Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Bottle of Look Like Her.


Come a little closer; I don't want everyone to hear.  It feels a little confessional, and I am sorry to burden you, because our love is so pure, our relationship is on a high plane of enlightenment looking down at these earthly concerns.  Ours is une affaire d'esprit.

I was maybe 5, or even 4, when I first realized I wasn't what I was supposed to be.  It seems ludicrous to me now that as a sub-six year old I would have any notion of what to be.  By 'be' I mean the specifically female awareness of 'what you are supposed to look like.' 

There were ways I was supposed to behave, too, of course, but those were more direct expectations;  Be seen and not heard.  Sit quietly.  Don't run around in here.  These directives were mostly spoken, and they mostly had to do with not making noise, now that I consider it.  So, here was what I had for tools at age six:  Shut Up, Now!; and, You Are All Wrong. 

My hair was wrong, my body was way wrong, and my face was wrong, too; I needed glasses.  Oh, and did I mention my feet?  Well, they were so wrong that only one kind of shoe would fit them.  I feel terrible guilt about this, because now I love saddle shoes in tan and navy.  But this comes from a mature eye- it took me 20 years to learn to love those dorky, clunky, über cool shoes.  When it was all I could get, I hated them.  They were not lovely, girly, princessy, shoes.  They were boyish and drab.  They had stupid laces, instead of patent leather straps and buckles.  There was a lot of self-loathing in those days.

It's all a continuum.  My awareness that I was not right visually is nothing compared to a woman born with three elbows, or 7 toes.  Or whatever else it is that makes a person think they should buy a bottle, tube, or jar of "Look Like Her."  I have hundreds of these bottles, and I still don't look like Her.  I wonder if anything can be done for us, in our self-made hell of in-adequacy?  I mean, of course, that a million things can be done, but is there a universally useful change that could be made in the way we peddle images pretending to be products?