Anyone who has watched Vanderpump Rules since the start can attest that season 1 Stassi was pretty much the worst. She was Queen B with her minions Katie and Kristen doing her bidding, harassing anyone who Stassi decided she didn’t like, aka newbie Scheana.
Cue to season 7 and Stassi is… likable? All of a sudden you’re rooting for her and her boyfriend Beau, embracing her new friendship with Ariana, and waiting in line to get her to sign your copy of her book, Next Level Basic.
According to Stassi, there was a shift that occurred in our culture where, all the sudden, traits that were once considered “bitchy” ware now considered “boss bitch.” At Glamour‘s Women of the Year summit, Stassi explained,
“In season one, people hated the way I spoke. Now I’m praised for my conviction. In season one, people said I was mean and entitled. Now I’m praised for being unapologetically honest. In season one, I had a ‘bad attitude.’ Now everyone ‘relates’ to me, because we’re all just moody all the time. Right? I mean, come on!”
Stassi has taken this cultural shift and run with it. She’s turned her “bitchiness” into a thriving business with a hit podcast, Straight Up with Stassi, a national tour, a New York Times bestselling book, and a partnership with JustFab.
Of course, it would be wrong to simply attribute her success to a cultural shift — although that has significantly helped. The truth is that Stassi has grown over the years. She’s come into her own.
But that would all have been for naught if society hadn’t been right there with her. Because Stassi is right — qualities that once made women “bossy” are now, finally, being seen as “confident.” It’s been a slow transition but we’re starting to get there. Four years ago, Hillary Clinton was constantly being called bitchy, angry, and other horrible, unrepeatable names. But now, we have candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris who are… well, they’re still being called sexist names, but definitely to a lesser degree.
Bitchiness is officially “in”, but only when you’re not being a straight-up bitch. As Stassi clarifies,
“I don’t want anyone to hear this and think, I’m going to go be a total bitch now. That’s not it. That’s not what I’m saying. Girls come up to me all the time trying to bond with me by talking shit. I hate when that happens. I’m saying that the qualities some people might characterize as ‘bitchy’ are the same qualities that you might need to forge your own path. I am who I am. I know what I’ll stand for and what I won’t.”
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.