Background Actors Confess What Conversations They're Actually Having Off To The Side
Background actors are needed for plays, for film, for commercials - if you want it to look convincing, you need people in the background. Production teams normally can't just shoot with strangers in the background, tons of people don't want to be filmed while they're just trying to get some pizza or something. So what to do? Cue the background actors! But with no real direction, and (let's be honest) nothing really important to offer to the storyline, what exactly do background actors talk about all day long?
One Reddit user asked:
The answers were everything we hoped for and more, lol. Brace yourself for a lot of talking about food, because apparently that's like 90% of being an actor.
The Produce Section
Typically something like:
"Peas and carrots, peas and carrots. Peas and carrots?"
"Oh! Banana banana banana!"
"Peas and carrots. Peas and peas and carrots."
Former theater kid here. I generally stuck to small talk and used exaggerated facial expressions/gestures to make it look interesting. When I'd be talking with a friend of mine, we either complained about something that had gone wrong in the show or exchanged a little gossip, lol. Theater was fun.
Sound Editor Says:
Friendly neighborhood Sound editor and mixer here!
Their words are almost entirely mouthed. The goal on set is to get the cleanest dialogue AND ONLY the main characters' dialogue. Almost all other sound is made in post. Door creaks, footsteps, clothing noise. This includes background voices. They come from what are called loop groups. And their conversations are normally nonsense so that nothing can be picked out and listened to. There jobs are to sound like mumble without mumbling!
16 Hours Of Silence
I'm training for Stunts, so I do a lot of background/extra work in-between. I'm in Chicago, so I work on things like Chicago Fire, Chicago med, Chicago Pd, empire, the exorcist, etc. Every time I've been on set, I've had to be dead quiet. The mics are so sensitive that even flipping a page to a magazine on the other side of the room will get picked up. Throw in 20 more conversations on top of that and you've got a hot steaming pile of useless junk. It's pretty awkward having to fake a conversation, especially since you normally don't even know the name of the person you're talking to. Having to repeat the same pretend fake conversation and actions for 10 takes, rehearsals, etc, kind of sucks but at least you never have to worry about getting the line wrong. Repeat for 12-16 hours. Sometimes you will literally sit in holding for HOURS at a time where you have to be silent, too.
TLDR: nothing, sets are crazy quiet 90% of the time
Netflix and Tacos
I was in a recent Netflix film as a background actor, and was paired with another girl for the scene. We had to act excited, so we started this long conversation about how great Taco Bell was. It was hilarious!
F The Proletariat!
This might just be me but I usually make up gossip that would fit in the context of the show. For example, I was a party guest in late 19th century Russia, and I would walk up to someone and quietly say something along the lines of "Man, f the proletariat, am I right? No way that'll ever come back to bite us!"
It's All About Chemistry
Depends on your chemistry with the person you're talking to. But it is always very quiet - almost inaudible. It can be talking about where you're gonna walk to next - sometimes you need to do this if your background character has to do a lot of movement without crashing into people or the set.
A lot of times it's nice to do some joking back and forth, trying to get the other person to "break" - just to keep it interesting. Example: One show, I had to have a really close-talking, kinda angry conversation with a girl in the background, and we ended up going back and forth saying the most outlandish stuff we could think of while making really serious concerned faces.
Oooh We Have To Bleep ALL Of This lol.
I was on Game of Thrones set dressing (props) and when Jamie Lannister was getting pulled down the hill at Rob Stark's camp all the extras were just shouting:
_"C_nt f_cking bastard f_cking dckhead"
and so on lol. When the director said cut everybody was laughing even Jamie Lannister
Larry v. Barry
I work as an extra to learn about the industry (I aspire to be and actor and director) and I always try to have fun with these background conversations and really try to flesh out a ridiculous subplot between myself and the other background artists I work with. For example, when doing a TV show last year, we did a couple of days where we filled out the same market setting for different scenes throughout the series. They often hired the same actors and had us wear the same costumes, so the people I was grouped with and I decided to create an arc in which one of extras was called 'Larry', but throughout the series he was replaced by his weird evil twin 'Barry'. You can watch the show and notice our reactions to the Barry/Larry character change as the 'plot' unfolds.
Always give it 100% as an actor, folks.
Time To Learn French
When I was in a production of Les Miserables, the director instructed that all background conversation and ad-lib had to be in French. It was a really cool addition, in my opinion, once everyone learned to pronounce things properly.
Playing Wilbur in Hairspray on a cruise ship. Every show I had about a 45 second "conversation" with Little Inez. One day she says "Ohmigod! Did you hear about Phillip Seymour Hoffman?" That's how I found out he died. On with the show.
