I am a bitch, or so many people have told me in numerous situations throughout my life, situations in which I told people what I was really thinking and feeling, didn't back down from a position, stood up for what I believed in, had standards, held people accountable, or simply believed in myself and lived my life. None of these situations would I categorize as particularly "bitchy" in the popular understanding of the word (describing a woman who is malicious, spiteful, selfish, and overbearing, according to a few dictionaries). This is why, a few years ago, I decided to reclaim the word as my own. Here is my definition of a misused, misunderstood, and most often negative word:
But how did I arrive at these words?
Well, in the beginning, it was because I was fed up with people recognizing me and saying, "Hey, aren't you that bitch on TV?" It was gobsmacking to me that that was how people perceived me, and when I started to think of the characteristics I have, I came up with my acronym.
It's interesting because as people get to know me, they realize that I am not a bitch in the dictionary definition of the word, but they also know that I have standards and expectations and that I have no problem voicing my opinion. This has led to interesting situations when I was out to dinner, shopping, or just living my life. I can make people nervous (I have had a tray of drinks spilt all over me because the waitress was freaked out), but the flip side is that when I compliment someone, they know I am sincere.
Sometimes, in order to follow our moral compass and/or our hearts, we have to make unpopular decisions or stand up for what we believe in. It can be difficult and even frightening to go against the grain, whether it's a personal disagreement with a friend, partner, or family member or a professional decision that affects coworkers and colleagues. This is why a bitch has to be brave. We have to stand up for what we believe in, even when we might not be popular for it. Honesty starts with being ourselves, authentic and true to who we are and what we believe in, and that may not always be popular, but it will always let you follow your dreams and your heart.
Let's face it: even in today's world, many people often feel pressure to play dumb or at least be passive in asserting their own intelligence. They may do this to avoid showing someone up, or to give the other person power because of personal insecurities or feeling like they don't have a voice. A bitch is not only unafraid to be smart, but she is not afraid to show people that she is smart, even the men in her life. We should all feel confident in our intelligence. By the way, intelligence to me isn't just being book-smart or having a college degree; it's trusting your gut instincts, being intuitive, thinking outside the box, and sometimes just realizing that things need to change and being smart enough to change it. This is not to say that people can't sometimes be really stupid, and a bitch also isn't afraid to admit that.
Creativity runs across many categories in life, from the arts-and-crafts project a mum or dad does with their kids, to the bestselling author's manuscript, to the designs of the hairdresser, to the creations of the computer programming genius. A bitch finds his or her creative outlet and never gives up using it to express himself or herself. This expression could inspire others and create something that affects the world in a small or large way, or it could just bring you happiness, whether you go out to your garage and start fiddling with computer components or jot down your favorite story... and you don't have to be Steve Jobs or J.K. Rowling! A lot of people forget how important it is to be creative. We get caught up in getting ahead and in day-to-day minutiae. But creativity is a fundamental mode of expression, as is being tenacious and standing by your own convictions and passions, even if it's not the "popular" choice. Sometimes, creativity is just looking at a situation differently and seeing another way of doing things.
"I love your sweater; I always wanted one with little reindeer all over it like that." No, actually, I didn't, and by the way, it doesn't make you look skinny, either. A bitch is not mean or cruel, but a bitch is honest. And that can get us into trouble, because many people avoid honesty in certain situations, and some people mistake honesty for callousness. But honesty really is the best policy. What would the world look like if it were filled with bitches that actually told people the truth? I think it would be a better place. But this world vision would require a lot of bravery, which brings us back to the beginning of the word and my quest to own it.
If people want to call me a bitch for having standards, passion, and expectations, being honest, standing up for what I believe in, and having no problem saying what I think, then I will own it on my terms.
Hopefully, it will inspire others to get in touch with their own inner bitches and make the world a bitchier place!
Tabatha Takes Over premieres Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo. For more details, visit the show's official website.