I would probably be willing to drown a kitten in exchange for the ability to look 20-something forever… Actually, that’s a lie. I’d drown a whole litter of kittens. There are too many kittens in this world anyway and fluffiness doesn’t pay the bills people. I pay my bills. And in China, many of my debts have been paid because someone somewhere admired my appearance and decided to open a door for me. Both men and women. All heterosexual as far as I can tell… I think…. maybe not all the men. Lucky for me, I’m more interesting than a wall, unlike many of the “models” in Beijing. My appearance got me the introduction, but my wit and brains landed me the opportunity; and I’m not ashamed of this.
It’s just good business sense.
What most people don’t know is that, for most of my life, I have been an “ugly duckling” and I accepted that title graciously in the past. Instead of focusing on being Homecoming Queen, I worked hard in school, developed a personality, and taught myself how to insult people’s intelligence without getting into trouble for it. If people weren’t going to notice me, they were sure going to hear me.
And then Krav Maga happened.
My Krav gym is snuggled in the heart of Studio City, CA, so when I signed up, I was immediately introduced to many actors and models (or people who thought they were actors and models) and whom taught me how to fake it till I made it. They taught me about nutrition, skin care, hair, make-up, fashion… how to act like a bitch, but in a hot way. Hollywood changes people. Like prison, but far more dramatically.
“You’re, like, really pretty…” no longer makes me blush.
So you agree? You think you’re really pretty?
Yes; and with great sacrifice I assure you. I have been burned by facial chemical peels, given salmonella from veg smoothies, scalded by blistering wax, and kicked in the face while sparing in Krav in a desperate attempt to maintain the appearance I have now. No glamorous woman has ever “woke up like” that in the history of forever, so cut the shit. We can’t all Be Yonce. I could stop making my physical appearance a priority… but then what am I left with? That’s all anyone ever notices now. No one ever calls me brave, or smart, or charming; and I am absolutely all of these things.
And so are the women in your life.
I think the reason I place so much interest in my physical appearance is because it feels like the world around me has put a microscope on the issue. There’s been a serious influx in “self love” campaigns on the internet about coming to terms with your physical appearance… but why are you bringing my attention to the subject, again. And again. And again. I am brilliant, malleable, and cunning too, you know? If I get hit in the face with a chair tomorrow, I have a few other things to fall back on. I appreciate that people trying to make me feel princess, I do, but why is that the only thing you think I measure myself by? Right now, all I’m hearing on the internet is “you, you, you, you” when it’s clearly a “we” problem. You are doing enough. You are probably trying all these diets, going to therapy (which is awesome) every other week, and hitting every gym within a ten-mile distance. You were probably told that your happiness is in your control; that it’s your personality and genuine kindness that makes you beautiful. You were probably told that you should be happy for all the unique physical blessings that the universe has given you. But who cares about all your other talents because Beauty is a far more impressive achievement in comparison to a Nobel Prize.
But Beauty and being beautiful is different.
Beauty silences a room on command. Beauty is striking, hypnotic, and vague. Doors are violently swung opened for Beauty and those who are beautiful gawk with open mouths as Beauty floats gracefully by. Beauty is reminded over and over again that its greatest advantage is the unanimous decision that it exists and that it is important.
And it’s this importance that I want to address directly.
When was the last time you called your mother “brilliant?” Or your sister “caring?” Or your best female friend “loyal?” Or the woman you love most in the world “vital?”
It’s time we stop calling the women we love beautiful everyday because they are so much more dynamic than just that.
We rely on surface compliments about one another’s appearance to communicate affection, but that also confirms that our physical appearance is the only thing that people notice. And for that reason, our true nature remains unseen. Virtually ignored.
Words are potent.
If you tell a woman that she is damaged, crazy, and insignificant frequently enough, she will believe you; and you will lose her. She will think she is unworthy and she will shut down. She will transform into an empty beautiful shell because that’s what you told her she was.
But that’s not who she’s meant to be.
Females: it’s not about you doing anything more right now. It’s about us doing something together. It’s about recognizing that we are dynamic and how to celebrate that fact properly.
You have done enough and it’s time to share the burden.
Do not be ashamed of growing old. Grey hairs and lines around the eyes are indications of life well lived and a road thoroughly traveled; and so many people in your past won’t get that same opportunity. Do not be ashamed of gaining weight. For it is a sign that you sampled the world and the world wanted to stay with you for that much longer. Do not be ashamed of your unique genetic quirks. Your genes fought diligently for the opportunity to express these striking qualities to the planet.
Do not be ashamed if you are not the perfect image of Beauty…
Because eff that bitch, she’s making us all look bad.
Like what you read? Share it with the women you love! Think I’m insane? Let me hear about it in the comment sections or write a rebuttal!
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About Vanessa Elizabeth
Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.
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