Dirty Talk And Strippers
Usually, you cannot talk... but have to mouth words.
One set I was on we turned it into a game. Mouth a sentence and when the director yells cut try and guess what the other person said. If I was in a scene with a person I knew well... it was usually PRETTY dirty...
EDIT: The most hilarious experience was on the set of a future TV show filmed in Chicago. It was a strip club scene, and the director wanted authenticity so he hired real strippers. They had to be told "tone it down" multiple times...
Tech here, one of my favorite examples from a stage show I did. Two actors had to have a background conversation upstage on set, while another scene took place. They were both huge Monty Python fans and would sit there reciting the entire dialog to various MP films. Some of the crew could hear them in the wings and had to work at not laughing, or blowing their cues. But the real problem was a young actress that was supposed to be sleeping next to them... she wasn't familiar with MP and broke several times.
So my experience was a little different than most the other ones mentioned here. I was an extra at a cattle auction and was required to yell for some of the takes. They kept telling us to get louder so by take 3 or 4 we were pretty much screaming. It was quite odd, especially since most of the time extras have to be silent.
People In Love Need To Poop, Too.
One time me and my girlfriend were extras for a film and we were in a cafe scene pretending to be in love on a date. I really needed to poop and all I was saying to her under my breath was "I need the bathroom" while looking at her in the eyes and smiling.
It cracked me up when I saw the film and you could read my lips and what I was saying.
Depends on who you're with:
Sometimes you get an older person, they over act with their face and actually pantomime (pretending to talk without actually talking). It's what we're all supposed to do but they're usually the only ones that do it.
Then there's the person with hearing problems. They try to whisper talk but end up being too loud and get everyone in trouble.
The person who doesn't have hearing problems but talks to loud anyway, everyone gets yelled at like above.
There's not really a limit or anything when it comes to the whisper conversations for backgrounders.
I usually talk about work, like "what have you been on? Have you worked with X before?" stuff like that. There's some networking as well, as some people who work as background are just getting their foot in the door for crew.
Every now and then you get a super annoying BG on set and you end up talking about them while the cameras roll, since you can watch them try and push their way in front of the camera.
I went on a couple dates with girls I've meet being randomly paired up with them. Made a lot of friends the same way as well.
Dancing To Silence
Did some background extra work. One scene was meant to be at a festival. For each take we would have to dance to silence.
The extras on set do not talk during filming.
"Crowd talking noises" are added in post production. That way they can use different takes without an audible cut or change in the background conversation.
There are two main ways this can be done. Typically, a "loop group" will come in, a troupe of five or six voice artists, who will ad-lib background conversation, read radio/TV reports, or otherwise make noise for people in the background of the shot. They can do a full movie in a day or two.
Other times, if there's only one scene where background noise is needed, after they finish shooting the whole scene and before they wrap the set, the main actors will leave and they will record 60 seconds of the extras talking, moving plates, using silverware, etc. There are SAG rules, however, about whether or not they have to be paid extra for doing this, though, so it only happens under certain conditions.
Flirting With Beggars
A unique perspective but for many years as a kid I was an extra in large ballet productions for a pretty prominent ballet company. Non dancing rolls I'd be "village woman" "market place lady" "beggar" "Ball attendee". Our job was to make the scene come alive so the village or ball or what have you seemed bustling and lively while all the dancing happened. We were meant to react to the environment and react to the action in that airy ballet type way.
Well large ballet productions like that are anything but silent. There are all manner of little jokes going on in the back and fooling around. Especially in the production where I was a beggar. I was 16 and there were 6 of us teens paired with 6 or so 20-something men from the Company. Our job was just to go around and create mischief, beg for money. We'd harass people in the background, create alternate story lines for ourselves and try not to get caught cracking or goofing off while also trying to flirt with the beggar boys. It's always the time of my life.
I actually did background for a year or so when I first moved to LA. The conversations run a gamut. Much of the time you don't actually say anything; you're just mouthing words.
Other times you'll just say inane things like "watermelon" over and over. Rare, but it does happen.
But a lot of the time you're just talking to the other background. It doesn't matter what you're saying (as long as you keep your voices low and don't break character visually), so you're just chatting. Granted, most of these people are one-day friends from diverse, artistic backgrounds, so often your topics will get really weird, really fast.
