Friday, November 12, 2010

from the archives: standards

One of the reasons I’m a writer, I’m sure of it, is because I have such a bad memory. Because of this, I often go back and read things I’ve read in the past as a form of therapy – seeing where I’ve been, and comparing that with the Now. Plus, sometimes I’m just plumb out of writing energy and need to remind myself that I once had things to write about. In doing this, in reading through my first (and archived) blog this morning, I came across this post. I’ve decided to re-post it; partly because my brain hurts and partly because I want to. Without going into too much detail, I will say that there are too many women in my life who are questioning their worth lately because of stupid boys who are being stupid (and it goes without saying that there are too many stupid boys in our lives and not enough men…or is that another post entirely?). Regardless, and without any further ado, here is a re-posting of my thoughts from 2007; apparently much hasn't changed. I still believe we've mixed up our standards.

"He's judging books by covers," she said without hesitating, and forcefully.
She said this when I told her that the guy(s) I('ve) like(d) prefer(s) blondes.

It's not that I hadn't thought of that before; I had, many times. I had thought of it each time a guy I liked had started dating one. I had thought of it plenty while looking in a mirror, walking down the street, and sitting in church. It became a pattern for me. Guessing who next would go after that other girl (it was always him); guessing how long it would take me to get over this one.

Eventually, I would. But somehow, my heart always started fluttering in someone else's direction shortly after those self inflicted lies had healed. If I have learned anything about unrequited love, it's that it is much more common than we tell ourselves, and much easier to fall into. Somehow we forget this in the midst of the Crush. We forget that everyone is human like we are.

We also forget to remember that this ended love doesn't tarnish value. These standards for beauty that we've created have seeped through every area of our hearts. It would be impossible for me to count how many times I've heard women say a version of the words "I am not enough, she must be."

And somehow you can only explain that your beauty is nothing compared to hers.

Who got to decide what beauty looks like? Who told you that was a flaw and unnattractive? And where did you learn to convince yourself that you don't measure up? When did it become acceptable to hate another woman because her hair was lighter (or darker), her legs were longer (or shorter), her boobs were bigger (or smaller)? And when did it become acceptable to act on this animosity?

We act on it by telling oursleves we're less, and by alienating those who were given something by nature that we apparently think we should have.

Do you realize that every woman is insecure about some part of her body? Probably that part you wish you had. And that part of your body you despise is probably enviable in some way to someone else.

The standards are fake.


Bonnie said...

I hear yah! Love you.

Mama said...

This was a good one to repost. Many reasons here why I hate the whole Hollywood, I'm-a-star thing. Everyone is beautiful to someone.

Unrequited Love said...

Thanks for putting it up again. It's a great perspective to look at it - and helps to deal with the struggles that are an inevitable part of the game called life.