Last night, I watched the first episode of Ja’mie: Private School Girl, expecting lots of guttural laughter. After all, the whole "man parodying a female archetype" premise seems very Saturday Night Live. Thus, you can imagine my surprise when all I produced were a few intermittent giggles and general sense of discomfort.
Perhaps it was a little too real, which usually is not an issue. On SNL, the reality portrayed is endearing. Mike Meyers’ Linda Richman represents 75% of the sweetest, kindest Jewish women in Brooklyn, the ones who put a smile on your face, warmth in your heart, and food in your belly. However, Ja’mie’s reality is a character rotten to her core. Watching all thirty minutes, I was traumatically reminded of the shallow girls who littered my high school, teasing me and many others, completely insensitive to the insecurities of those around them, and most certainly out-of-touch with their own.
As an adult, I have learned that they never truly change. Those gossipy, cruel girls dating attractive gay-bashing boyfriends transform into competitive Wall Street-marrying soccer moms who sublimate their depression with Neiman Marcus charge cards. Of course, there are exceptions, but some stereotypes exist for a reason. More often than not, they are true.
Part of my problem with Ja’mie is MYSELF! Around these types of women, I am a person I loathe. I become fake and nasty in an attempt to fit in with the girls who would never accept me in my adolescence. For the longest time, I wondered why, and most recently, I have come to understand. I mimic them, seeking their approval, my rationale being that if I gain it, they will not attack me. Thus, my feelings will not get hurt like they did so deeply years ago. This awareness provides me with a bit more power over my behavior, but I am still a work-in-progress. The Ja’mies of the world bring out the worst in me. I do not need a comical impression; I have lived the real thing, and it was not funny. It was torture.