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The Evolution of Jane


Disclaimer: First and foremost, let me state that this is meant in no way to insult any heartless bitches or other worthy women who are named Jane. The label Jane refers to Jane Doe, the nameless, faceless woman.

The term Jane was coined conveniently by my friend Keriann back in high school, when we were both budding heartless bitches, needing a way to refer to a particular brand of girl. At the time, it meant the girls who carried around Seventeen Magazine and pulled it out frequently for reference. The girls who carried at least four pounds of cosmetics around in their purses and would travel in packs around the school because they were too insecure with themselves to exist without their cliques. We started calling them Jane Does, and eventually just Janes.

But as we grew older, the term Jane evolved with our understanding of them. A Jane begins as a high school preppy girl, concerned with meeting the prefabricated image of 'girl' as portrayed by the media. Janes are form without substance, followers of pop culture and fashion, believers in the prefabricated culture that's maintained solely for their existence. Those who try desperately to fit that impossible standard, neglecting all else, until they're simply a shell of perfection, one who conforms to the mold by becoming hollow. It's a whole cultural phenomenon of blocking out reality and living without depth or substance.

A Jane is an image, and sometimes a persona. The saddest high school archetype is that of the failed Jane, the girl who wants desperately to fit into the plastic mold because she knows no other alternative, but fails for some reason. Lack of money comes to mind, or inability to conform to the current standards of beauty. Striving to be Jane leads many of these girls to crash diets and outrageous clothing budgets, so that they can be part of the in-crowd. The fact is, the in-crowd as it relates to Janes is a support group, a replacement for any sort of personality. Janes stick together in packs because without others of their kind to compare clothing and makeup with, to discuss how in or out the latest trend is, they'd cease to be. A stranded Jane is a sad thing indeed, and cannot exist for very long. Once opinions beyond the collective start to form she might start questioning the hive mind, and then she's evolved beyond Jane. When such a thing happens, it's time to rejoice. Sadly, it doesn’t happen often, since Janes don't let Janes have thoughts.

Janes aren't just a phenomenon of high school. While that horrible social soup of hormone-ridden teenagers, corn fed on the pop media and usually desperate for validation by SOMEONE is key to their creation, it isn't necessary to maintain them. Once a Jane is created all she needs to maintain Jane-ness is a collective of fellow Janes to keep her from straying. A Jane remains a Jane outside of high school if she marries young (Read: Before she has a chance to figure out who she is as a person and what her beliefs and opinions are) has children (The more and the younger the better, especially if this is a result of religious Dogma, lack of sex education, or desire to please her new husband rather than a desire to actually be a parent) , joins the PTA (Or similar mom/housewife/American woman drone society), drives an SUV, makes Jell-O frequently, and doesn't think too hard. Jane can graduate from Seventeen and Cosmopolitan to Redbook and Ladies Home Journal, and continue on her 'I am woman, just like the media defines me' path.

A Jane is a member of a hive mind, controlled by the mass media and told what to do, think, and be. Only those who conform to this willingly are truly Janes. It should be noted that Janes CAN and often ARE healed with the mere injection of a few alternate opinions. Janes are often Janes because nobody has ever offered them another choice. These Janes aren't nearly as insipid as those who are the way they are by their own volition, those who scorn and pity other people, who live in denial that anything beyond their shiny plastic bubble could be a worthy existence. To all the nice girls who know no other way, I say "Come and learn, you too can be a heartless bitch if only you grow a spine and some opinions!" To all the shiny Janes who are happy in their ignorance, I say "Shove the cosmopolitan up your ass."

Copyright© Heartless Bitches International (heartless-bitches.com) 2000, All Rights Reserved

Copying or reproduction (in whole or in part) on any medium (such as in print or on the web) is expressly forbidden without written permission from HBI

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