Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This good girl wants to go bad

Don't worry mom, I'm not considering a career in the adult entertainment industry. Not yet at least. Yesterday at work I made a couple minor mistakes (on things I really hadn't been trained to do), and just as I was cursing myself for being so stupid, my boss called to tell me that (another) customer had told her how helpful and nice I was. Nice. Why is there a negative stigma attached to such a positive word? The compliment immediately made me feel better, but then it got me thinking. Where is nice getting me? Are successful people nice? I mean, why did Vanessa Hudgens *accidentally* let her slut pics leak? And what about Miley's new boob tatt? And why does Taylor Momsen feel the need to shred all of her jeans/leggings/tights? I'll tell you why. Nice is for suckers. Nice doesn't cut it on Gossip Girl OR the real world!

Do you think Kelly Cutrone became one of the most respected fashion PR people in the biz by being nice? I don't think so. She's always telling her assistants to "GO OUTSIDE IF YOU HAVE TO CRY," and the title of her new book is something along the same lines. Her sweet assistant, Stefanie, is always catching shit, while the new assistant, Andrew, seems to get all the brakes. Kelly admitted to hiring him because he dressed in all black, wore skirts and had long hair. So what, do I need to go goth and shave my hair into a fucking mohawk to get respect? 'Cause I will. Just say the word, Kell.

On the flip side, being a genuinely nice person has benefited me at times. I've clicked with editors during interviews who shared my same warm, friendly personality, and people tend to go out of their way to help me. (I would have been curled up in a ditch somewhere by now without the constant support of friends and colleagues!) Living and working in Manhattan for five and a half years has certainly toughened me up a bit, but damnit, I don't know if I'll ever get this bitchy, badass girl thing down. I'm still practicing in the mirror.

What do you think: Do nice girls (and guys) really finish last?


  1. I definitely have ongoing internal conflict about this question. Where I work, it seems that the bitchy rude folks always get their way because the rest of us simply give it to them to keep them away from us. But being a naturally nice person has me constantly surrounded by other amazing people - laughing, smiling, joking, and those same people are always there to help me pick up the pieces if I fall apart.


  2. Being "nice" always seems to get in my way. I cut with safety scissors, not an xacto knife. I think it works most of the time, but I wonder how much further ahead I would be if I didn't worry about beating bitches up. Maybe we need to take boxing lessons?

  3. I always say, "I found the nicest guy I've ever met and married him." So of course I think my husband (a very nice guy) didn't finish last at all!

  4. Ellen, I totally battle with this same issue all the time! It's like I don't want to be a pushover..I want to MAKE IT here, but at the same time its not in my nature to be rude! NY toughens you up, but I don't think it's possible to completely lose that southern charm=)I say, just be the best version of yourself, and the rest will come. Plus, what's the point in getting ahead if you have to constantly be in a bitchy bad mood to get there? You can't ever enjoy the success!

  5. There is a difference between being a bitch and being assertive. Women are called "bitches" when they assert themselves or refuse to back down. You can be nice/kind/generous and assertive at the same time. Think "Velvet Hammer". If you are actually mean and bitchy all of the time, you are the crazy lady who cried wolf. If you are nice, but something actually calls for you to stomp your foot, people know it is for real.


  6. I think in the end that the nice ones wll finish first...we just have to be patient.

  7. I tend to be a little squeaky at work. When I push back on a raise I get more money than if nothing was said. But, you can be nice and still get your way. K is the master. I forget her saying but it goes something like "You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar." For one, she stays pretty calm and has all of the data required before the potential argument takes place. But she is nice so that the other person WANTS to help her. Thats not to say that I haven't heard her hand someone their ass. :)

  8. I'm not condoning being a bitch (I happen to love nice girls, BTW) but if you ARE going to be a bitch, be a MEGA BITCH!


  9. Haha! Love Heather's comment up here! But, i prefer "nice"- it helps me sleep well at night. Being bitchy seems to win all the time, but the bitch is always topped by a greater bitch- niceness cannot having a rating affixed to it. Stay nice- what goes around, comes around.

  10. Being a bitch may get you somewhere in the short-term, but you better hope you are never in a position where the enemies you make can get back at you. In the long-run, being a bitch will come back to haunt you.

  11. Very true, Kim. I wouldn't have so many great people in my life if I were a biyatch.

    Never thought about it that way, KAT! I have the best bf in the world, so I suppose I'm not finishing last either :)

    Yes, Beth, I'm always always striving to be the best version of myself I can be. I don't think I'll ever lose my southern charm no matter how long I'm in this crazy city!

    You are very right, Shannon. I guess my "niceness" also causes me to come across as timid at times, too. Sometimes I let assertive people intimidate me and I HATE that feeling. I had to give myself "be tough" pep talks on a regular basis when I worked at the tabloid mag. It worked a lot of the time, but it certainly did not come easy. I'm bubbly too, which I also think can be seen as weak.

    Yes, MHP, I need to practice patience! When (not IF) everything works out, I know I won't be feeling this way at all! The wait will be worth it and I won't have to step on anyone's Louboutins to get there ;)

    See George, I want to be more like K! Super-sweet but totally capable of handing someone their ass if need be. I talk a big game on this blog sometimes, but I can be such a wimp!

    I'm with you Heather...I tend to be all or nothing on pretty much everything. I hate when bitches are SOMETIMES nice. The times I get prepared to snub them (defense mechanism) and they give me a big hello. Air kisses and all. Then I'M the one who feels like a bitch!

    Good point, Warrior. There's always going to be someone who will out bitch you. That is one competition that would be way too exhausting to even try to keep up in!

    True Flip...I don't have many enemies (at least that I'm aware of). Not sure if you've seen the movie "Devil Wears Prada," (or if you'd even admit that you had), but that's a good example of how the "bitch" (Emily Blunt) has short-term success and the nice girl (Anne Hathaway) wins in the end.

    hhaha that was my serenade, that rihanna song has been stuck in my head for so long.