The most accurate insult ever levelled at me was circa 1996. I was at (*whispered voice*) Pony Club, and one of the girls told me that another had called my sister and I try-hards.
PONIES!!!!!!! EVERYBODY LOVES PONIES!!!!!
SADLY NOT EVERYBODY LOVES PONY CLUB. BUT *THIS* PONY CLUB HAS SECRETS! UM YOU, YEAH YOU FROM 1994. YOU READ THIS SHIT ONCE YOU'D FINISHED THE LATEST BABYSITTER'S CLUB BOOK.
I don't recall being too cut up about the insult, other than worrying that people were talking about me behind my back which was always a massive teenage cause of concern for me. I can't recall how my sister felt either; I don't think we ever discussed our reaction, though it does seem likely we would have had a bit of a bitch session about it (aged roughly 13 and 12 with raging hormones we had already acquired a savage ability to bitch, occasionally as kindred spirits about some third party but more often than not just about each other).
Was the insult 'try-hard' a thing elsewhere than 1990s NZ? A try-hard was someone who literally did just that - tried too hard, with overtones of attempting (and failing) to be cool or fit in. I think the girl that called my sister and I try-hards thought we were amateur competitors who didn't fit in with the cool horsey-girls who spent all their spare time thinking and obsessing about becoming Olympic grade competitors and/or which boys they were going to pash at the next show (boys who rode got around - slim pickings in the teenmale horse community).
As an aside, I'm not sure the offender appreciated the view that people had of the horsey-girls. It paid to keep fairly low-key about riding because once discovered, there was an inevitable accusation of being privileged or spoilt. I was certainly the former (see: bed to sleep in, two parents, no domestic violence and money to spend on extra-curricular pursuits) and probably the latter (see: teenage attitude) but at my high school either could be the kiss of death to your social life.
NOT SURE THIS IS THE HORSEY GIRL MY PEERS circa 1996 HAD IN MIND. STILL, TOO GOOD NOT TO INCLUDE. YOU'RE WELCOME.
The thing is, she was probably right. I have tried my hand at all sorts of things because other people were doing them and I thought it was cool and I SO DESPERATELY WANTED TO BE COOL. Often the results were less than stirling (see for e.g. my career as the single most uncoordinated hockey player of all time, my attempts to do a keg stand but inhaling beer by accident, the time I bought a pleather jacket because that's what the kids were wearing then couldn't take it off on school mufti day because of the sweat patches).
But I look back now and it really doesn't bother me that I was a bit of a try-hard. Isn't that just part and parcel of working out who you really are? I still do it I guess, but I'd like to think I've moderated it a bit (i.e. I know that you do not have to go out and get wankered with your colleagues in order to have friends at the office. You just have to get marginally pissed. Completely pissed is for mugs).
I don't wish to sound all woe-is-me and I-now-appreciate-me-for-me because I think I've never really suffered from any self-esteem issues that went beyond the pale (you're probably thinking Jesus H, her head's stuffed way far up her own ass and she's still a GD try-hard but fuck me, I'm just comparing my general self esteem issues with the crap that some women are tortured with, so, well, yeah). What I do wish to acknowledge is that criticism can suck but sometimes, you can own it.