I was at a party with my girlfriends this weekend and somebody told us about this gossip Web site called juicycampus.com. Naturally, we decided to check it out and see what it was all about. When I went there I saw a post about “sluts on campus” and my name is on there! I certainly don’t want people thinking I’m easy. I know it’s just a gossip Web site, but how do I handle this? I’m freaking out and can’t show my face in public.
~ Bruised Ego
Dear Bruised Ego,
Let’s be real here: This is nothing but a frickin’ hair flip. Get over it.
Of course, this situation may not be that clear-cut to you. Odds are you’re freaking out that everyone on this campus thinks you’re a sloppy, loose whore. You’re likely having nightmares that you’ll never be able to step into Tavern again without guys giggling and asking if they can get you drunk and take you back to Pentland.
But lamb, take it from me: nobody important really cares. Sure, those jealous bitches who never liked you in the first place are going to be salivating as they read someone else’s editorialized interpretation of your sex life. But do those people even matter? You should know that the people who really care for you, the people you love, the people with whom you make cherished memories at the U are still going to love you.
But trying to convince yourself that you’ll come out of this unblemished is half the battle. Even if you think you’re screwed and convinced that everyone is going to think you’re a slut from now until you walk at graduation, you shouldn’t act like it. Now is the time to act like everything is fine, like you’re hot but not sweating.
Look at it like this: Your experience with juicycampus.com is a microcosm of what a celebrity goes through when their scandals grace the pages of Hollywood tabloids. As such, you have two options here: you can dig yourself deep like Britney or reinvent yourself a la Angelina.
Emulating our favorite train wreck entails getting too drunk and high for your health and cavorting around the frat houses with hordes of men, simply living up to the rumors. Or you could prove the naysayers wrong, react with grace and dignity, and brush the rumors off as if they’re fiction. You’re the one with the power to define your reputation, not some pathetic Web site for losers. Take the reigns.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll get to them, if he feels like it.