Like many of you, I have enjoyed watching the recent Shit Girls Say video and the videos that it inspired. When Shit White Girls Say To Black Girls took the meme in a racial direction, I knew it was time to add my two cents.
My college friend, actress Linnea Peery, also wanted to make a video that explored the things that are said to people like us — young women whose appearance evokes statements of curiosity and confusion, from the ignorant to the derogatory. So we took a few of the items from my June 2011 blog post and expanded on them in order to expose some of the irony that reveals itself when they are heard back to back. I hoped that our video would offer mixed girls a sense of community and give viewers a chance to see things from our perspective.
Making the video also got me thinking… what makes these little movies so funny? While hearing one remark individually can be upsetting, there is something inherently humorous about placing a whole bunch of them one after the other. Their impact is exaggerated for comic effect, but it also touches on the reality for those of us who field these comments and questions throughout our lives.
What people say reflects how they feel. And how they feel reflects the society and culture they live in. By shining a light on the things that people say across city and state, time and place, Shit People Say videos help clarify the beliefs, attitudes and structures on which so many of our interactions are based. By themselves, these remarks can be dismissed as innocent or harmless, but all together they highlight the bonds and divisions between us and reveal broader truths.
Ultimately, these videos can lead to discussion and greater understanding. Maybe even change. Or maybe just a good deal of water being spit out of people’s mouths.