Big Girls, You are Beautiful

Personal

“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65 or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools or oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you have a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative [and beautiful] life, of imagination and radical silliness. It’s going to break your heart.” – Anne Lamott

There are songs about it. There are videos circulating the internet about it. There are Pin-spiration quotes. There are magazine articles written about it. Studies over it. Conversations. Presentations. Lectures. Movements dedicated to helping women to accept their bodies. I can’t help but wonder when women are going to stop striving towards an unattainable and manufactured ideal crafted by an industry founded on a $56 billion revenue (in 2013 alone).

That’s a lot of shampoo, lotions, perfumes, diet pills, eyeliner, tanning memberships, fitness clothes, and waxing appointments for the beautiful ladies of the United States to be purchasing each year for the sake of living up to someone else’s standard of beauty. It is not only an industry, it is comparing ourselves to another person’s interpretation of beauty. They are determining how we view ourselves and how we interpret each other – whether it’s a stranger we pass by on the street or our best friend or even our mothers – who could all be construed by the media as ‘ugly’ or ‘fat’ in some form or fashion.

Nobody calls my momma fat or ugly. Better yet, nobody calls me fat or ugly.

From seeing the positive in all situations by writing down what makes me happy every day to crafting outfits from essentially the discarded garbage from people’s closets – I’m not exactly adhering the norms of everyone else around me. But every day I find myself questioning my body, my hair, or my facial features and wondering, “Am I even pretty?” and most of the time the voice in my head – essentially someone else’s voice – is saying no.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 

When I stand in front of the mirror and I look at my body – I’m not worried about it. I think my eyes look nice (sans mascara), I can feel the strength in my legs that I’ve been cultivating in yoga, my hair is finally long (for me), and I can look at it with love (most of the time) rather than disdain. But place me beside another woman and I’ll scrutinize, compare, contrast, and dissect every small difference between us and end up feeling like a terribly misshapen troll.

Robyn Lawley

For what? What purpose does this serve anyone? By cutting ourselves down – are we helping anyone? By placing one person on a pedestal and another on the dirty ground are we not encouraging a caste system of sorts in the realm of the beauty world?

At 23, I feel as if I have two options. Love my body now and embrace it for everything that it can and can’t do, that it will and won’t be, and learn that self-love radiates more than any self-tanning lotion could ever. Or, do I continue hating it, trying to change it, alter it to match someone else, and spend an unnecessary amount of time worrying about my thigh gap (or lack there of) until I realize the former to be true.

Hm. Let me think.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” – Says everyone, ever.

So I’m cultivating my own sense of beauty. Fuck, if I’m going to develop my own sense of style and way of thinking, shouldn’t my standard of beauty also be self-tailored to my own ideals? So here it is, not for your judgement or your adoption of it, but for myself.

Beauty is drinking beer because you love it and not giving a damn about your belly. It’s putting on red lipstick and nothing else, because even on your worst days a smile is all you need. It’s hair that may or may not have been combed or may or may not be dried with a hairdryer or the wind out of your open window in the middle of Texas summer. It’s natural skin tanned by the sun or pale like the moon. Curves in all the right places and all the wrong places – the difference is knowing when to flaunt them. Clothes that you feel good in, that you can sit down comfortably in, or high five in, or bend over in, or cuddle in.

Beauty is knowing what makes you beautiful. For me, I have a mind, a witty sense of humor, big boobs, strong legs, and sense of who I am and who I want to become. I am a babe because I choose to be one, not because someone told me that I am.

beau·ty: (from dictionary.com)

1. the quality present in a thing or person that gives deep satisfaction to the mind

2. a beautiful person or thing of beauty

3. What you decide to define it as. 

 

Inspiring links: No You Don’t Look Fat in That Bikini! Some Say This Model Is Fat.

I Think They Call This a Breakthrough

Dating, Drinking, Personal

It’s amazing I was single.

At the ripe old age of 14, I was in lOvE with boys. I had my fair share of unrequited teenage crushes which resulted in a devastating amount of hours listening to Blink-182 in my bedroom decorated with collages of teen heartthrobs who I would never meet. Thinking back, I realized it’s not too far off from today. I’ve traded Blink for the Black Keys and the collages for photos of European places I ca’t return to quite yet, but ultimately I’m still pining away for the unattainable in my bedroom.

