Stassi Schroeder has become a fan favorite on Bravo‘s hit series Vanderpump Rules for her unabashed honesty, relatable quotes, and all-around no-fucks-given attitude. But viewers didn’t always feel this way. In fact, when Vanderpump first started in 2013, she was branded as a villain for the qualities everyone now praises. At Glamour‘s annual Women of the Year Summit, the reality star explained why this shift happened—and how embracing your “inner a-hole” can actually be a life-changing thing.
Read Stassi Schroeder’s full speech for yourself, below:
I’ve always had something inside me, something like an alarm that goes off when something isn’t right or when someone is trying to pull a fast one on me. I’ve been like this my whole life; people even called me Bossy Stassi growing up. It’s been my experience that women who go after and get what they want are often criticized. I would know. After the first season of Vanderpump Rules aired in 2013, I was called a villain, I was called a bitch, an I was called an asshole.
Then all of a sudden—in both our culture and in fan reactions—there was a shift. People went from hating me to loving me for the very same reasons. In season one, people hated the way I spoke. Now I’m praised for my conviction. In season one, people said I was mean and entitled. Now I’m praised for being unapologetically honest. In season one, I had a “bad attitude.” Now everyone “relates” to me, because we’re all just moody all the time. Right? I mean, come on!
Looking back, there really aren’t many times when I wish I had been less of an asshole. There are only times I wish I would’ve spoken up more—especially with my ex-boyfriends. I’ve reached a point in my life where, for my own sanity, I gotta do me. If I don’t speak my mind, my personal life suffers; I feel exhausted, walked all over, and annoyed all the time. It’s my opinion that being an “asshole” is basically listening to what your wants and needs are. To get what you want out of life, whether it’s stepping away from a business deal that brings you no joy or skipping a friend’s birthday party because you really just can’t that night. This is what I expect out of people, my bosses, my family, my friends, and my relationships.
Does it backfire? All the time. I’ve had people hate me, or think I’m a terrible person. My friendships and relationships have been rocky at times, like when I literally left Vanderpump Rules to take a break from some of my closest relationships. But at the end of the day, if I’m true to myself, I win.
Now I don’t want anyone to hear this and think, “I’m going to go be a total bitch now.” That’s not it. That’s not what I’m saying. Girls come up to me all the time trying to bond with me by talking shit. I hate when that happens. I’m saying that the qualities some people might characterize as “bitchy” are the same qualities that you might need to forge your own path. I am who I am. I know what I’ll stand for and what I won’t.
And if that makes me an “asshole,” I’m cool with that.
Find out more about Glamour‘s 2019 Women of the Year here.
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