Female friends are forever

By Mariah Bennett | Staff Writer

I am a girl’s girl — and not because of the statistics I’m about to show you. My friend groups have always consisted of mainly women, and my best friends are smart, strong, beautiful women. I’m proud of that.

I think all genders are important to society. I love my male friends too, but girlfriends are my friendship core.

When researching for this column, I was surprised to find that science agreed with me.

A Forbes article on the subject included research that showed hanging with one’s girlfriends helps them live longer and happier. It lifted an individual’s physical and mental health.

Research from UCLA found that “women more reliably turn to their social contacts in times of stress, responses that are … protective of health and longevity.”

I was happy to find legitimate research that supported this, and I 100% believe it. There is nothing more fun than spending a weekend with my girlfriends, who support me, laugh with me, cry with me and live with me.

I’ve never really understood the societal concept of male friendships over female ones, specifically ones tearing female friendships down. I’ll use the following article as an example, although I don’t know or invalidate the author’s personal experiences at all.

In an article entitled “It’s So Much Easier For Me To Be Friends With Guys & I’m Okay With That,” the author lists some reasons I find to be a bit untrue in my experience. Ones that relate to negative stereotypes include women caring too much about how they look, only being able to be goofy with guys and not being able to be honest with girlfriends.

First, it’s a bit weird to assume no men are vain, serious or able to take criticism well. I acknowledge that not all female friendships are perfect, and while men can be great friends, they aren’t perfect superhumans. It’s offensive not only to women but also to men to assume that.

I don’t even want to touch on the vanity of the first statement, but I do know my friends always make me feel beautiful. Second, I was literally using bald filters with my friends on Snapchat last night as I was writing this, and that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of the goofy things we send each other constantly; no man would ever make the memes my best friends and I send to each other. And finally, regarding the third statement, I feel that my closest girlfriends will always be honest and there for me — we’re adults.

When I receive a job offer, they’re some of the first people I tell. They respond happily and joyously for me. They’re some of the first people to jump on a hangout when we can, whether it’s driving to a Hello Kitty food truck in Fort Worth or just studying in Moody Memorial Library.

However, they’re not just there during the good. I remember when I went through a rough few weeks and wanted to be alone, but they still found a way to be there for me with cards, trinkets and candy — reaching out so I knew I was loved with phone calls, texts and a cute stuffed cow. When I was ready, they accepted me with open arms. I hope they know I would do the same for them.

I know I am very blessed to have found these friends and to love them. I do want to note they are a rare breed; there is no one like them. I know not all female friendships are like mine, but I do think female friendships overall are a pillar of love, laughter and family.