So last Sunday at church my pastor called me a diva and meant it as a compliment. I'll be honest; it caught me completely off guard. If you're a Gleek then the diva-offs and Diva Week are firmly implanted in your brain. You remember how all the girls turned into complete witches and were willing to turn on each other and their friends. I think when we hear the word "diva" we automatically interpret that as nightmare and terror. But I think Chris Colfer as Kurt pegged it, "You're a diva because you're talented and ambitious, and because no one else in the world can do what you . . . can do. That's what being a diva's all about. Being an original. One of a kind. So hold the nightmare but bring the diva." Being talented and ambitious was never a bad thing. In fact, our world could use more ambitious women who realize that they bring something to the world that no else can. The problem arises when you're willing to trash your friends and throw anyone under the bus to gain what you want.
Being a mean person is a vicious cycle. When you are unkind to someone, or vernally shove them because you think they're in the way of your trek to the top, then most times you create an enemy. The more enemies you leave in your wake, the more people you have trying to stop you. Then you feel thwarted and feel like you need to trash and shove more people. Actually the contrary is true. When you are a kind person, people love you and they will be willing to go out of their way to help you succeed. It is exactly as the old adage quips, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."
And let me debunk another misconception that being nice and kind means you are weak. To that I would emphatically say au contraire. In fact, it takes far more strength, confidence, and character to be nice to everyone than it takes to be heinous. Being mean is easy, and in fact comes quite naturally. Doing the right thing is typically not the same as doing the easy thing. If being a diva is about being one of a kind, then I would argue that it would follow naturally that it means being nice. Mean people are everywhere, but truly nice and genuine people are much more difficult to find.
Another huge part of being a diva is knowing what you want and what you stand for, and also demanding respect from those around you. No one is more respected than when they stand up for who they are and what they believe: even when their beliefs are controversial. Never apologize for having standard and beliefs, even if it gets you in trouble. Anyone can change to fit the culture or the situation, but it takes a strong and determined person to stick by their guns when it's difficult. That's a diva.
The last part of being a diva is never underestimating yourself. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. If you are convinced you will succeed, then you will quickly convince those around you. You should be pushing yourself harder than anyone else is pushing you. A diva is self-motivated. You can achieve so much more than you even think you can. But let me clarify: there is a huge difference between being hard on yourself and being down on yourself. It's the difference between challenging yourself to succeed and be great, and beating yourself up because of how you look or because you failed at something. If you don't like the way you dress or act, then change it. Don't criticize yourself, look for a solution. Don't get in your own way. There is only one of you in the world so embrace it. Be weird! It is our individual eccentricities that make us who we are. So seize the weird and use it to push yourself to the top.
So from my perspective being called a diva is a high compliment. It means that someone else noticed that you are strong, opinionated, original and not afraid of yourself. I think we could most definitely use more people, especially women, like this. Politely demand to be noticed. Hold the nightmare and bring the diva!!
"Well-behaved women seldom make history." - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
"A true diva has dismissed the drama. A true diva's heart is open and she's ready to play by her own rules - rules that are gentle and kind." - Jenifer Lewis