Women can be so weird.
Now, before anyone throws a burning bra at my house or mails me The Best of Anne Lamott, let me say this, I love being a woman. I adore the vastness and the complexities of being a woman. I love being around other women and I even love Anne Lamott. But, let’s just be honest, we can be a little weird.
Women of all ages, shapes and sizes have an innate desire to feel beautiful and desired, and for the most part, we want other women to find themselves beautiful and desirable as well. We like to give other women sassy comments about how amazing they look in that new dress, how a color brings out their eyes or how their legs seem to go on for days and how if we had gams like that we’d never wear pants. We love to dote on each other.
That is, until we think she actually BELIEVES she’s beautiful.
See, we want other women to believe they’re beautiful as long as they don’t think they’re TOO beautiful. Women want to tell other women they’re pretty FOR them, as a sort of service project or Random Act of Kindness. We don’t want these women to actually admit it themselves about themselves. This all sounds awful, I know. But, I don’t think I’m alone in this.
I caught myself doing this the other day.
While at a coffee shop the other day, shoulder deep in an over-stuffed chair and sipping on an over-priced joe, an over-sized girl burst through the door. She was wearing a tank top and shorts which I imagine she bought at Baby Gap. She laughed loud and flirted even louder with her boyfriend until everyone in the shop knew she was there. I couldn’t help but stare over the top of my laptop.
I caught myself keeping time to the rhythm of her wiggles and jiggles as they all seemed to mingle together and without thought and without caution my inner monologue took the stage and my outer eyebrows grabbed the mic. The right one arched in an “Oh now she di’nt!” stance, while the other lowered in an “Aww…she doesn’t have any friends or mirrors.” side nod.
Mean, I know. But, true nonetheless.
Then it hit me. If she would’ve walked in with her head dropped, avoiding eye contact and pulling and tugging on her Baby Gap clothes, I would’ve made intentional eye contact with her and given her a smile. I probably would’ve complimented her on her hair or nail polish while she waited sheepishly for her mocha-frapa-whipa-caramel-swirl-a-chino. I would’ve thought about how lonely she was and imagined telling her that she was beautiful and that she doesn’t have to live up to some silly standard that the Don Drapers of the world whisper in our ears.
We would’ve become friends and probably bought matching airbrushed t-shirts of dolphins jumping in the ocean and photo tagged each other on Instagram. I may have even started following her on Twitter. I mean, it would’ve been epic.
But instead, I opted for the eyebrow raise of disapproval.
Now, if you know me in real life, you know I’m no Charlize Theron, Megan Fox or whoever the kids are into these days. I’m more like a young Bea Arthur with Queen Latifah’s hips, Minnie Driver’s cheeks and Justin Bieber’s hair. And for the most part, I love who I am, give or take a pint of ice cream. So, I wasn’t judging this girl because I think I’m perfect. I was judging her because she seemed to think she was.
Have you heard of Samantha Brick? She wrote an article entitled, “There are Downsides to Looking This Pretty: Why Women Hate Me for Being Beautiful.” The article was chock full of the ‘hardships’ she’s faced being just so darn pretty. The article went viral and the mudslinging could be heard around the world. Women (and some men) from all over berated her for thinking she was so gorgeous and sent her emails, tweets, comments and good old fashioned mail telling her that she was ugly, stupid, conceited and even a bitch.
Why? She did the unthinkable. She admitted she was pretty.
I’m 99.999999% sure if that same woman wrote an article about how her life had been on a dirt road of despair because she’s not as attractive as most women and hated how her thighs collaborated with each other and how her neck gobbled, her inbox would’ve been overflowing with kittens, unicorns and marriage proposals.
That’s just weird.
We need to love ourselves, our bodies and love others…even if they love themselves already. It’s not our job, service or ministry to spoon-feed women confidence, love and respect and then start a food fight when they actually start believing it.
Let’s stop being weird in this way. Let’s be known for building up, reaching out and looking up. Besides ladies, we have 436 other wonderfully amazing weird ways about us. So, giving up one harmful one won’t make us any less fabulous.
What about you? Have you ever been weird?
Guys, maybe you aren’t weird like us in this way, but have you ever acted similarly about something else?