I was sitting on the train one day and this tall, blonde woman walked in. She had on a white button up shirt tucked into a shimmering sequined skirt and some gorgeous pumps. In my head, I saw her and thought, "Get it!". And across from me, these two women who were once chatting freely, lowered their voices as the woman entered. They looked at her, looked at each other and started snickering loudly.
I know that snicker. It's the, "Is she serious?" snicker. The, "Who the hell does she think she is
It used to be. I was made fun of because of what I wore in JHS and while it was a tad annoying when it was a guy you were interested in doing the ridiculing, most of the time, I didn't give the whiff of a shit. Hell, my hair always looked crazy. Don't care. Yes, I am wearing tie-dyed blue glitter pants in the 21st century. "Throw some glitter make it rain." I liked who I was, I chose what I liked and I let that steer my boat. And yes, I looked rather silly sometimes.
But that blonde woman looked awesome. They weren't ridiculing her because she was dressed so differently from the norm. It was because she looked like she stepped off the pages of Elle at 8:15am. There wasn't a hair out of place. She look outstanding, damn it. She was minding her own damn business, reading her own damn Kindle and looking good while she did it.
She looked confident while she did it.
And haters, yes, call it what it is, were hating. (Side note: We find hate to be a strong word but people litter the word love)
What is it about being confident, and looking good, that can bring out the ugly in some people? As much as I hate the song, "Pretty Girl Rock", Keri Hilson has a bit of a point. While some beautiful women can be evil, vengeful little critters, assuming the entire world hates them because of their beauty, some aren't. And the moment a girl walks into a room, before you
Be honest. You see a pretty girl and you assume she's arrogant. An ugly girl talking to your boy is easier to swallow than an attractive one. But hey, it works the other way. You're considered attractive and for no reason other than people's prejudices, you've been called "stuck-up" or told you "think you're all of that."
It's crazy how easy you can be discredited, how thoroughly your feelings can be disregarded when another person presumes you are a conceited woman. We don't even like the attractive, confident protagonists in a novel. We like the girl who is painfully shy and awkward and doesn't realize her own beauty. I remember Zipporah once telling me, "I feel like people want me to think I'm ugly."
And for some women, it would appear so. Thinking you are beautiful easily becomes thinking you're "the shit" and puts you at the receiving end of some vicious blows. People will either tell you how you aren't attractive or, in some cases, attack you. I know several pretty girls in my neighborhood who have gotten their faces sliced with a razor.
Maybe that's just harsh life in the hood.
Maybe on some level, it's happening everywhere.
One night, with this young man, I asked him if he thought I was pretty. We were both drinking and I was dying to know. His reply was, "Yeah. I think you're gorgeous". And I honestly don't know if he finds me beautiful or if that was the liquor and/or his hormones talking.
Sad, right? I want to feel beautiful. I want to accept it like a wafer during communion. I want to wash it down with the blood of Christ.
But that's my own self-esteem issue. I just don't feel like bothering to build up my self-esteem because I truly find I'm more accepted when I tear myself down. I'm more relatable when I'm not confident. No, I'm more accepted when I self-degrade. If you were to once just come out and say, "Damn, I'm looking fantastic today", people assume you're pompous and conclude you're not worth getting to know, you conceited heifa. And they're even quicker to provide examples contrary to your belief.
But it never crosses their mind that you can be an attractive girl who has had tons of crushes who chose your friends instead, who dated a guy who was the sand helping to erode your self-esteem, who have family members that comfortably pluck out your aesthetic flaws and are surprised that today, for once, just this fucking once, you put on a great outfit, lifted your head a little higher and could look and feel this good.
After so many years of not feeling good enough.
So I leave you with my favorite poem, the original "Pretty Girl Rock", by the amazing poet, se7en: