I know what you’re thinking: “Lol, no we are not.” And, yeah, that’s valid. We definitely, like anyone who is intoxicated, can have moments of deep inelegance. We can pick fights, or wobble into a table, or cry on the toilet while a girlfriend looks on empathetically, blocking the stall door. But I believe that there is a certain switched that gets flipped in drunk girls which, despite all of the silly things it makes us do, brings out a truly wonderful part of us. Allow me to explain.
One of the most significant things about navigating the world as a woman is having to un-learn all the stuff that you were taught to believe growing up. The critical eye which with we regard ourselves and other women — something we often spare men from entirely — is so hard to let go of. We have been taught to be hyper-aware of our appearances, and the appearances of other women, to view physical or romantic appeal as a sort of game we are all playing, a competition that only a limited number of us can win. Making a snide comment about another woman’s outfit, judging her hair, or rating her on some invisible scale is almost second nature. Doing the same things to ourselves, often to a harsher degree, is something we do nearly every morning in the mirror.
This learned hatred — the one we are constantly trying to undo — leads us to feel a sort of hostility with nearly every new woman. She is a thing to be appraised, and likability is something she will have to prove over time. Guilty until proven innocent, so to speak. And while it’s definitely a hurtful, ugly quality, it’s something we have learned in self-preservation. We protect ourselves, and what we perceive to be our social value, by being fearful and threatened by the value of other women. It’s all very complicated, and something we have to actively work on every day.
When we’re drunk, though, when our cheeks are flushed with rosé, something changes. There is an almost palpable feeling of defenses coming down, a sudden compassion and joy for the women around you. We make immediate friendships waiting in lines, we compliment uninhibitedly, we laugh and cover for one another while going to the bathroom. We tell secrets and hug and even kiss. We tell one another how beautiful we are, in a very sincere, if somewhat slurred, kind of way. It’s a joyous scene, the kind of unedited girl love we always imagine we should be having but never do. The instinctive prickliness with which we often confront new women is replaced by a kind of curious sweetness, a desire to make one another feel good because life is too short to feel any other way.
I believe that getting drunk is a moment of pure catharsis for women, a time to forget the crippling social anxieties raised by other women and embrace one another as the beautiful friends that we all have the potential to be. There is no reason that we shouldn’t be welcoming, lending beauty products in the mirror and making happy conversations with strangers. There is no reason that another woman being beautiful and well-dressed should threaten our ability to be those things ourselves. There is no reason not to tell someone if you think she looks wonderful tonight. When drunk, we feel the euphoria of realizing that all of our greatness can co-exist and enhance one another, and we deserve to feel it all the time.
In many ways, feeling this way on a regular basis has been taken from us. We have been put into confining lines of propriety and jealousy and forced to police one another’s femininity. And we can create small escapes here and there, have moments of freedom where every woman is a new friend and not competition. We can force ourselves to take that tipsy attitude and apply it in total sobriety. Because when we are like this, we are truly the best version of ourselves, the people we always could have been — if only we hadn’t been taught that it was more important to be the prettiest than it was to be happy.