It seems as though in recent years, the notion of NGAF has become some kind of a battle cry for women. It’s become a hashtag, a clothing line, and even a poem/piece of performance art. We use it as an excuse for everything from not washing our hair to skipping class to being ok when he doesn’t text the next day (in the cases that we want him to). The initial thought behind it makes sense – there’s something empowering in not caring about the opinions of others and doing your own thing, but much like flowered headbands and nail art, I think we’ve taken it too far. We now wear IDGAF like a suit of armor designed to protect us against things that have the power to hurt us – friends, relationships, family, body image.
It would be one thing if it was legit – if we really didn’t care when any number of things happen. And for some things and for some people, that’s true. A simple “IDGAF” works like a bullet proof vest, with little injustices just bouncing off of it. But I’m just not wired that way. For awhile now, I’ve felt like that somehow made me “less than” – that the only way to be cool was not to care, so I tried to adopt the IDGAF mentality and failed miserably. While I wish I could be the chill girl that actually doesn’t give a fuck, I, in fact, have lots of fucks to give.
I care when a guy up and disappears, not only because ghosting is douchey, but because it sucks when someone you liked not only isn’t interested back, but just totally vanishes. I care when my friends cancel plans. Sometimes my feelings get hurt when someone tells a joke at my expense, leaves me out of plans, or can’t make time to show up for a drink at my birthday party. I care when I stop being friends with someone, whether it was my choice or theirs, because it leaves a void that no one else can fill. I care when I find out that someone I entrusted something to doesn’t keep it to themselves. There’s nothing more important than trust.
I care if people think I’m attractive. That’s human-freaking nature. Of course, I lost a bunch of weight over the last year for my health and so I feel better about myself, but also because I care what people out there in the world think, and I got tired of them thinking of me as a fat blob that didn’t take care of herself. Not everyone has to find me beautiful– that means different things to different people, but I do want people to think of me as generally well-put together, and there’s no shame in that.
I care what people think of me. I care if they think I’m a bitch, so I try to be kind. I care if they think I’m a liar, so I try to be honest. I care if they think I’m all talk and no action, so I try and keep my promises. And while I am who I am and I won’t apologize for that, I still care when someone doesn’t like me simply because they don’t like me.
It’s time for me to stop pretending that IDGAF and start admitting that I do care, about lots of things. In fact, when it comes down to it, there’s actually only one thing I don’t give a fuck about: and that’s people who think that my caring about things somehow makes me weak. Because I know it doesn’t. In fact, it does the opposite; it makes me a stronger, more empathic person. Does giving a fuck make me more vulnerable? Sure. But I’m okay with that, because at the end of the day, the ultimate IDGAF is being true to who you are regardless of what people think. And that’s exactly what I’m doing..