As a young girl growing up, I watched a multitude of Black American films and Tv shows. Most if not all were centred around female friendships, sisterhood and some good ole Girl Power.
Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people.
Sisterhood is the relationship between sisters
Girl Power is used in reference to an attitude of independence, confidence, and empowerment among young women
Waiting to exhale, Moesha, Sister-Sister, Girlfriends and Set it off gave me some insight into what female friendships and sisterhood should look like. The good, the bad & sometimes even the ugly. Being that I was the only girl child with two brothers, I really didn’t know much about sisterhood outside of what I had seen on tv. All of my knowledge and understanding really came from what I saw being portrayed on the big screen.
As if that wasn’t enough, the influx of all female girl groups consumed the music industry in the 90’s and their influence ran right into the new millennium. Shout out to my mum because she allowed us to have ‘The Box’ which was Cable TV for British People lol. The Box gave me direct access to the latest music videos of girl groups across the globe. I knew all the words to most of the songs and I was quick on my feet with them dance moves too.
I was the additional group member in Destiny’s Child, TLC, SWV and many others. This was a fact and no one at home could tell me otherwise lol. Up until this day, I can still remember the first time I saw the Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’ video. I was in awe. I’m not sure if it was because they were British or because they were girls on a total madness in a music video. It was all new to me and it totally blew my mind because I had never seen anything like it before. All I knew from there on out was that when I was old enough I would have my own squad.
This ‘squad‘ would become the sisters that I never had. We were going to be smart, fly, flawless & independent. The talk of the town, the crème de la crème, popular head turners with more than enough charm. We would walk each other through the different stages of life from first jobs to saying “I do”. Our bond would be tight like a knot nothing or no one could ever come between us. In my mind, it was possible to be like the girls in all those films and TV shows. I knew I wanted lifelong friends but as I grew older I realised that sometimes it’s not possible for 20 kids to play together for 20 years.
My experience of Sisterhood so far has not been smooth sailing. More like a profound learning experience that has taught me so much about life, other women and of course myself. My mum always told me that “you have to burn to learn” and she ain’t never lied. Some of the best life lessons come through the burning process but that is a new blog post for another day lol
Like many women out there I have been backstabbed, lied on, betrayed and let down by females who I have called my sisters. The friendships that I vowed would last a lifetime didn’t make it past a couple years. Some of my “day ones” have turned out to be agents from Satan who were secretly plotting on my downfall. I’ve had multiple friends screaming “yasss slay sis” in my social media comments but private whats app convos have said otherwise. Women just haven’t been who they portrayed themselves to be. My feelings have been hurt without reason, I’ve been abandoned by sisters who swore that they valued me. Yet I find strength in knowing that I am not the first woman to go through this and I most certainly won’t be the last. This is the just way life goes.
Being a woman isn’t easy and being friends with women is even harder. After all the ups and downs that I have had with my female friends, I gave up. The petty SHIT got played out for me, I was sick of females not saying things with their chest and hiding behind other women. I no longer wanted to be a part of a squad or clique and I even told myself I don’t want any bridesmaids at my wedding LMFAO. I just had no interest in being around females if all it would bring me is drama. I came to the conclusion that sisterhood among women was dead. I was anti females and I vowed never to trust another sister in the same capacity again. It is true what they say one bad apple can really spoil the lot.
My negative experiences made me the question whether sisterhood among women was really alive? How can you call someone your sister but be ready to trample on her to get ahead? For a long time, I used to think that maybe it was a cultural thing. Let’s really keep it 100 here, sometimes within the Black community, we have the tendency to fight against one another for the stupidest things. Some say its the residue of slavery whilst others will argue that we simply just can’t get along. However, I can admit that it is not a cultural thing because the ladies in Sex in the city and Mean girls showed us issues within sisterhood has nothing to do with race.
Women can be so cruel to one another, especially to the women they know and even worse to the ones they know from a distance. I’m an imperfect sinner who has had fights, gone out of my way to trace out a couple gal, said some horrible things with valid reason and without. I’ve sipped and served many cups of tea (gossip) and thrown plenty shade. There ain’t no woman alive on this earth who has not done the same.I have grown up a lot and I still have lots more growing to do, because I refuse to stay the same person. Every woman has bitchy ways, but it’s their choice whether or not they chose to display them.
I have improved my attitude towards women a great deal. I try my best to go out of my way to support other women. Whether its a Retweet on twitter, attending an event, buying products and services or offering my time. Even small words of encouragement and a compliment can go along way. I now realise that when one woman wins I win too. Whenever I see a woman driving a bad boy car, I’m like yasss sis Fuck it up.The unity of sisterhood isn’t limited to the women that you know, it can be shown to those that you don’t know either.
