Hope's Haven: Girl power & leopard-print coats
Let’s talk looks.
In this world, unfortunately, us gals are always at war. Whether that’s with each other, with men, with the government, with our parents, with our children, with society’s values, with our bodies. The list goes on. Now, it’s the ‘with each other’ that really gets me. If the universe has decided that a girl’s life is already difficult as hell, then why are we so angry at each other for just trying to live it?
I’m not coming at this from a high and mighty position of omniscience, TRUST ME. I judge gals the same way I judge pies sometimes. “Oh, you’re a bit fatty”, “oh, you’re a bit salty”, “oh you’re a bit fancy considering you’re just a steak ‘n’ mushroom” … okay, the last one’s a stretch but the metaphor works to an extent.
Why do we do that? Why do we choose to have such a brutal go at each other, when for the most part we’re all going through the same things? And what’s worse, most of the time we’re not even explicit about it. It’s all hushed tones, rumours, whispers and social media. We know people are chatting about us but we’re not sure what for, and that’s where the anxiety starts. Body dysmorphia, paranoia and self-doubt. All these things could be avoided or at least put on the decline if we were just nice. Sounds easy enough.
What if our afterthought became our first thought? You know, when you’ve thought something disgraceful about another woman and straight afterwards thought, “oh god I don’t want be like that, she’s stunning and amazing and I’m actually just annoyed I didn’t think to wear a floor-length leopard print coat because she’s absolutely rocking it.” I’ve been trying to do that. Think twice and only pay attention to the afterthought. I think it’s a nicer way to live. Plus, it’s done me wonders.
A big part of my anxious thinking involves believing people think certain negative things about my appearance when realistically, they probably don’t give a rat’s bum. Now that I’ve started paying attention to my afterthoughts, it’s made me think less about what other people may or may not be thinking.
For example, when I people-watch (commuting to and from Shoreditch every day gives me plenty of time to do that) I tend to look at the ladies (boys, for the most part, are fairly boring to look at… sorry fellas). I’m almost always wondering where they got their coats or how they got their highlight so wonderfully blended or how they have the energy to jog before work. BUT BUT BUT I fear my face looks more like I’m judging them. Now, if I picture myself as the lasses I’m looking at, I try to get up in the morning assuming I’m wearing a BOMB outfit and that my eyebrows look cracking and that actually if anyone looks at me they’re also wondering where my coat is from. It’s so much more fun to imagine that rather than worry over anything negative they MIGHT be thinking about me.
If we all try a little harder to focus on our afterthoughts, we might spend a bit less time thinking gals are out to get us, and more time chatting about where we shop for coats.