When you think of The Girl With The Reputation you’re not picturing the girl known for winning the science fair five years in a row or the girl known for raising thousands of dollars for animal shelters. I’d argue the word “bad” preceding “reputation” is redundant; the connotation of the word is implicitly negative and The Girl With The Reputation is aware of her notoriety.
The Girl With The Reputation isn’t clueless. She’s heard the truths, the lies, and the rest of the chatter that falls in the gray area between the two. Even for her it becomes increasingly challenging to decipher between real vs. fake, so the third category becomes the most prominent. Every exaggeration was conceived off some recognized fact.
Ignorance is bliss and The Girl With The Reputation realizes life would be a hell of a lot easier if she floated in oblivion. She implores her friends to immediately update her on what they may hear, but their words coated with pity and their texts sprinkled with sad faces still sicken her. She won’t tell them to stop though; call it masochistic or simply human nature but The Girl With The Reputation still adamantly insists on knowing every detail of what’s said about her.
The Girl With The Reputation is strong. She enters new interactions with the same ubiquitously habitual questions looming in her head: “do you already know who I am?” and “what have you heard about me?” As for conversations with those whom she is fully aware heard minutiae about her, she often fantasizes tackling the elephant in the room. The Girl With The Reputation has bite marks on her tongue from all the words she’s repressed, but it’s more important to keep her dignity in tact. You’d hardly even notice; her unwavering eye contact and effervescent smile would be enough to occupy your attention.
The Girl With The Reputation may be strong, but she’s equally vulnerable. She’s been scorned, mocked, and plain old disrespected from both men and women and strangers and friends. The Girl With The Reputation has had sleepless nights in which memories and words swim throughout her mind and infiltrate deep into her conscience until they poison every drop of positivity she’d developed. When you hear something so much you begin to believe it, and the The Girl With The Reputation is guilty of letting white noise get the best of her… but only for a minute. She’s better than that.
See, The Girl With The Reputation is a bit of a paradox. She’s curious of what others think about her but realizes it’s inauthentic and inaccurate. She wants to be liked but has no inclination to transform herself to please others. She doesn’t care what others think about her, but in moments of weakness has analyzed herself under someone else’s microscope. She’s established confidence but insecurity is not a foreign concept. She’s built like steel but still shatters like glass.
The Girl With The Reputation is numb… yet she is not.