The fact itself that you're on set leads to much of the conversational hilarity. For example, one time I was working on a big crime procedural show and we were doing a rain scene outside of a murder victim's house. So me and two other background actors are huddled off to one side of the set under these big rain machines suspended from cranes. Right before they would call action, rain on, then cut, rain off. All we have to do is stay under our umbrella and look gossipy, and we're golden.
But of course we're chatting, and to hear each other over the water we had to project a little, even standing two feet away from each other. And we're having a conversation about one of the lead actors on the show, a very famous, masculine action star, and making very racy puns about him. Because, you know, it was 3 in the morning and we're standing out in the fake rain and we were a little punch-drunk. And this is what you talk about with new actor friends.
They called cut on the latest take, and immediately the Assistant Director calls over his bullhorn: "Background, be quiet." We didn't think anything of it, they'd been saying that for a few takes no matter how low we tried to get our voices. But then he added: "The mics are pointing right at you."
We shut up immediately. If one of the parabolic mics was indeed pointed in our direction, then a lot of the crew could hear all the butthole zingers we'd been coming up with about their star. Whoopsie.
Supposed To Be Miming
I did a promo as a background actor for the mother of a girl I liked who was directing. I didn't know that I was supposed to be miming talking, not making any actual sounds. Every time she stopped and said how she could still hear me through the sensitive mics I would just talk lower but it wasn't working. I still feel bad about that.
A Never-Ending Stream Of Profanity
I'm a pianist for musical theater, not an actor, but... In the show "Breaking Up is Hard to Do", there's a scene where an actor is talking directly to the audience and then the scene "flips" to other characters talking "backstage". As the scene flips, the actor's mic fades out, he turns around to face directly at me, and continues to improvise a monologue for about a half minute or so. Every night, it got more and more ridiculous... One night, it was just a stream of never-ending profanity. Thankfully, he chose not to go with that on any actual performances; our sound crew isn't always on top of things and that would not have gone over well.
I'm in opera and yea, we say some pretty messed up s*** to each other. The benefit over musical theatre is that we're never directly mic'ed so there isn't the worry of being overheard.
Professionals try to get each other to laugh all the time.
There's an opera, La Forza del Destino, where a character finds out at a climactic moment that his best friend has been sleeping with his sister. He finds this out by finding her portrait among the friend's personal effects. It's a common prank to remove the portrait and replace it with dirty magazines.
Talking About Squash With Amber Heard
I work as an "professional" extra, meaning I do it so much I almost make a living of it and have starred in a large number of Blockbusters and international productions. The funniest incident regarding weird background talk, was when I with two other guys, were made to talk with Amber Heard during the filming of The Danish Girl. If you've seen the movie, it's during the party scene, and we basically talked about how to say squash in different languages as well as our favorite cocktails. 10/10 would do again. She is super nice and down to earth, and absolutely one of the most approachable actors I've worked with :)
Learning about a juicy family secret can typically go one of two ways.
Sometimes it's purely fascinating and fills us with the same excited interest as faraway gossip. Other times, however, it involves us personally, and the truth is hard to bear.
People all over the internet are loaded with stories of both varieties, and a recent Reddit thread asked folks to come forward with theirs.
Redditor skadarski asked:
"Did your parents reveal a secret to you once you reached adulthood? If so, what was it?"
For many, the deep secrets involved the hidden, true relationships between family members. Soap operas are not as fictional as we may have hoped.
A Holiday Reveal
"That I had a much older half-sister. Apparently my father had got some girl knocked up in high school, her parents didn't like him and thought they were too young to raise a kid, so they just packed up and moved. He knew she existed, but never tried to locate her and just moved on with his life."
"After I was in college, the sister had contacted him and they got together. Well nobody bothered to mention this fact to me until I come home from college for Thanksgiving and this strange women is sitting at the table and my dad says, 'Meet your sister.' "
Kept Far Away
"When I turned 18 I got a letter from a distant Aunt and Uncle wishing me a happy birthday."
"I hadn't seen them since I was a a baby, but there's hundreds of pictures of them and me together when I was a baby. They used to babysit me a lot and take me on vacations with them."
"My Mom told me they used me to smuggle things. I guess they said it was super easy to smuggle just about anything with a baby. At one point literally hiding cocaine in my diaper."
"When I was 18 my mom told me how my dad cheated on her with this woman named Kathy. I actually remembered Kathy when I was kid because my dad would take my brother and I to her house. She would buy us computer games and stuff so we loved her at the time. I never understood why my mom hated her until I was older."
"Kathy ended up marrying my dad's best friend. As an adult I was never nice to her and my dad would give me sh** about it. I finally told him that I knew about her and that mom had told me everything. He just said "Oh, alright then." He never gave me sh** again."
