Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I've started to only allow myself 25 minutes to get ready in the morning. I shower at night (or in the afternoon) so in that 25 minutes I have to get dressed, do my hair, pack my bag, print out anything for my morning class, brush my teeth, and be out the door. My first class has a strict attendance and tardiness policy so that time limit cannot be stretched very readily.
Doing this has taken a certain focus off of the reflection in the mirror as I barely have time to look in it aside from doing my hair. It takes an emphasis off of trying to look pretty or even good. You know what I'm finding happening... as the emphasis is taken off of those words or off of the importance of what the mirror reflects... I am becoming more comfortable. I don't constantly feel I need to change things about my appearance or about myself to make myself acceptable... to walk out my front door. (I'm not saying I'm going to be sporting jeans anytime soon, but I did go to class in a race t-shirt, nike dri-fit shorts, and brooks running shoes one day.)
On a recent date, I was told that I looked lovely. While I HIGHLY prefer the word lovely to the word "pretty" I think I would still much rather be told that I was enough. Granted that would make for an awkward sentence, but what went through my mind when I was told that I looked lovely? Being of a more analytical mind, surprisingly not what you might think, rather I pondered to myself why the man to my left would say this sentence. Foremost, to be complimentary... but what makes that sentence complimentary? We as women have made that sentence complimentary. We've made looking pretty, lovely, beautiful, etc goals to be achieved, so naturally reaching said goal is compliment worthy.
When did pretty become a goal? When did beautiful (which in my mind is something more organic) become one as well? What happened to the days of women wanting the world to be their playground... of wanting equality? What if this quest for the ever elusive feeling of being pretty is getting in the way of equality?
As long as we're expending a great deal of our resources (mental, physical, and financial) into the conquest, becoming to a certain degree preoccupied by it, it is getting in the way of the bigger picture.
This is not to say that we can not care about clothing and looking our best if we enjoy it, However, it should be done with a clear understanding that our best is enough (please note the very important use of the word "enjoy"). That in turn we are enough... Which in turn was actually the greatest compliment I received on that date. While he may have thought his sentence professing his feelings regarding my appearance to be the compliment, in fact the greatest compliment he gave me that night was not in words, but in the way he made me feel... that I was enough for him.
written with love by K at 12:00 AM