Hello to the HBIC
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
It was Ed Sheeran's song "Cross Me" that allowed me to own an acronym I never thought could ever apply to me--HBIC. Here are the lines from his song that I love:
Now what you not gon' do
Is stand there 'cross me like you got Kung Fu
Death stare, crossed arms, running your mouth like a faucet
But you don't know that my girl been doing CrossFit
Pew! Kung Pow! Get your a$! with a cross kick
Blowing air out, wear you out, you exhausted
Know she gonna slide anytime you bitches talk s*!$
Keep a lil blade in her f*!cking lip gloss kit, ayy
No one say hi to me without her
Better pay your respect to the queen
Better do that s*!$ without a flirt
Gotta respect the HBIC
It's just a stupid pop song, I know. However, this stupid pop song permeated to my bones. Here was a man singing about a woman who is a real woman. Then, the part above is the rap that Chance the Rapper performs. There's no language about big booties or talk about women being strictly sexual objects. This woman is to be respected. She can take care of herself and anyone else by any means necessary. This woman is not dependent on a man--she has a partner--a partner, if you go by the lyrics alone, who holds her as his equal instead of holding her as a status.
I saw myself in the description of this woman--at least the self I strive to be.
The HBIC squares her shoulders and faces the actual world. She moves from daydreaming to making reality. She has power that she owns rather than letting it own her. She has an energy and a wisdom. She knows what's hers without being possessive. Why would she need to be possessive--she's earned all she has, even the respect that people bestow her.
She does things just to get them done. She exists and creates without permission or apology.
A woman like that moves through the world with her head high.
There are moments when I feel I move like that, and it's amazing. Now, if I could only maintain it.
A complication I still face is this one: I still take too much stock in what others think about me. A real HBIC wouldn't care. She knows that well-behaved women are long forgotten within two generations.
If I ever get to the superhero status of HBIC, worrying what others think of me may be my kryptonite.
Here's an example:
My sister's friend once complimented my hair, which had a blond streak at that time. When I thanked her, she retorted that the way my hair looked that day was way better than when it "had that purple s*!$ in it."
A few weeks prior, I had visited my favorite stylist Lauren in Raleigh. I had shared how I felt on the inside, and she suggested, "Want to dye that blond streak a different color?" I was all for it--purple is my favorite color, I felt super creative at that time, and my hope and belief in myself soared. I wanted to look on the outside the way I felt on the inside--fun, creative, and fearless.
When my sister's friend bad-mouthed the purple hair color, my sister, who was sitting nearby, burst out laughing. She laughed until she ran out of breath, and when she started laughing, her friend began laughing.
I felt small, pitiful and ashamed that my hair only had represented something done in poor taste and made me the butt of the joke once more. To make matters worse, I was expected to sit there and just take the criticism.
And I did.
None of that was very HBIC-like.
I soon after dyed my hair black all over, getting rid of the blond streak entirely, so thorough was my shame.
Next time I face something similar, I want to be the HBIC and "take my blade out of my lip gloss kit. Ay!"
I have no illusions that those who have derided me for one reason or another will ever respect me. To them, I'm forever the weirdo, the outcast, the joke.
These folks do not discourage me; they spur me on. They make it easier for me to keep at my goals, so I may enter the echelons of those who like me--nerds and creatives who do "crazy" things like dye part of their hair purple. The people who poke fun or tell me I'm crazy or disrespect me one way or another propel me forward so that I can move from this state of stasis into one that moves at the speed I do, the speed that keeps me filled with hope and verve.
I need to get to the point that if I want to shave my head or wear crazy clothes or move to Hollywood or Nashville or Sri Lanka to pursue the things that make me feel most alive, then I'll do it no matter the flak or the laughing to my face or behind my back.
That's an HBIC, the queen.
Don't cross me.