An Italian Coverup
"Kind of. My sister decided to take a DNA test to get some insight into her ancestry. She got her results back and had zero percent Italian, while our dad is 100% Italian. She didn't confront them right away and instead decided to wait until I took the test and get my results."
"Four weeks later I got my results back and sure enough, I also had zero percent Italian, and it actually identified my biological father, who isn't my dad. They revealed the secret when my sister intentionally let it slip that she was and I were waiting for our DNA results."
"I'm 38 and it never once came up. It wasn't even really for a bad reason, they had fertility issues and went to a sperm bank. I'm honestly not sure they ever would have said anything"
For others, the secret was all about the source--or absence--of cold hard cash.
A Deep, Deep Hole
"Most of my college was paid by someone named Tony (random dude to me). I know you're all thinking that it was some sort of lovechild thing, but it turns out my grandfather was a bookie and Tony was always just a bad gambler."
"So instead of My grandpa having his knees capped, he made a deal Tony would pay for college."
"My great-uncle (dad's uncle) left me a large sum of money in trust that I was to receive at either age 25, graduated from college, or was honorably discharged from military service (he retired from military), whichever came first. I had no idea and I'm glad I didn't."
"I joined the military right out of high school and when I had my DD-214 in hand, my parents took me to a lawyer who laid it all out. Wow. Because of the enhanced GI Bill, I didn't have to touch a cent of it for tuition. I did use it to buy a house though."
"I miss my great-uncle as much for his wisdom as his company."
More Generous Than Any Knew
"My grandfather was a small business owner who everyone always thought of as extremely frugal due to growing up poor. Later we found out he spent a significant amount of money on charitable causes and helped a lot of his employees with financial and in one case legal trouble."
"Positive secret, but it was definitely a secret."
And some shared truly bizarre stories from the years they were too young to know what the heck was actually going on.
A Secret Prolonged
"Not yet, but when I was in college and my parents got divorced, my dad gave me all the information on what to do if he passes. Told me where things are, and had me go to his bank to sign a document for access to his account after he dies."
"When we were leaving the bank, he told me, 'your mother is not who you think she is. Everything you need to know is in my deposit box.' "
"I have no clue what he could be talking about—he never elaborated, and my mom laughed it off when I told her about it."
"Guess I'll find out one day."
Not Just A Saying
"When I was a kid, my dad accidentally killed a raccoon with his car. It had a young one with it that wasn't hit, so we adopted the baby raccoon."
"We adored it, but we were not at all equipped to care for it. There was no lock or cage that could stop this thing. It was very clever, strong and curious. It got into cupboards and ate food and trash, and we'd find its sh** in the most random places."
"One day my dad sat me down and told me that my raccoon had 'gone to live on a farm.' I was old enough to know what that meant, and I was heartbroken."
"Just a few years ago I was telling this story to my husband and my dad interrupted me and said that he literally, actually gave my raccoon away to a work acquaintance of his that had a farm and a lot of wooded property. It had become so accustomed to humans it constantly broke into the man's house and ate his food, and got enormously fat and lived a long ornery raccoon life."
"There was story growing up about how a local prince wanted to marry me and offered things like cows for my hand in marriage."
"When my father passed away I went to my home country and met cousins I had not met before."
"Turned out the prince was the president's son and it wasn't an offer, it was a demand. We snuck out of the country because he was going to make me his wife - bear in mind, I was a toddler."
"My mom filled in the back story. The company my dad worked for had to smuggle us out of the country. My life was so exciting when I was 6."
Perhaps these stories have you feeling like your life could be more exciting. But before you start thinking that way, perhaps there are secrets you simply haven't heard yet.
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Try as we might to control our impulses, it's not always possible. Sometimes something happens to us or in front of us that really engages something in us that we were not expecting.
We are animals first and foremost and sometimes the actions of others trigger a response in our animal brains. We really can't control it, but we can tell when it's happening to us and we can control our response.
"What is something a friend did that accidentally turned you on?"
Here were some of those answers.
Reding Is FUNdamental
"A friend was reading a brochure out loud to me, nothing salacious, but the feeling of being read to felt very intense and intimate."
"I fell in love for about 30 seconds. Haven't gotten anyone to read to me since :)"-squindy9
Parka De Car
"My friend was driving and he had to take out the card to tap into a carpark. He started to reverse into a lot and had the card between his pursed lips."
