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Lifestyle

Op Ed: On Beauty, Happiness And Loss – An Ode To My Female Friendships

From bonding over a mutual love of Glossier to going through life's biggest trials, here's reflecting on my ride-or-die friendships this Valentine's Day.

There is no secret that there’s nothing quite like the bond of female friendship — right from the get go. I, like a lot of other women who’ve had great female friendships, have shared beds, and lipglosses, amongst other things with their ride-or-dies.

One of my best friends is someone whom I have known since we were literally in pigtails in kindergarten. We spent our teenage years giggling over boybands, our twenties lamenting about the lack of men in our lives, our exciting careers and our dreamy sojourns in far off continents. Now in our early thirties, we’re happily married and surprisingly, inching into new territories.

It’s easy to bond as women — when we want to, of course. Whether it’s through the mutual love of a skincare product, dishing over a dermatologist, or deciding how crappy the Glossier mascara is, beauty and skincare, more often than not, acts as an icebreaker before more mutual things you love about each other.

My female friendships have been the bedrock of my life. Not all of them worked, of course, but when they did, they brought what everyone wants in a friendship — connection, shared sensibilities, enjoyment.

I’m not going to lie — it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. For many reasons, including the way I look, to what I enjoyed doing (I still read an average of 2 books a month) and the schools I ended up in in my formative years of education, I have experienced, repeatedly what Mean Girls coined as “girl-on-girl crime.”

It took awhile for me to figure out which acquaintances were made for better friendships of course. There were ones that you don’t even realise depleted you. Like my youthful romances, these friendships too, were fun at the beginning. You constantly appear in each other’s Instagram feeds because you’re inseparable but as time goes on, something about it just doesn’t work. It’s a little bit of you, and a little bit of them, but more often than not, it takes a lot for a friendship to end. 

It’s a double edged sword isn’t it? On one hand, it may feel so incredibly empowering to be able to extricate ourselves from relying on men to make us happy, but also, the pressure that female friendships can definitely be all-sustaining love novels. Just like how I’ve never expected my partner to complete me, my female friendships shouldn’t be that either. 

And then there are the greatest friendships. The ones that weasel themselves through the worst of jobs that leave you with PTSD long after and the ones that see you through difficult pregnancies. The friends who held you close when your father was dying and stuck with you when he died, never judging, always listening, and ready to help whenever possible. 

This Valentine’s day, here’s celebrating the friends who hype you up when you need it – and are always there no matter what. Be it fixing smudged eyeliner, lipstick on your teeth or the really big scary things we face in life, here’s an ode to our ride-or-dies.