In the opening scene of the iconic rom-com He’s Just Not That Into You, Ginnifer Goodwin’s character, in a flashback as a child, gets pushed down on the playground by her crush. But instead of comforting her with a speech about her actual worth, or why no one should shove anyone ever, her mother offers one extremely ill-advised nugget of false wisdom: Boys push you down because they like you.
While it takes the entire length of the feature film to illustrate how so not-helpful this clichéd tip really is, Queer Eye culture expert Karamo Brown—who’s known for throwing down ace relationship advice—just set the record straight in less than 60 seconds. In a recent Instagram post, he tells his followers: “I just heard this mother tell her daughter that the boy who’s picking on her in school is only picking on her because he likes her. And I have to tell you all—that is the wrong thing to teach our children.”
In his typical sage-like manner, Brown continues on: “As a culture, we should never be telling our little girls that if someone is treating you bad, if they are being emotionally abusive, that if they are being disrespectful, that somehow equates to love.” According to the always-dapper member of the Fab Five, the language parents use to raise their daughters will stick with them throughout their adult lives, and even shape how they come to understand love. So, shrugging off an incidence of bullying as an early-age way to exhibit that four letter word just. doesn’t. cut. it.
“As a culture, we should never be telling our little girls that if someone is treating you bad, if they are being emotionally abusive, that if they are being disrespectful, that somehow equates to love.” —Karamo Brown
If your mom—like Goodwin’s character’s—raised you to believe in this faux-love reality, take Brown’s advice now, and stop the pattern. Because, “if someone in your life is being disrespectful to you, being mean to you, saying rude things, it’s not because they like you. It’s because they have insecurities and they’re projecting them onto you. You don’t deserve that,” he concludes.
Um, has anyone ever given advice that’s more worthy of praise-hands emojis—like, ever? Yep, that’s what I thought.
Here’s how to use your parents’ relationship as a road map to a healthy love life. And if you’re thinking about having kids, here’s how conceiving will change your sex life for the better.
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