Sugar told me a story. It goes like this. She was at a wedding last weekend, and with her was her daughter, we’ll call her Dulce. During the rehearsal, Sugar was at the front of the church, and Dulce in the pews. I need to preface this with – Sugar is a total smoke show. She is beautiful, and not just beautiful, but hot, with a lithe, hourglass, enviable body. She works hard for it, and it shows. Back at the church. While Sugar was standing in front, two women in the pews, not realizing that Dulce was behind them, looked at each other and one said, “She’s too much”, speaking of Sugar. Dulce took umbrage, took measure. She shared the comments with her mother, Dulce was seething. I don’t know if it’s like this where you are, but in Texas, talking about someone’s momma, those are fighting words. Sugar is pure grace. She just is. It was at the reception when she approached these two women. She made pleasant small talk, offered them some wine, told them how much she liked their dresses. In response, they told Sugar they loved her dress, too. Swear to God, Sugar looked at them and said, “Thank you, you don’t think it’s too much?” I love her. Without an unkind word, without a voice raised, she let those women know that she knew, and she was above it.
I have been thinking a lot about this. Women can be feral. We can be cruel to one another for no other reason than envy, a feeling of something lacking in ourselves, and cutting another woman, maybe that will soothe the voice inside our head saying mean things. Somewhere in the primordial part of our brain, there is an untrue reasoning that we are in competition with one another for mates, for protection. This competition breeds unjust contempt. There is an innate wariness when women meet for the first time. I want this to stop. What would it look like if we were one another’s advocates? What could we accomplish if rather than tearing one another down, we propped each other up? I’m pretty sure that’s how we rule the world, that’s how we change the world.
This is true. Judgements are made instantaneously almost completely based on appearance. A quick accounting of beauty and tallies accumulated will set the tone. Here’s the thing. Every woman – I’ll repeat myself – every single woman, has her insecurities, a thing she doesn’t like about her appearance. Body or face. There is something that she envies in another woman, no matter how beautiful she is. Shouldn’t that close the divide? We all have our shit. All of us. I thought about the perfect woman. For me, this is what she looks like, these are the things I envy.
Hair – Blake Lively (her old man isn’t too shabby, either)
Eyes – Adriana Lima
Lips – Angelina Jolie (duh)
Breasts – Jennifer Aniston (these should be standard issue)
Abs – Pink (Good God)
Legs and Booty – Julianne Hough (girl crush, indeed)
If it were possible to assemble this woman, she would still have her shit. There would be something she didn’t like about her appearance. Those women I listed have things that bother them, I guarantee it. We all do. It’s a universal given. Doesn’t that make us all even? There is no such thing as perfection. There is no such thing as a completely confident woman. If walls go down and we talk real to one another we will find much more in common than not. Let’s do this. Let’s be friends. I’ll cheer you on, and you do me, deal? Instead of “she’s too much”, let’s make it, “she’s beautiful”, and tell her so. If you see something you envy in another, rather than giving in to the primordial brain, tell her. It will soothe the mean voices in her head, and it will come back to you tenfold. You may be saying, this is all superficial attendance to appearance. But I ask you, kind reader, at first meeting, before a word is spoken, isn’t that all the data you will have? We are complicated, wondrous beings who can bring forth life, make food with our bodies, soothe man, compete in business, fight on the lines, yet we still fall short on extending an olive branch to the woman we look at in the mirror, to the women before us, for the women behind us.
This is all I can say. If we remove the unnecessary competition, if we are kind to one another, if we take down the walls, we can be mighty, individually and in mass. Be too much, be quiet, be bold, be brazen, be shy, be brave, be kind. Be. Embrace it. Love the women you see. You don’t know what battles they are fighting. We are women. Hear us roar. You’re gorgeous. Pass it on.
Go forth and conquer.