Your Friends Don't Care

I preach a lot that your friends, your real, proper, truest friends, categorically don’t care what you weigh.

In fact, I reckon that your friends, your fam, that neighbour that chats to you for a little bit too long when all you’re trying to do is sort your recycling in peace, love you for a myriad of reasons other than what you look like.

They love you because you’re quick-witted or because you’re a good listener or because you really are dedicated to saving the environment one lovingly rinsed-out PET bottle at a time.

In the interest of practicing what I preach, I’m trying to make the conscious effort these days to compliment people less on their appearance and more so on the facets of their personality that I really value- AKA the shit that really matters. No longer do I want to validate the assumption that anyone’s worth lies in their physical attributes. I would hate for my pals to think that what they look like bears any relevance to our friendship or that it’s what I look for and analyse when I see them.

In my own experience, I know that this assumption, that my friends keep a ‘C. Meredith’ file in the front of their brain which they constantly update with my BMI, how toned my stomach looks or how well I pull off a pair of dungarees, has led to an unshakeable fear in me when I’ve come home to England from Spain, after upping my croqueta consumption by approximately 4000%, and have worried that my pals would notice my weight gain. And even more so than just noticing, I worried about what they would think. I worried they would be shocked at how huge I had gotten or pity me for really ‘falling off the wagon’ or they would remove me from the gals’ WhatsApp group on account on going up a dress size and not fitting our former girl gang aesthetic.

And lo and bloody behold, when I’ve popped home to England a few times this year, each time looking slightly plumper, no one has said a single thing, because guess what?
Your friends don’t care what you look like.
Your friends don’t care what you weigh.
Your friends don’t care how many Kettle Chips you eat, as long as you save a couple for them.

And so today I’m writing about my pal, Mol, on one hand because she’s bloody brill and on the other because I wanted to reiterate that what I love about her isn’t what dress size she is or how shiny her hair always is or how friggin’ beautiful her freckles are (ALL TRUE, JUST FYI), but the stuff that really matters. I know a lot of you won’t know Mol but people have been writing about muses for years without being able to put a face to their name. I mean, how many people were actually mates with Billie Jean or followed the Lady of Shalott on Twitter? So here we go, a lil' ode to my main gal, Mol.

Mol and I have been buds from the beginning. I spent the majority of my teenage Sunday mornings waking up on an airbed in her bedroom. Entire summers passed with me lazing in her back garden talking about boys and meticulously planning my forthcoming wedding to Pete Wentz (date still TBC). We spent sixth-form catching up with each other on lifts to school and play rehearsals and choir practices.

Mol is one of my favourite people ever.

She is such a positive, energising vibe to be around. She knew how to talk to boys before any of us did. She drank pints before it was cool to. She is so fun: she laughs so heartily and loudly that people in pubs turn ‘round and stare. She is always down to clown when we’re all back in the hometown, and she’ll even drop you off to your Mum’s house afterwards too, her caring nature only highlighted further by the fact that she’ll wait until you’re inside the door, even after scrabbling around for your keys for about 12 minutes, before she drives off. 

Mol is and always has been so generous. As we’ve grown and evolved, so too has Mol’s generosity: she always had us round when we were kids and these days she'll always get a round in on any night out. She’s generous not just with resources but also with time, and understanding, and patience. She listens. She asks questions. She calms me down. She’ll drop you a message privately if you don’t sound as chirpy as normal on the group Whatsapp just to check everything’s OK. I know that I can tell her anything. And I have- I’ve told her anything and everything and she understands it all. She understood when I told her tough stuff I didn’t tell anyone else and she understood when I missed my stop on the train because I became too distracted in my quest to find an emoji that resembled a puffin. She is such a loyal cheerleader. She’s the first like on Insta. The first one to laugh at your joke. The first one to applaud an achievement or support you in a tricky decision.

Even though Mol has been a totally steadfast friend of mine for the part thirteen years, she is also a reminder to me, an extremely refreshing one, that people are capable of change. I don’t think Mol will mind me saying that she has changed so much in recent years. It’s not a huge life turnaround, but to us, her close and oldest friends, in its seemingly tiny ways, the change is so palpable. It’s an effortless calm in new and unchartered social situations, a friendly hand on the shoulder to greet an acquaintance she doesn’t know that well, an enthusiastic 'HIYA!' to new people, a new-found and utterly warranted confidence in herself that has crept up in recent years.

She deserves all her success and so much more. She works so hard. She is so friggin’ talented. She is the career woman I always envisaged her to be and I am so happy to come along for the ride and watch it all.

See? I could’ve banged on about beautiful Mol is for days, but I didn’t, because that’s not what first comes to my mind when I think of Mol: the real stuff does. The stuff that matters. I’d encourage you to do the same and realise in turn, that nobody cares what you look like, nobody cares what your BMI is, nobody cares if you go to the gym 9 times a week or how often you eat waffles.

Your friends don’t care what you weigh, and neither should you.