Monday, July 18, 2011

Yes I look at I am not Lebanese...

Ok so this is a confession I can make only AFTER having dinner and drinks with three very beautiful ladies this past weekend; a California beauty, a slender soccer mom and a totally put together chick! 

So here goes, I look at women all the time.  I check them out from stem to stern, noticing every detail.  A beauty always catches my eye, a fashionable lady typically gets a second glance and an older wiser hip chick usually has me starring more than polite society would allow.  Why? 

A beautiful woman, especially a natural beauty, draws the eye almost unintentionally.  Apparently natural beauty transcends gender and age, we are all attracted to the symmetrical face.  An interesting study by Victor Johnson of New Mexico State University showed that only the people with super symmetrical faces were rated 10’s.  Everyone looks at a beautiful woman – a men want to be around her, women want to be her kind of thing.  So, I am with everyone else in admiring a beautiful woman.

A fashionable lady draws most women’s attention, I would gather.  What is she wearing, where did she get it, how does she put it together?  Accessorizing is not a “natural” gift from God the way beauty may be.  We all might know someone that seems to have the knack, but I would venture to guess lots and lots of practice has gone into that talent.  Those of us who were lucky enough to have gone through the Madonna/Cindy Lauper phase of the 80’s will remember just how terribly wrong accessorizing can go.  So, it is with admiration that I look upon a well dressed, fashionable lady.

An older wiser hip chick simply is awesome.  All women hope that either they are her or hope to be her sometime in the future.  She has a confidence that we only fake – sometimes.  She is comfortable in her own skin and speaks poetically about all kinds of important things.  She is self possessed and confident in a manner that seems to come out in the way she dresses, the way she carries herself and the way she styles her hair.  You know a Maya Angelou kind of confidence that makes you want to sit and eaves drop on her all day long.  So, it is because of the student to philosopher draw that I steal a “sit-at-the-feet” moment with the wise hip chick.

Good reasons to look at women right?  Well they are not true, not completely.  I do enjoy a pretty face, a nice outfit and a good story.  But what I am really seeing is what I, myself am not.  I am spotting what I wish I were, had, or could do and chastising myself for not – or mourning that I cannot.  Now I knew we – women that is – looked at each other for the above reasons.  What I did not know is that we also all – or at least the women at dinner with me that night – compare ourselves to each other.  And we are darn hard on ourselves.  While slender soccer mom and I were laughing at how we both check out other women, totally put together chick said something that really resonated with me. 

We are comparing our worst to their best.  WOW!  That is right, I know what I look like in the morning all rooster haired with lines on my face from the pillow and that dried spit on my cheek that seems to take on shapes not unlike a Rorschoch test.  I remember all of my bad hair days, bad fashion choices and bad conversations where a foot in the mouth was the least of my worries.  I have the image of myself in the mirror under the GOD FORSAKEN UNFORGIVING NEON LIGHTS of the dressing rooms at Nordies seared into the backs of my eyeballs.  All I know of her, this beautiful woman, this trendy dresser and this hip mama is her right now, out and about, having coffee at a trendy spot with her friends.  She is at her best – or her pretty darn goodest at least.

There might be some among us that don’t do this.  They don’t compare their worst to someone else’s’ best, they might not even compare themselves to others at all.  Wow, how healthy is that!?!?  But I take comfort in knowing that I don’t think I know any of those women.  The sisters I am surrounded with are on the same journey that I am; we want to start thinking of ourselves in better terms, to start giving ourselves more credit and to work at chiseling off that image of ourselves post baby in a bathing suit from our consciousness – let the unconscious self deal with that one.  But none of us has reached that enlightened state yet.

Well, wait now, come to think of it, California Beauty did not say a word during this conversation, she smiled, laughed and seemed quite self confident!  Damn her, I do know someone perfect!