After watching both season 1 and 2 of Orange is the New Black I couldn’t help but compare the events of the show and the dynamic between the female prisoners with my experience attending an all-girls school for 7 years.
Yeah they usually aren’t orange, but wearing the same drab ill-fitting, itchy and polyester ensemble, not only cramps your style, making you guys look like frumpy bright blue robot-prisoners with sweat pit stains and panty-lines, but it also causes internal hostility, I mean, who feels good when they don’t look good?
2) You’re stuck with the same girls day in and day out
After weeks, months and years of seeing the same girls day in and day out you know more than you’d like to know about each other and you are more than sick of it. I’ll never forget the day in class where a classmate told us about her bisexual tendencies and her irritable bowel syndrome in the same monologue. There apparently is no such thing as too much information, unfortunately.
3) Girl-On-Girl Altercations
While we were more inclined to verbal altercations due to our passive aggressive natures and fear of expulsion, I’ll never forget the time two girls got into a physical fight at the park near school that ended with one knocking the other one in the head with a kombucha bottle, #prisonstyle
4) No one’s having sex except the lesbians
Maybe it was just my experience, but I remember all of us heterosexual girls being ridiculously sexually frustrated -- staring out the windows just pining for male affection, even though none of us actually knew any guys. Also, when a boy somehow ends up on campus for a debate tournament or something, the drooling begins.
5) You get crafty
While during my time there were no prison shanks made out of melted forks or saran-wrap nooses that I’m aware of, us girls certainly got crafty. I remember witnessing girls sneak into our communal kitchen and stealing chocolate soymilk after school by tucking them up into the sleeves of their obnoxious pullovers. There were times, (like the time when I saw girls rolling pseudo-blunts out of lawn grass and notebook paper,) where they were less then clever.
6) There’s no privacy
Similar to the doorless bathroom stalls, Girls' schools are usually so small and cramped; an innocent whisper could be heard by hundreds of girls who were bored and eager for the next “scandal.” Plus, let's be real, we all knew everyone else’s cycle and which alpha dog synced the rest of us up.
7) No one knows their anatomy
I love that episode in OITNB that revolves around the girls being confused about female anatomy. Despite the fact that you’d think at an all-girls school we’d have a comprehensive sex-ed class, every other month when a girl's period was late, she was absolutely certain she was pregnant by immaculate conception…seriously.
8) Men there: Love em or Hate em
We all crushed so hard on the youngest male teacher who was vaguely attractive. I remember a few of us entertaining the idea of a student asking our young hot algebra teacher to prom because she didn’t have a date (um…not okay at all). Then there was the dickhole male biology teacher who got fired for throwing an eraser at a student…oh brother.
9) Social Hierarchies
Girls' school, despite having no male competition, was segregated into cliques and while intermingling was inevitable, like opposing magnets, we flung away from each other as soon as we could.
10) Nick names
While the ladies of OITNB have some great nicknames “crazy eyes,” “Red” and of course “Taylor Swift,” I think girl’s school takes the cake. Practically everyone had nick name for example there was: “Dirty Balls,” “Leaf Monitor,” “Waggles,” “Mangos,” “Ashy,” “Tituba” (yes from The Crucible), “Haystacks,” “LDogg,” “Beefy T,” “Marina the Vagina” and of course the girl unfortunately named “Gina”, her name was never pronounced correctly. I was even called “Rocky Mountains” because of my really bad cowlicks in 6th grade!
Not to mention the general feeling of teenage angst and absent minded-naivety that you have in an all girls school that would make you feel like it was a women’s prison, despite the fact that you get to leave at the end of the day to a warm cooked meal by your parents who are sacrificing a lot to send you to such an expensive school. But hey, it's fun to imagine, right?
Photos courtesy of Netflix and Jill Greenberg.