Supporting another sister does not take anything away from you or your destiny. In this new age of social media, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors. The world is full of noise and women supporting other women appears to be the “in thing”. Yet what lies beneath the surface is jealousy, competition and fake unity. There are many females walking around in squads full of phoneys. Majority of them don’t really like or support each other and they are waiting for their sis to crash and burn so they can revel in her misery.
It looks good to appear as if you are supporting someone because you don’t want to be called out as a hater. Most people care about how they are perceived by others and this is the fuel behind their behaviour. Sometimes support from your “so-called sister” is really jealousy and hate disguised as a Repost on the socials to save face. As harsh as this sounds for many women this is a reality. Please don’t shoot the messenger I know my delivery is raw but Aunty Lorna (my mum) didn’t raise me to trample lightly around the truth. If one thing sisterhood has taught me is that people’s actions never match what is really in their heart.
The truth is SISTERHOOD isn’t dead, but it’s in CRITICAL condition. There is so much more that goes into being a sister to another. It requires great compassion, love, patience and understanding. To call yourself SOMEONE’s sister comes with a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly. A lot of us commit to sisterhood relationships without understanding the depth of the responsibilities that are attached to it. We immaturely launch ourselves in at the deep end and cant deliver when it times to step up to the plate.
From my own experiences, I have called the wrong individuals my sisters and have left myself open for plenty disappointments. I’ve been naive and put people on pedestals they had no business being on. I used to the think that the strength of sisterhood was due the quantity of a squad. I soon came to realise that you could walk alongside a large group of people who were really not on your team.
The only way to survive the dark side of sisterhood is to make sure you position people appropriately in your life. When people show you who they are the FIRST time, don’t stick around for part two because you will only have yourself to blame. Seek wisdom regarding friendships and don’t just run into people, learn to be observant of others before you go screaming ‘SIS’. Also be a reflection of the type of friend that you would want others to be to you. You cant be out here screaming everyone is fake when your credentials are a bit sketchy because you’re actually a shit friend. Do better.
Most importantly let your past experiences be a lesson. Use them as a guide on what to avoid when establishing new relationships. My mum told me that she met some of her lifelong sisters in her late 20’s, so remember that you are never too old to make new relationships. Give Drake a pass when he is out here screaming out ‘no new friends.
It is rare that you get to continue on in life with the people who you started with. You grow up and move on. Break promises of staying friends forever. Walk away with many unanswered questions and pride won’t let you go to go back in time to hash out the past. So take those memories, FORGIVE, keep it moving and pray that the people you need will meet me on the way.
Despite sisterhood being turbulent for the most part of my life, I must say there have been some blessings to come out of it. I no longer have or feel the need to be a part of a squad. I now have a collection of amazing women in my life who joined me during different stages of my journey. Some have been there since day one and others have come along the way and shown me the real definition of sisterhood.
So today I shoutout to the women who have made an impact in my life and shown me the real definition of Unity. Even though I was an only girl child at home, I was blessed to have a multitude of women around who loved and looked out for me. Most importantly to the sisters from my past, if I was not a good sister to you I apologise. We may no longer speak but our paths crossed for a reason and many valuable lessons were learned from it. I have peace with you all because I stopped holding malice many moons ago and by forgiving you I have set my soul free and can have peace of mind.
I now understand that in order to be a better sister I have to become a better woman. Before I can give to others I have to ensure that I give unto myself first. The filling of my own my cup will enable me to serve others from its overflow. Showing love to other women must truly come from the genuine depths of my heart. To experience Sisterhood is a privilege that is to be honoured to the highest degree. I cherish it and I can’t wait to pass these gems onto my daughters, nieces, goddaughters and many other women who shall come after me.
So In the spirit of sisterhood, I just want to shout out some of the amazing women in my life. To my friends and family members who are mothers, I am deeply inspired by you. As I watch you all nurture your children, I am blown away by the level of strength you display on a daily basis.You are all doing amazing and I can’t wait to see your children grow up to do great and mighty things.
My ladies killing it in the hair, makeup, music, food, social media and creative industry, I see you all. Please check out some of the talented women that I know below!
Vloggers & Bloggers
I would love to know your thoughts on this post so please let your girl know what you think!
Thank you for all the support so far it means everything to me.
Please subscribe to my blog for email updates so that you never miss a post.
Keep spreading the word and showing love on the socials
Girl power to the world
Lots of love
❤ Jenna ❤️