True Life: I Was A Member of an Online Girl Cult

To be honest, I shouldn’t use the word “cult” because it probably conjures up images of Salem witchcraft, sacrificing virgins, and other dark rituals. But, the closeness of the group is a bit cult-like. Also, I just like the word “cult”.

Anyways, let’s go back about a year and a half ago to when I joined the elusive girl cult.

I received an invite on Facebook from a friend in LA that I hadn’t spoken to in awhile. Curious about the name (for anonymity, I won’t reveal the real name), I decided to join. Immediately, I came upon a forum that contained many different musings from hundreds of strangers. Not giving it a second thought, I clicked on something else and continued my daily internet surfing.

Fast forward six or seven months later, I get a notification from the group that my friend posted something. I clicked on it and saw that she was asking these strangers for advice. She received an outpouring of support and honest opinions about her situation. I, too, decided to give my own two cents to the post. From there, I became addicted.

For weeks I followed the group religiously. I gave people my own input on their posts and it felt so cool. I didn’t know any of these girls yet everyone was very receptive. In a way, it made me yearn for LA and the potential sisterhood I could have if I moved back there.

Then, one day, I came across a post that mentioned a similar group based in NYC. I jumped in and requested an invite to the east coast sisterhood since I was traveling to New York almost twice a month. After a couple days of wait time, I got in. I felt like I had received the golden ticket.

FullSizeRender (3)

When the NYC group showed up on the side of my Facebook, I excitedly licked my lips and clicked. Suddenly, I was greeted by a ton of super relatable posts. There was a different air in the NYC group. It felt more exclusive and real to me. Maybe it was because at that time I felt more connected to NYC than LA.

These girls became my sisters. There were posts about super private things like STDs, sex work, one night stands, Tinder screenshots, etc. Judgment-free!¬†But it wasn’t all dishy gossip. These girls were truly helping each other out which was so refreshing to see. Job postings, hard-to-get apartment listings, exclusive sales, free yoga sessions, you name it.

I loved it. I even joked once that it “reminded me of a sorority sans lily Pulitzer and monograming obsession”. Another girl added, “yeah and with sleeve tattoos and pink hair instead”. It was better than any other sorority because of its diversity. Girls of all different colors, backgrounds, and economic classes banded together to empower each other. Perfect, right?

However, I soon learned that it wasn’t all that perfect. Right before Fashion Week, I posted a photo of my hair in braids asking if any of the ladies would do my hair for a show. Five minutes later, I checked in and saw that the photo had been flooded with mixed comments. Half of the girls were saying it was super cute and giving me recommendations for hair stylists in the city while the others began slamming me for “cultural appropriation”.

This is when I started to see the pack mentality come out. While some of the girls had sought out to educate me, the others were just harsh. There were comments telling me how “uneducated” and “insensitive” I was. What I found funny was that all of the black girls who had given their opinion were super supportive of me donning braids. All of the negative backlash came from¬†hipster white girls hailing from Williamsburg.

My post soon turned into a wild debate. A ton of girls went out of their way to message me privately and let me know they were on my side. Which I soon realized was because if they had voiced their opinion on my post, there was a strong likelihood that they would be banned or shunned from the group.

People of all ages and color were responding to my post. One woman who was in her late thirties/early forties went on to say something along the lines of, “I honestly feel bad for your generation because you are always being shamed for being white. Growing up, I hung out with black girls all the time who ALWAYS braided my white-girl hair like this. I understand that the African American women did create this look and it is apart of their culture, but this girl is in no way trying to be “racist” or “insensitive” so stop picking on her”. And it’s true. I wasn’t trying to mock black culture at all. Irritated, I deleted the post which is apparently a big no-no.

The leader of the group sent me a message with a warning and some of the other girls created a post that fucking shamed me for deleting it. It sucks because some of the girls actually did want to politely educate me on the matter but they were drowned out by the extremists calling me “racist”.

As time went on, I started to contribute to the group less and less. I only commented posts that really spoke to me. I felt kind of alienated by the two admins who seemed to ignore anything I posted (which is super uncommon as they ALWAYS make their presence known on posts). It was only until I tagged one of them that she responded with a “hahaha”. Clearly, I had fallen from girl-cult-grace.

The straw that broke the camels back came a couple weeks ago. Some girl posted a funny screenshot from her grandmother. It went something like:

“Hey grandma, how are you?”

“I’m very tired”

“Why grandma?”

“Because I spent last night getting rammed by two big black guys”

Of course, this post would be given the same treatment as mine was. Only more aggressive. When I read it, I won’t lie, I was a little under the influence and it angered me. Not the comments that were polite and simply saying, “As a woman of color,I don’t really find this funny”. No, those comments didn’t bother me at all.

It was the harsh, condescending comments. “So, your grandmother is still living in the 19th century, huh?”, “this is so racist”, “ugh how ignorant”, “um, what? This isn’t funny. I don’t know why you would find this funny at all”. That shit bothered me.

I think why it was so annoying to me is because I had seen girls in there make fun of Asian penises before with no backlash whatsoever.

I knew I would be deleted if I gave my own opinion but at that point I didn’t care.

“Honestly, this is ridiculous. You all are freaking out over an innocuous comment from her grandmother. If her grandmother had said ‘2 Mexican men’ or ‘2 Japanese men’, there would be absolutely no negativity.”

That’s when some girl started replying to me with:

“Awwww did we hurt your delicate, white, fragile mind?”

“So much white privilege, it makes me sick”

“Just another butt-hurt, white person”

ALL OF THESE COMMENTS WERE FROM A WHITE-FUCKING-GIRL.

One of the admins added, “This is extremely racist and also, Megan, you are a repeat offender in this group. You will be kicked out if this happens again”

I rolled my eyes and told her to do it. I announced that I didn’t want to be apart of a group of radical women who bully other people for having their own opinions”

Her response? “Ok.”

And just like that, I was banned.

I reached out to the original poster and told her not to let those comments get to her and told her about my own experience. She quickly responded that she left the group because of how crazy it was.

FullSizeRender (2)

Weeks later, I thought about the group a lot. A couple of my other friends had left as well and I wondered how they felt.

Did I really miss it? Eh, yes and no.
In the end, with a giant group of girls, drama and cattiness is inevitable. It’s in our blood and that is an undeniable fact. However, I miss a lot of the girls and the whole sisterhood aspect of it. Some of these girls taught me so much about life and gave me really amazing advice that I will hold onto forever. To those babes, you rock.

Xx,
Megan


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s