And it’s amazing I still am.

Why do we sit and wait for the right time or the right man or the right thing to magically manifest itself while we causally sit at home drinking wine? (besides the fact that wine makes everything better in general and increases the flow of time exponentially)

I think my inaction stems from a fear of getting hurt. I’m not sure if that’s the entire reason why I’m reluctant to put myself out there – but it’s definitely part of it. Just like everyone else in the world.

So that’s why I’m not having it. I’m keeping my butterflies in the cocoon. I’m ripping the buds off before they bloom. I’m humming in the drizzle instead of singing in the rain. (I’m also realizing I don’t really know many metaphors for being in love).

I’m picking men I can’t have relationships with. Foreigners who will eventually take their sexy accents back to where they came from. Or I’m the foreigner who will be taking my un-exotic self back to Texas. They have a schedule completely opposite from me. There’s construction on the way to their house. They live 20 hours away. They are too old. They are in a different place in life than me. They aren’t happy enough or they aren’t making me happy. I don’t want to be someone’s girlfriend but I don’t want to just be a piece of ass.

From one extremity to the next, I’m toeing this line between what I want and what I can get. But this the kicker – I have no idea what I want. Just like every other woman on the planet.

Realizing that is all fine and dandy but what’s there left to do? This obviously:

And it’s amazing that I will continue to be single until my untimely death due to alcohol poisoning. Cheers!

And afterwards? In all of the inexplicable abyss of options, I’m left with an inability to make any decision that seems right. That’s why your twenties are about doing and then learning (ah!) and I’m learning that whether I’m consciously making the choice to be with someone who is unattainable, I’m making the choice nonetheless.

Someone pass me a beer. All this personal reflection is making me thirsty.

I’ve also made the realization that I may use alcohol as a numbing agent. Whoops.

Work it Out

Dating, Personal

I like to work out. Most of the time I forget that I do, but it’s true.

However, when I was at the gym yesterday I started thinking about why I work out.

I usually do yoga because it makes me feel great after a class because I’m centered and I had my ‘savasana’ (yoga term for nap time essentially). In yoga, I forget about my what’s bothering me and dedicate an hour to my body. After yoga I always feel confident in the strength of my body and what it can accomplish. I can see which poses I’ve come far in and which ones I’m still working to achieve – like crow, dammit.

When I’m at the gym my thoughts and feelings are incredibly different. I’m concerned about looking like I’m ‘working’ out. I look at all the other girls clad in their neon Nike attire who have been on the treadmill for two hours and have no intention of stopping. I check out the cute guy sprinting around the track. I go down to the weight room and immediately realize that I’m the only girl and therefore the only one using the 15 pound weights for my wimpy arm exercises.

Despite all the incredibly distressing thoughts I have, I still have a great work out. I work my ass off (literally) and I feel great afterwards.

When I was working out, I was listening to rap music and thinking about how I needed to run faster, do more crunches, do that extra set because I wanted to look good in my jeans or in my new tight dress. While this is great motivation for working out, I started wondering if this was negative reinforcement. Last summer I lost 30 pounds – while I was still in a relationship with someone who loved me regardless if I ate a cookie. I worked out and dieted because I wanted to improve myself. Now, I do yoga for myself, but sometimes I feel like when I work out at the gym I’m doing it to impress other people now that I’m single.

Why do you work out? Is it for other people or yourself? Which is better motivation?

Man Trapped in a Woman’s Body

Dating, Personal

It’s not as much as fun as you think it would be.

Lately, I’ve felt like a dude. It’s actually fairly difficult, because I don’t really subscribe to traditional gender roles. Women bringing home the bacon, making the first move, being on top, etc. Bring it on, women can handle it.

But as much as I would like to think that men respect this – surprise – they don’t.

Examples from my life as a single, strong-willed, and sometimes ballsy woman:

1. I have made it explicably clear to someone that all I want is a very causal relationship. What does he do? Acts like a boyfriend.

