-violence.

      My door is always open. My heart if always banging. You need no invitation to seat at my table. All I ask is for a sign of kindness. That’s all.

  7. I love this post so much! It’s so heartfelt and inspiring. With simple acts of kindness we change the world 🙂
    And I think that the mean girls are actually hurting inside and the way they feel better is by treating others poorly. It’s not easy to remember that when someone is treating you like crap, but when I take a deep breath and remember that it’s not about me and that it’s not personal, it makes everything better 🙂

  8. Mayi, I loved this post. I too had a Nemesis, who shared the same name as I, was born on the same day I did, at the same hospital, and we were together in class for 9 years. We had everything to be friends, but she was always a challenge to me, she would need to highlight her qualities and despise mine, for some reason. Near her, I never felt I could shine or even be myself. She would always minimise anything that came from me. And everybody else liked her, I was the one who felt awkward about her, but I was the only one she would treat like that.
    Some years ago, I saw her on the street. I was heading down, she was coming up. I wasn’t feeling very eager to it, but I decided to say hi when we would cross each other, after all, so many years have passed…and she pretended she didn’t saw me. I know sometimes we don’t want to make small talk to people, but that was so obvious! She missed an opportunity to clear the air a little bit and just be polite. I just feel like I was right all the time. And moved on. I’m happier now. 🙂

  9. Spread kindness like confetti <3
    You speak to my soul Mayi! THANK YOU, for the wonderful difference you do to the world!!!

  10. Thank you for this message Mayi! It certainly resonates with me. I was able to take the high road recently when a crazy girl was most rude from nowhere! Her dog was so happy to meet me and we were having a wonderful playful moment when she pushed in and said, “Excuse me!” in a mean tone. Both the dog and I looked at her shocked with a “What’s your problem?!” look. I decided to let the matter go because I really didn’t want to waste my time with her; she was obviously a very unhappy person (who doesn’t like happy puppies?!) and I felt very sorry for the dog to have to have her as an owner. I used to train dogs so I know a bit of dog language and her dog was having a very happy moment with me. Maybe she doesn’t have such a rapport with her own dog? Anyway, from experience, people like that usually have their own issues and until they want to shake out of it, they will punish themselves with a very unhappy life. Meanwhile, I continued my day happy with my good friend after having had a happy moment with a happy puppy.

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