"He also placed his arm around the headrest of the seat next to him. When I looked at him... damn it looked kinda hot... I don't know how or why that aroused something in me."-aglioolio-burrito
"It was the reversing with the arm on the headrest thing. I have zero idea why, but that theme has popped up (hurrrr) is numerous threads like this."-Nihilator68
Just Basic Human Goodness
"Comforted me. I was crying about how I was struggling in life and in college. I was thinking about withdrawing for a semester to get things together."
"My mom had just been diagnosed with MS. I went to a female friend for help. She started rubbing my head and hugging me, and saying I'll be okay."
"I was so deprived of human touch it was amazing and made me feel so much better. Then I got hard which made me feel extremely guilty."-LordBungholeSurfer
What is it about the sly touches, the pursed lips, and the little sideways glances that really get us going?
"This happened to me in 7th grade. I was seated behind my friend who turned around so he could copy something off my paper."
"I was hunched over it with my hair hanging in my face so he swiped my hair back from my face behind my ear and grazed my cheekbone when he did. Pretty much ignited my puberty in that moment."
"Come to think about it we had a very platonic relationship with a lot of playful fondling."-Camp_Express
This Is NOT The Start Of A Porn
"I went over to his friends house (where he was staying. He was working on his car and I was like yo, I'm here loser and he pushes himself out from under the car."
"And he was all greasy and the first thing he asked was if I'd help work on the car with him and when I said yes he just had the biggest smile on his face."
"He looked like an idiot and I dunno man, the greasy look with the beautiful white smile was just… ugh"-oh_the_struggle
"Girl I knew in college for four years and we were strictly platonic."
"We came out of a bar one night and a guy who frequently asked people for money was walking up so without missing a beat she grabs me and starts making out with me."
"Guy walks away and she pulls back staring up at me for a second before patting me on the chest and saying 'works every time.'"
"We left and never spoke about it again. Nice improvisation, Kristin but now my pants don't fit right."-RevSnakebite
Pro Tip: Don't Date Co-Stars
"I was a theater kid in high school. One of my costars had this odd habit when she'd need to focus on a difficult part or queue we were working on. She'd bite her lower lip and get this really angry look on her face."
"I don't know why, but that stupid look on her face drove me up the goddamned wall."
"We were in Sweeney Todd my senior year. I was Sweeney, she was Mrs. Lovett. There's a section of the play where we danced together and sang a song called 'A Little Priest.'"
"We were both great singers but god awful dancers, so it took a long time to master it. The whole time rehearsing, she'd stare at me angrily, biting her lower lip."
"That was like... 16 years ago and I still get a little flustered when I think about it lol."-Chingparr
But now you're starting to remember the little moments too, aren't you?
"Night out. Me (M[ale]) and few friends just chilling and drinking. Then one of my friends (F[emale]) who had drunk a couple of drinks too much tried to stand up from the sofa we were sitting on. "
"But then she fell back and at the same time she grabbed me by my thigh for support, in which point the little guy woke up. And now I'm scared if someone touches my thighs..."-MrZere
This Is A True Dream
"We would go on walks every night for a few months, just talking about our days. Her laugh was so interesting to me."
"I could feel a lot of conflict in it somehow, and I always wanted to know what was going on but didn't want to ask too many questions."
"Eventually she told me about life at home which was awful to hear, but while she was telling me she grabbed my hand."
"It lasted maybe two weeks just holding hands and walking, chatting and just strictly friendship then she moved to the opposite coast."
"She was sweet and beautiful outwardly and in her soul. She winked at me one time, when punking her young sibling. It left me breathless."
"We were 16 at the time, but I still wonder where she ended up. Ms. T. Haas.. if you're reading this let's go for a walk!"-RagingConfluence
Happy End, Happy Ending
"She was meant to be going out with her friends one night, so she was all dressed up, but agreed to help me get headshots for my art project at the last minute (needed reference pictures)."
"We took a little longer than expected so she ended up staying home and we hung out and chatted for a while."
"From the way she was sitting, her dress kept slowly sliding up revealing her thigh so she'd fix it. I was across the room from her so I could see what was going on."
"After this happened a couple of times she kinda stopped fixing it (it wasn't revealing too much), but I couldn't help but notice. That was the moment when I realised I had a thing for legs."
"We have a happy ending though, she's now my girlfriend and things are going really well."-Cyanide_Revolver
So it is a big thing and it happens all the time. That's not to say it's not notable when it does--but as humans, we are almost completely beholden to our feelings.
Sometimes those feelings even lead to happy endings. Literally.