2. I make the terrible mistake of having the conversation with a man about numbers. He then tells me I really know how to make a guy feel special. Wait – I’m sorry, were you supposed to be special? Because making out on the street didn’t feel especially special.

3. (this is the only slightly positive outcome) I approach a man at a bar and hit on him, because it’s almost last call, someone bought me a shot, he was cute, and my friends can usually coerce me to do anything after 1:30 am if they tell me it will be funny. By the end of the conversation, he gave me a hug, said thank you, and told me it was cool that I approached him. Well…awesome?

Overall, most of these guys are just fleeting moments for me, I’m not looking for any stand outs or for someone to sweep me off my feet. I’ve been swept already and now I’m just hanging out. As much as guys say that’s what they want and that’s their idea of a ‘dream girl’, in my research I’ve found that they want just as much respect as any woman deserves. Basically, there is no winning. So I’ll just keep doin’ me while you keep doin’ your little pansy thing. Cheers.

Single Girl Style

Personal, Shopping

*Warning: The majority of this blog post does not contain any real information, but expresses my frustrations on the subject.

Fairly recently, I became single for the first time since I was 15. Needless to say, back when I was ‘dating’, the style was totally different because it was 2006…and I was a sophomore in high school.

Now it’s a completely different ball game.

When I was in a relationship I wore what I liked wearing because I didn’t have to impress anyone but myself. Sure I wanted to look cute and garner a few compliments from my girlfriends, but hotness was never a real factor that I considered necessary when I was getting ready.

See that? I still can’t comprehend that. So this is my dilemma right now. What is single girl style? How do you pull it off without looking like a slut muffin? And how much do you have to sacrifice your personal style to impress guys?

Slut Muffin

There are a lot of slutty girls out there. Want to know how I know this? Because they dress like it. I understand that everyone has varying degrees of appropriateness and being single, that degree is fairly low. Sometimes when I go to a bar, I look around and I feel like I just ran into the girls from Jersey Shore and wonder, “How did they end up in Texas? Did they get lost on their way to Las Vegas?”

And I know that not everyone dresses exactly like that, but today in America the single girl uniform is fairly simple.

Single Girl Uniform

  1. Tight
  2. Short
  3. Low-cut
  4. Heels.

Simple and effective, but not right for everyone. The types of guys that are attracted to this are usually not type of guys you want to talk to. So what’s the right combination? So far this is the advice I’ve gathered from men, women, and magazines (which are written by women).

“Guys like simple.”

“Wear a big necklace it’ll draw attention to your cleavage.”

“Don’t look like you’re trying too hard.”

“Can you walk in 5 inch heels?”

“Look cute, but still sexy. But not too sexy, but enough so that they know you’re single.”

“Just wear something low-cut.”

“Why is everything you own so flowy?”

And that’s how I feel after hearing all the advice, reading different articles, buying new clothes, and trying to be something that I’m not. It’s a really strange feeling to be alone after being with someone for so long and it’s even more strange that I feel like I can’t dress like myself when I go out to meet people.

SGS (Single Girl Swag)

The most important thing to have when you go out, besides heels (which I will say, are a complete must and add to SGS), is single girl swag. It’s when you feel great in what you’re wearing so it translates to confidence, which is truly the sexiest thing a girl can have when she’s going out. If you are feeling good, it doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing, you will get some attention because of the energy you are giving off. So here are some of my tips for going out. I’m sure after this blog post you will take my advice, because obviously I know what I’m talking about.

Smile, brush your teeth.

Wear heels, it doesn’t matter what size heel because you will always feel sexier (and the oomph in the back doesn’t hurt either).

Wear something you feel comfortable in. Tugging at your shirt or pulling up your low-rise jeans isn’t sexy.

Don’t wear any rings on your ‘ring finger’, even if they are in no way like a wedding ring, guys apparently notice.

Wear tight jeans or a tight skirt.

Shave your legs.

Bring out lipstick, your phone, and a sense of humor. Don’t take the night too seriously.

Be your own damn self. Stop trying to dress for others or for the venue you’re going. Just do yo’ thang and rock the single girl swag.

Carrie Bradshaw and Holly Golightly, ultimate SGS.