By Jade

Player-hating is pretty much as old as time.  You know, Lucifer, Pharaoh, Brutus, the whole bit.  But in recent decades, hatin’ has figured so prominently in pop culture–in our songs, in our memes–that it’s become a mainstream epidemic.  Hate is a strong word, so call them what you will–detractors, naysayers, Fox News correspondents, whatevs–but the Donald Trumps of the world get their rocks off by throwing sticks and stones.  Everyone will give you the line about words being the things that really hurt you, but honestly, a little dose of the haterade does a body good.

I’ve dealt with my share of haters.  Listen, there’s actually some scientific and psychological rigor behind what I’m about to say, so take a deep breath before you start hating on me, too.  Whenever you’re the best [or worst, to be fair] at something, you wear a target on your back.  Being beautiful or brilliant or any manner of superlative is a cross to bear.  And never one to hedge my language, I’m just going to come out and say it:  I’m smart.  Like, really, really smart.

But it’s not just that.  There are plenty of people who are super smart and use that as an excuse to be effing lazy.  If the waters aren’t choppy enough, if their brains aren’t being poked and prodded enough, they’ll fall into a general malaise of chain [and/or pot] smoking and grumbling to whomever at the gallery opening will listen.  Shut up.  Make your own challenges.  Don’t just be smart, do smart things.  Just be prepared for people to start hating on you.

Haters Gonna Hate

Just gotta shake 'em off.

So yes, being a smart, determined, and [gulp] attractive young woman (FYI, it’s taken years of external affirmation to even entertain this thought, and it’s one I shoot down on the daily) in a professional environment opens you up to all sorts of negative energy.  People would love to take you with your pretty little Ivy-trimmed degree and knock you down a peg.  I say, have at me.

The other day, someone had the cojones to tell me that I’m not special.  Ha!  Recognizing my excusemebitch glare, he was like, “Yeah, I guess everyone in your generation thinks they’re special.”  First of all, it’s “everyone thinks he or she is special,” because collective nouns are singular and take singular verbs.  Secondly: Eff.  That.  Maybe they all do.  But I defy you to tell me that’s why I shine, that I’m not an exception.  Newsflash: I am.

Look, contrary to what it says on my diploma, I don’t believe in entitlement.  I’m smart, yes, and I have an enviable rack, yes, but I get what I want because I work for it.  Self-actualization is a powerful engine.  But oftentimes, it’s fueled by haterjuice.  I need these fools to tell me I’m not the exception so I can be like, “Aw, that’s cute.  Now let me hold your mediocre hand and show you how mistaken you are.”

And truly, embracing your haters is win-win.  Telling someone she’s not all that and a bag of whole wheat pita chips makes the hater feel like a million bucks, and proving him wrong makes you feel like Oprah.

So, hate on me, hater.  I got nothin’ but love for ya.