We've all heard of toxic masculinity. You know, that thing where men don't want to do anything remotely feminine, like wear pink, or wash their a**holes in the shower because they think it's “gay"? Yeah, that thing. It sucks, but sometimes it's important to remember that people of all genders can be toxic AF too.
Let's talk about toxic femininity, shall we? VysX_ asked:
There's toxic masculinity but what are examples of toxic femininity?
For some reason, toxic femininity gets really, REALLY prevalent when they become moms. It’s weird and kinda creepy, if you ask me.
Why does Little League bring out the worst in people?
“Mothers who treat other people like crap and then justify it by saying they're a mama bear."
“A few years ago my son's team was playing a little league game against another team. We had a very good team that year and the other team was really struggling. Despite this, it was a close game going into the 5th (i.e. next-to-last) inning.
Well, we're batting and the wheels finally come off for the opposition. A kid on our team gets a simple hit to the outfield and the other team proceeds to go full tee-ball and throw it all over creation. What should have been a single turns into a 3-run HR.
As the batter crosses home plate, fans are going nuts, players are going nuts, everyone is going nuts, and the star player on the losing team just melts down. He picks up the ball and throws it as hard as he can right at our dug out. There's a safety fence of course, so no one gets hurt, but it was still very much an "Oh, snap" moment for everyone.
At this point, the ump turns to the losing coach and says, "Coach, you need to get a hold of your player." That's it. That's all he said. He didn't say anything to the player; he didn't kick him out of the game; he just gave the coach a direct warning.
Next thing I hear is "DONT YOU TALK TO MY BABY THAT WAY" as the dug-out mom comes firing out of the other dug-out, heading straight for the ump. Fortunately for everyone, the head coach comes out of nowhere to intercept her. He proceeds to restrain her and walk her (and the player) away. The whole game stops for ~5 minutes while those three basically have a group hug in the middle of the infield.
Fortunately, that was the end of the drama. I still give major props to that other coach for somehow diffusing that situation without getting the police involved. But I will never understand what was going through that lady's mind."
We can all do “womaning” differently.Wendy Conrad GIF by Your Happy WorkplaceGiphy
“To me it would mean women who bag on other women for womaning differently than they do.
This becomes really toxic after childbirth. Some women will feel nothing about letting you know how you are parenting wrong by using this product or letting you child do this particular thing.
Women who are able to stay at home will be made to feel guilty for not helping to provide; and women who work are made to feel guilty for abandoning their child.
I wish women were more understanding about dealing with differences and letting things slide a bit more. You should never feel higher after putting someone else down.
That being said, I don't know how we did it, but I found the world's greatest group of moms when my son was a year and a half old. We came from all walks of life and supported the ever-loving hell out of each other. This was in Phoenix late 90's and we were completely tight until I moved away when my son was 5. I miss all of em."
They should know better than to tear down other women.
“It's very common for mothers or female relatives to be some of the first ones to comment on a woman's weight, appearance, or personal style/fashion choices, as well as reinforcing a sense of self-hatred (i.e. "I look so fat in this outfit, and you look so ugly in that color"), all while tearing other women down ("I can't believe she's wearing that, doesn't she know how she looks??").
When you have that reinforcement that it's normal to say things like that, because if your mom does it then it's okay to do it too, then you just treat it as normal. And because it's so common, you find other women to do it with and it just becomes a cycle. If you try to break it, then you're labeled as sensitive, a bore, and "Oh my god we're just having fun, chill out, it's not that serious."
I still remember the first time I called my mom on talking sh*t about a woman wearing something she didn't like, and she got so f*cking mad at me."
Let’s dive into the tearing down other women thing some more. We as a society need a wake-up call.
It’s like high school all over again.
"Some women are so judgemental about other women, particularly when it comes to looks or fashion.
Also the women who seem to enjoy forming cliques and cutting out anyone they deem to be an outsider.
Worked with an office full of them once. It really sucked!"
“When I first got out of grad school, my first (and as it turns out, only) teaching job was long-term substituting for a friend while she went on maternity leave. The kids/classroom were mine for the first half of the school year, but we coordinated so that things would be pretty smooth transitioning back to my friend teaching at the end of her leave.
My friend was part of a two-teacher team who ran the 8th grade Student Council. I told the other teacher that I would be happy to help her with the club in my friend's absence, but she insisted she didn't need my help. She then proceeded to 100% ignore me and treat me as if I was invisible during all future interactions. 8th-grade team meetings, if I said even a single word, she shot me side eye, even though what I had said was not at all related to her; just a kind of "you're not a real teacher, how dare you speak?" vibe she was giving off.
My last day, my friend came in after school to put her classroom stuff up as I took my own down. The other teacher and two other women (the PE coach who I'd never talked to and another teacher, I don't remember) came in to help her, but none of the three of them offered to help me take any of my own things down or pack any of it up. They also said things like, "Is this yours or hers?" to my friend, even though I was standing right f*cking there. They also gushed about how excited they were that she was back; again, right in front of me.
After I was finally done putting away all my things--again, by myself--I just left without a word. I texted my friend about it later, and she apologized for her other friends' behavior but just excused it as, "Yeah, they're definitely the 'Mean Girls' types".
I was just floored. These were TEACHERS. You know, the people who are supposed to teach children NOT to bully other people? And I had never been anything but nice to everyone I met during my time there, but they didn't care. I wasn't part of their group, so I wasn't worth their time.
It became one of a laundry list of reasons I decided I didn't actually want to be a teacher for a living, after all.
tl;dr - personally experienced cliquey adult women in the education field, of all places. It sucked.”
“My ex-husband and I separated when our child was 2. Went to a birthday party for daughter's friend and was having a casual conversation with one of the husbands. The group of women stood in a corner staring at me, and the wife came up and grabbed him by the arm and started doing that strange possessive peacock dance.
What were we talking about? Real estate prices."
“No joke, I had a professor I was close with because we were both single moms and she gave me the advice to wear a wedding band even without a man and that the other moms would chill out a bit. It worked and my daughter started getting more opportunities for playdates. It's really demoralizing."
I think we all need to learn how to be more forgiving.
Toxic office culture is the literal worst.come together love and hip hop GIF by VH1Giphy
“The sheer terrifying glee they have at tearing down someone who's made a mistake or is somehow lacking in their eyes. I worked at a doctor's office with a fifty person staff, forty five of which were women. Like they were so fake and catty and just outright hateful to each other. It was a toxic office culture."
“Did they also have a compulsive, competitive need to please the male figures in the department? I go weekly to a fairly small medical department where the head doctor is male and the majority of nurses and admin are female. They treat him like an absolute God and defer to him with everything. He's a huge d*ck and of course, has a big ego by now."
This girl isn't just toxic--she's a monster.
“A girl in the grade below me (I'm a senior in high school at this point) passed away unexpectedly due to sepsis. Our whole city was in shock as the girl was in the school just days before her passing.
I remember I met up with my gf at the time and she asked, "Why do so many people care about her dying? It's not like she was pretty anyways."
This was the type of girl that says, "What??!! I am SOOO nice."
Safe to say, the lord blessed me with a brain and I GTFO of that relationship.
To this day, she is still in contact with me & recently she complained that guys use her & she can't figure out why nobody will be with her.
Well, honey, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
Edit: Some of you have said that I should tell her and I did. Apparently, she would "literally never say that about her" and also apparently "I know nothing about her." (My ex. Dated for 4 years. Know nothing)"
This is how eating disorders start.
“Probably the culture around eating.
When I was 17-18, a few friends kept saying how much more attractive I'd be if I lost weight, how that's why most guys weren't into me, how I'd regret not being skinny in college, etc. My BMI was slightly under 25, so I wasn't overweight, but I was close to it, especially compared to them.
So I basically became anorexic from 18-20 just because the feedback was like a high. I recovered, but not enough to make my mom and others happy, even though my BMI was 22-23. This continued for years between friends and family, and it was exhausting cycling between being too skinny or not average enough.
That's really the only strong example I can think of. No matter the trendy body shape, the criticism from others will always continue. I've only had one guy ever comment on my weight compared to the many, many women, even strangers.”
As a woman myself, I’ve encountered plenty of toxic femininity in my life. It’s almost as terrible as the objectifying sh*t I hear men saying about women all the time. We have to be rid of cattiness and tearing other women down.
Remember what we actually need to be working against. So much sexism exists in the world, and we have to stick together.
We all know we don't have endless time on this earth, so we prioritize things that we want to do while we are around. We create bucket lists and dream boards and imagine all the endless possibilities for adventure. Often, those bucket lists include dangerous acts like sky diving or deep sea exploration.
But what about things you would never do in your lifetime. Not for any other reason other than it being too fear inducing or too dangerous. We went to Ask Reddit to find out what those wild adventures are that just aren't worth the risk.
Some folks also shared that they made some serious life decisions that were important to their health and well being. Trying dangerous substances or staying on top of their weight loss was important and they never wanted to take that risk again.
Redditor machine1892 asked:
"You all know what a bucket list is, what is on your 'f*ck no, not ever list'?
