Top Ten Pieces of Advice You Should Ignore

Laura Bates is a feminist writer, published in Time, xoJane.com, The Guardian, The Independent, and regularly asked for comment by VICE, The Atlantic, and others. She is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project—a crowd-sourced collection of stories from women around the world about their experiences with gender inequality. She was named one of Huffington Post’s Most Inspirational Women of 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013 Shorty Award in activism. Girl Up is her second book.

adviceMost people tend to think they are an authority on some facet of life. Love, work, family, whatever––there will always be someone trying to smother you with life advice, to serve their own purposes. While some can potentially be of benefit, most advice should be questioned and, of course, no advice should be followed blindly. To help with the screening process, our author Laura Bates, of Girl Up, offers us pieces of advice to definitively ignore.

 

1. Treat ’em mean to keep ’em keen
Because needing to feel rejected and hated in order to be interested in someone is a fantastic start for a relationship! Said. No. Person. Ever. (Note: also works the other way around—someone who treats you mean deserves to find out pretty damn quick that you are definitely not keen. Plus or minus a pie to the face. At your discretion.)

Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism

Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism

by Laura Bates

  • Get Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism
  • Get Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism
  • Get Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism

2. Dress for your figure
Are you actually an apple, a pear, or an hourglass in real life? If yes, then I can see the merit in dressing to cover that up. If no, dress for yourself, goddammit! Your figure can deal with it. Life is way too short and clothes you like are way too hard to find for “rules” about who can wear what.

3. Always please your man
a) You might not be attracted to men.

b) If you are, let’s start with finding one who pleases you.

4. You are what you eat
No, you’re not! You’re a human being, not a tater tot. And if you’re eating other human beings you have way bigger issues than carrying a couple of extra pounds.

5. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer
This is a terrible piece of advice. Think about it. Why? Just why?

6. Don’t get a reputation
Get a reputation. For being awesome.

7. Don’t frown—you never know who might be falling in love with your smile
If they’re worth falling for, they’ll like you no matter what mood you’re in. Also, fake smiles are the actual worst.

8. Learn to take a joke
If your joke was funny in the first place you wouldn’t have to teach people to take it.

9. Don’t intimidate a guy by being too smart
A guy who’s worth his salt would find your intelligence attractive, not off-putting. If this comes up, check whether he’s intimidated by other smart men.

10. Don’t be the one to make the first move
OK, rule of thumb: if it doesn’t apply to pizza, it’s probably wrong. ALWAYS take the first slice of pizza. See? It totally works. Other applicable situations:

  • A pizza pleases you. Not the other way around.
  • A pizza is rarely intimidated by your intelligence.
  • You should NEVER wait three days to call a pizza in case it thinks you’re desperate.

Sometimes the best advice is no advice. Trust your gut and do not let a phrase dictate the way you live your life.

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