What do I hate more than women who make me feel ugly? Women who make my mom feel ugly.
When my mother asks me, "Does she look the same age as me?" or tells me, "I need to lose weight." "I want to look like ____." I feel bad. I feel bad for myself, I feel bad for her, and I feel bad for society. We are living in a world where a woman can enter college at 16, graduate medical school, graduate law school, have 3 children who grow up to be successful, and yet still look another woman and still think, "I'm not as good as her." There is something sick in the air. Something putrid.
Yet, this is what life has given us and what we accept. Even the most charmingly dorky, compassionate, and intelligent women of the world feel overpowered by their desire to fit the mold of "attractive", of "skinny enough", of "fashionable". They may not even care deep down, but to feel feminine and empowered, this is what it takes.
No number of feminist butch women can outnumber those who make women feel useless and terrible on a daily basis. Talk big all you want, women still go about their lives waxing, and tanning, and comparing, and feeling a genuine sense of worthlessness. Of course, they then cover up these feelings by calling out others on their lack of "ooh la la!", and so the cycle continues.
When I look at my mom, I see her blue eyes, her rosy cheeks, her normal sized nose, her mom-on-the-run outfit, and that inspires me. Everything about her is evidence of a successful woman. She may not be perfect at parenting and may not have the neatest work desk and may not always have the answer, but she is the woman every girl should dream to be. She may not dress like Elizabeth Taylor, look like Audrey Hepburn, dance like Benonyoncee (Okay, I don't know how to spell her name. Is that even a name??), or sing like Mariah Carey, but she is so much better. SO MUCH BETTER. Not just as a mom, either. As a human, as a supermodel, as a teacher, as a role model...
Alas, no matter how many times I say this, no matter how many times you read this, every single one of us will continue beating ourselves up for not being born to the right parents, not saying the right thing, and not looking like every other freakin' plastic, miserable, stupid pop star wannabe.
I am not writing this to make my mom feel good and continue paying my bills. I'm not even writing this to convince anyone or point fingers. I just thought it had to be put out there and said and maybe someone will take a moment to consider what I've written. Maybe something will change in one person.