Let's find out what people are just not willing to do.
Exploring the depths of the unknown is just too unknown.
"Cave diving or underground not fully explored dark tight tunnels. The movie 'As Above So Below' and the real life tragedy of 'Nutty Putty Cave' was enough for me to add that to my f*ck no list."
"A real caver once told me that for every 1 hour you travel into a cave, it will take them 4 hours to drag your busted up @ss out of there if something goes wrong."
"I'm a caver and one black humor mantra I've heard before is 'Don't worry, help is just 3 days away!' due to the difficult nature of cave rescues."
"That said, there are incredible teams of cavers who will do everything possible to rescue people and animals from cave-related incidents. I have a whole book covering the past few decades of cave rescues."
"Dunno if you will have seen this, but there's an old American emergency/911/sh*t happened kind of show in which 4 open water divers on air go 30ft down, and the instructor tells them to avoid entering the cave around that level both in briefing, and signs to surface, and 3 of them don't and go into the cave."
"Instructor alerts people at surface, seconds away, there is a trained cave rescue diver on scene by chance, he is in within 2 minutes, and saved one of them."
"Literally, they are less than 35 ft from surface, less than a minutes travel into the cave, and only one survives, despite having a guy right there, with lights, trimix and the right training."
"Dive talk covered it at one point."
If you're claustrophobic, this is definitely off your bucket list.
"A submarine or anything else bad for a claustrophobe."
"lol I worked on subs for 4 years….it's cool once, then it's just cramped, tiny and annoying."
"Son was a Navy Nuc on a ballistic missal sub. Said he was too busy working, eating or sleeping to be claustrophobic. I got to tour the sub once. I am extremely proud of him but thought he was crazy."
The ocean can destroy you.
"I absolutely fear the ocean and I won't go out farther than 6ft lmao. So I'd never go on things such as cruises or boat trips. It also doesn't help that I can't swim."
"I'm VERY comfortable in the water, but even I still fear the ocean. I live in Hawaii and swim, board, fish, kayak treasure hunt, etc., all things ocean-related and love every second of it but man the ocean will destroy you. People die here all the time. An experienced surfer died here a couple weeks ago in an area considered a calmer area. A couple of days ago another girl fell off the rocks and drowned. If you do not respect the ocean, you will die."
"There were 3 rescues today at a popular bodyboarding beach in my town. Only 2 survived."
That early 2000s game show is nightmare worthy.
"Those Fear Factor games where they put a sh*t ton of spiders or other scary creatures on top of you while you lay there. Yeah, that's a huge f*ck no from me."
"The ones where they make you eat a whole lot of stuff that's not just weird or another culture's food (i.e. crickets/tripe) but is actually seriously unhealthy ... like drink a litre of rancid oil... are far worse, to my mind."
"I always said the prize money from that show was to cover medical bills because there's no way people were 100% okay afterwards."
"That's actually why the show got cancelled. They made a girl drink donkey semen and the network finally said 'enough.'"
"Not even kidding, one of the most popular shows in the UK is where we send celebrities to live in the jungle for three weeks and do exactly this to them! And the celebs who go on it LOVE IT!"
Keeping off the weight.
"Become obese again."
"I was obese for almost 10 years of my life, but I decided to lose the weight in my early 20s. Feels great to be active and healthy."
"I'm here with you. Was 250 at my largest, I've since lost over 70 pounds and am in my mid-twenties. It feels great to look great, which I expected, but it feels better to just feel healthy. I wanted to lose weight more for vanity reasons, now I care way less about those and just love being healthy. I'm not at my goal weight but I feel amazing and it's such a huge contrast. So congrats, I'm really happy for you!"
"That's how I feel. At my heaviest, I was at 235 and I'm down to 202, but it's not even the weight loss that keeps me going. For the first time ever I actually craved working out when I went on vacation for a week and couldn't. The vacation was fun, but damn my body went back to aching at the end of it. If I don't stretch I get really bad pain from sitting down for work."
This cheese is called Casu Martzu. It's a sheep's milk cheese that has living larva inside.
"Those who do not wish to eat them place the cheese in a sealed paper bag. The maggots, starved for oxygen, writhe and jump in the bag, creating a "pitter-patter" sound. When the sounds subside, the maggots are dead and the cheese can be eaten."
"Somehow, there is a hint of sadism behind this paragraph."
Though there are plenty of people who have done these things, there are good reasons to avoid them. Especially for those choices that were life threatening or deadly.
What's most important in your life is finding what is meaningful for you and doing what makes your life worth living.
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