I hate Barb.
There, I said it.
Apparently, Barb, the nerd-girl in the Netflix Original series, “Stranger Things,” has developed a dedicated legion of fans despite the fact that she is stupid. And dies in Episode 5.
I was struck by an immediate aversion to this character – not the actor Shannon Purser, I am sure she is lovely – and was shocked, shocked, I tell you, to realize that apparently, she is beloved by everyone on the planet but me.
In my shocked state at her popularity, I started to wonder why I was apparently alone in my distaste for Barb. As I evaluated my instinctual reaction to her, it didn’t take me long to figure it out – I WAS Barb!
Big and Tall
In high school, I was taller than most teachers, much less my peers. I was a Hagrid-like, half giant, towering over everyone around me and, at the time, was probably twenty pounds overweight.
Being larger than everyone around you gives you a hideously distorted body image. At the time, I thought I was obese. Little did I know, that looking back, I would see a girl whose position on the scale is something that she would kill for today.
Clothes and Hair
Just like Barb, I wore terrible clothes, I mean everyone did, but Barb and I took it to a new art form.
And the hair. Oh, My God, Barb, what were we thinking? Thick, unruly hair in an unflattering short style, with a cowlick that was really the one in charge.
Just like Barb, I had unflattering freckles and hideous glasses with lenses as big as baseballs.
Get a Backbone, Barb
But there is more to Barb, and me, than the superficial. Barb is stupid. Barb is pathetic. Barb runs around after the pretty, thin girl like a lap dog.
This is what I want to say directly to Barb:
When the pretty girl is using you as a shield to protect her from her parents while she sneaks around with the cute jock, she is not your friend. When the pretty girl ditches you, telling you to go home alone while she has sex with the popular boy – and this is very important, Barb – DO. IT. As Maya Angelou says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” If you hadn’t been such a sadsack and had gone home like a person with some self-respect, the monster wouldn’t have gotten you, would he?
Okay, maybe I am a little harsh on Barb. Maybe I was simply a woman ahead of my time, who couldn’t know then, that decades later, she would have been awesome. Maybe I still have some personal self-esteem “issues” to work on. Maybe I just hate Barb.