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A Review Of A Cosmopolitan Article About Being A “Sidechick”

When I’m on vacation, I like to sit poolside and read the latest Cosmopolitan or Vogue that’s on a stand at the checkout lane of the local grocery store. There are no hard-hitting news stories about Sri Lanka or ISIS on the pages of magazines like this. It’s glamour, supermodels, and tips on how to satisfy a man that aren’t even close to being applicable in real life. In short, a magazine like Cosmopolitan is sort of like dessert.

I can read the New York Times, The Paris Review, or TIME for dinner, but once that last page on global warming is read, it’s time for the creme brulee, also known as Cosmo. Sadly, though, I am not on vacation, which means that I’m not sitting poolside. However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t still read Cosmo if something catches my eye.

It’s raining, the temperature is hovering around 35 degrees, and I’m sitting in a cubicle watching my life rot away underneath the glow of fluorescent lighting. I pass the time on days like today by turning to group chats with friends, and the Snapchat group chat I have going on with four of my closest pals did not disappoint this morning.

“You guys have to read this. This girls truly the worst.”

Below those two sentences was a link to a featured article on Snapchat Stories titled “I Am The Girl Sleeping With Your Boyfriend: Confessions of a Sidechick.”

To be completely honest with you, I didn’t think it was a bad read. I’ll never judge anyone (especially a woman in this day and age) who wants to do what she wants to do. Our author is anonymous, but she begins her column with a dangerous precedent.

“It’s 11.03pm and I’m texting your boyfriend. Well, not necessarily YOU, the person reading this, but someone like you. A girl who has no idea the guy she loves is currently telling me what he wants to do to me, and sending pics of his IRL aubergine emoji.

Yeah, I’m the sidechick.”

Is it just me, or does Anonymous here sound like she takes pride in being the booty call? It’s fine if she does, but shouldn’t one aim to be something more than just a piece of ass that a guy with a girlfriend can call when his significant other doesn’t feel like having sex? Isn’t the point of women’s rights to empower oneself? Or is it more empowering that she’s comfortable in her own skin and willing to be the sidechick? I just don’t know. Is she a feminist or an idiot?

“I’m not an uncaring person. I donate to charity, I cry at long-lost-family reality shows, I can’t bear to see an animal scared or pain. But you? You aren’t real to me. I haven’t met you. I don’t know you. And somehow that lets me do this.

It allows me to be the sidechick with no guilt, just frustration that I can’t see him more, that he’s not free tonight because he’s playing host to your parents, or taking you out for your birthday.

Perhaps it would be different if I’d been cheated on, but I haven’t, so maybe I just can’t comprehend the pain that comes with the discovery of infidelity.”

Here’s the thing about infidelity: when you get cheated on, you’re not going to know about it. If you do find about it, it’s either because you got in a massive, no-holds-barred fight and your partner wanted to finish you off OR because one of your close friends knew about it and told you after the fact. It sounds like the author had a bunch of mutual break-ups before she started exclusively seeing guys who are in monogamous relationships. And maybe no one has ever cheated on her. But I’ve got a feeling this big of scumbag has to have been cheated on at some point in her life, she just isn’t aware of it.

It wouldn’t be fair of me to call someone else a “homewrecker.” If you’ve ever read something written by me, you know that I’m not a great judge of moral character. I don’t have an issue with her being a mistress. Do whatever you want to do. If you can sleep at night with the decisions you make then who am I to judge? What I really had a problem with in this article were the excerpts where she is comparing herself to fictional characters in the plots of fictional movies and television shows.

“Personally though, I think the rom com style movies and books I love so much have warped my mind, and I’m addicted to the idea of a grand romance that must overcome all obstacles (i.e., you) before I can get to the ‘happily ever after’ bit.

In my imagination I’m not the Mia (ugh) from Love Actually type – I don’t set out to seduce someone. I’m Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner, or Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy back when Derek was married but not dead (RIP). I’m the one he’s destined to be with, and I’m the one he ends up with.

Except that’s never actually happened, of course.

What never ceases to surprise me is how many guys ARE so willing to cheat. These aren’t ‘players’ that I go for. They’re not Geordie Shore lad lad lads who will shag anything that moves – they’re just normal men who love their girlfriends but, for some reason, take only the tiniest of pushes to enter the realm of infidelity.”

Okay, so there’s a lot to unwrap there, but the bottom line (and what I took away from it) is that she’s comparing herself to fictional characters in popular movies and tv shows. It’s fun to pretend like you’re a character in a movie. But characters in movies and real life human beings are not the same thing. And herein lies the whole problem with this woman’s argument that being a sidechick is somehow acceptable. She likens her current situations with some dude who has a girlfriend to J. Lo in The Wedding Planner and Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy. This isn’t only sad, it’s concerning.

This is an epidemic that not only plagues the author, but women all over the world. I don’t understand why this is the case, but I’ve dated girls who compare every situation in their lives to television shows or plots in a movie. TV Shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Friends give women these ideas that cheating or blowing some guy off is acceptable because Rachel does it to Ross. It’s fucking ridiculous, and they really do believe that their life is a tv show sometimes. Not every single woman in the world, no. But a lot of them. More than you and I probably think.

I don’t want this to sound like a indictment on women all over the world, but clean it the fuck up. Cosmopolitan gets clicks because they publish stuff like this, and I decided to critique it a little bit because I see parts of this women in many women who I know personally. Is it okay to be like this woman and have sex with guys who are in relationships? I don’t know. I’m not going to judge you for it if you want to do it. What I do know is that this speaks to a larger issue that needs to be addressed. To women like this the world over, I’ll say it because I know that no one else will – get over yourself. Your life isn’t a fucking episode of Grey’s Anatomy. You’re in the real world and your decisions have consequences. You’re not Rachel Green and this situation isn’t comparable to “The One With The Prom Video.” Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Vagina Legislation Committee meeting I need to get to.

[via Cosmopolitan]

Image via Netflix

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Johnny D

fashion icon. @dudaronomy on twitter. e-mail: jduda10@gmail.com

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