Every girl secretly wants to be Rachel. I know, I know, that sounds super presumptuous and possibly a bit sexist, but you're only incredulous because you know I'm right. I know I'm right because I'm a Monica and deep down, in my heart of hearts, I long to be a Rachel. It occurred to me one day when I was at the hairdresser (no, I was not getting "The Rachel"), and my hairdresser ask me which Friend I was most like. I said, "Well, everyone says I'm a Monica, but I'm pretty sure I'm a Rachel." She stopped cutting my hair and looked at me in the mirror. "That's so a thing a Monica would say," she said. And ever since I've felt that secret longing to be more like Rachel and less like Monica. But we are who we are. So no one told you life was gonna be this way. C'est la vie.
I know what you're thinking: "But I'm a Phoebe and I love it!" or "I'm a female Chandler and that's cool!" As much as you think you've made your peace with your Friends counterpart, if you were to go on a drug-fueled spiritual journey in the desert, you'd come out with the realization that what's missing from your life is being the Rachel. And let me ask you: have you ever met anyone who is a Rachel? NO, YOU HAVEN'T. No one knows a Rachel. Rachel is the unattainable character that none of us will ever be — and that's part of the draw. Part of secretly hankering to be the Rachel is wanting what we can't have. Not convinced? Here are some of the reasons every girl secretly wants to be Rachel.
1. Because Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is funny and expressive and complicated and smart and independent and lovely and attainable in a way that Rachel will never be. You just want to get drunk with her and giggle about penises because you know Jenny would be down. It's incredibly hard to be a famous, rich, conventionally beautiful white woman who got to be married to Brad Pitt and still be really likable. In fact, I venture that no one else could've pulled it off. No one hates Jennifer Aniston. No one. There's just something so charming about her, to the point where you can't help but be attracted to Rachel by association.
2. Because Rachel has the best friendships with all the other friends
Other friends have great friendships: Ross and Chandler, Chandler and Monica, Monica and Phoebe, Phoebe and Joey — all really good stuff in there. But Rachel has the best friendships with ALL the other friends. Rachel is besties with Monica, sure, but of all the friends, she is probably also closest to Phoebe. She also has the cheesecake episode and the Joanna episode with Chandler, her whole history with Ross, and her beautiful roommate relationship with Joey (and the whole failed dating moment, which breaks my heart so I refuse to talk about it).
3. Because Rachel has the best wardrobe
Pretend this is all about "personality" if that makes you feel better, but Rachel has the best wardrobe (even in hindsight, her outfits are the best).
4. And the best hair
Don't you dare pretend you never went to the hairdresser when you were 13 years old with a picture of Rachel in season 1 and asked for the same thing because I KNOW IT WASN'T JUST ME. Rachel then continued to have the best hair right until the end (Monica tried to bite the hair thing for a while and maybe came out on top a few times, but Rachel consistently had the best hair by far).
5. Because she has the best Ross burns
What's sicker than a sick Ross burn? Nothing! You can burn any other of the Friends and it's funny, but it's always funniest to lump it on Ross because, well, he's Ross. And Rachel ALWAYS has the most incredible Ross burns.
6. Because she's so friggin' cute
There's no denying Rachel is adorable as hell. She's not so dumb that it's not endearing, and not so hot/smart that it's intimidating. She's got the perfect mix of traits that make her cute without being twee, shrill or annoying. Easily the most personable Friend.
7. Because she made it on her own
Rachel is an independent woman. (Throw your hands up at me!) She completely turned her life around and she did it on her own. Not only that, she became a better, more open-minded person (and our favorite Friend). There's something really compelling about someone who has the courage to change their life when they don't like it, especially when they've known nothing else. Rachel's transformation makes her much more human, and the focus of her career trajectory is a great change of pace for a pretty female on a sitcom.
8. Because she's always having the most fun
Rachel chills. She likes to have fun. She likes to drive fast and beat on drums and throw wet towels at things. She's a professional, and eventually a mother, but she's also seeming to have the most fun with her friends all the time.
9. Because she's hot and cool but also super goofy and lame
Rachel is super hot in the conventional blonde-big-boobs-sorority-girl kind of way that admittedly was a part of perpetuating ideals that made us mortals feel not so great about ourselves growing up, but she's also a giant goofball. Which means she's got the best of both worlds. (Yes, looks don't mean everything, etc., but objectively, she's hot. That's just science.) Generally the perception is that "hot girls" are uppity or pretentious, but Rachel is such a dork she's got none of that stigma attached to her.
10. Because she's vulnerable and tough at the same time
Rachel can be super sassy. She stands up for herself when she needs to and can be remarkably decisive. But she's still got a vulnerability that doesn't detract from her toughness — it exists in harmony next to it. She's not afraid to say what she thinks, but she's also not immune to her feelings or moments of irrationality. She manages to blend all these characteristics we're told are nasty about women — "bossiness" and "being emotional" — and make them incredibly attractive (as they should be, and as they are).
11. Because she's the best one, duh
Maybe you don't agree with any of these points I've made and you still feel like your heart cries out to Rachel. Or maybe you agree completely and are sending me a thousand high fives right now. It doesn't matter. Whether she knows why or not, every woman secretly wants to be Rachel, and maybe a smattering of men do too. She's just the best one.