You guys, sometimes I am so sucked in by beautiful people doing beautiful things wearing beautiful clothes and smiling beautiful smiles. I see them in magazines, on Facebook, Access Hollywood, the news and every where we turn. I can’t seem to get away from beautiful, successful people and frankly, I don’t want to see it all the time because I then start using them as a measuring stick to where and what I am supposed to be and it sucks up so much air in my space that I can’t just like what I want to like and smile the way I already do smile. It all makes me feel like I am supposed to fix something broken about me – like I better buy more and do more and say more because what I am right here in this moment is clearly not enough because it does not look the same as what they are doing over there.
Please tell me you feel me. How could you not?
I don’t blame us because we are saturated with all these messages telling us that we are not fine just as we are. Before I start sounding too cliche, let me introduce to you my hero if you have not met. My anti hero. Lena Dunham. Let me caveat this by saying that her show Girls is not for everyone. Its raw and raunchy at times and can even be too much for me, but I’m not talking about the show as much as I’m talking about Hannah, the protagonist.
When I say I’m taking lessons from her, I’m totally serious. She is unapologetic for who she is. She is often misguided, totally irreverent, quasi childish and often inappropriate. But, she is also beautifully sensitive and in tune to what works for her despite the pressures around her. She does not even seem to let these influences affect her unless it comes in the form of her relationships, which she is often entangled emotionally. She cares deeply, talks bravely and moves through the world at her own speed, albeit often at a zig zag.
I find myself thinking about Hannah in the moments that I question myself or find myself trying too hard or shaming myself for not being something that looks more pleasing than what I present to the world. At the end of the day, no one is really is paying that much attention, are they? At the end of the day, it’s truly how I feel and what I take away from the experience. I think if we let others see our disheveled, human side more often I think we could make deeper, more meaningful connections, but also rid ourselves of the constant shame that we are the way we are. What if the way we are in all of our imperfectness is what will really set us apart from all that is perfectly beautiful and therefore lead us to live a more authentic life? Maybe the tide would turn? Or maybe it wouldn’t. But, maybe we could at least feel a bit more comfortable in our less than perfect skin and hair and enjoy the feeling of wearing something that we like vs. what someone else may think is beautiful.
I get it, Hannah. I get the too short shirts, the wide jeans, the cutout red swimwear, the exasperation, the analyzing, the parents, the tattoos and the cake. I want that cake and I will eat it all too.