Around the New Year I really started to consider deeply the topic of “women who inspire me.” This was an inquiry that occurred after meeting an influential woman in New York City who by most accounts would have moved and inspired a lot of people. Except that that didn’t happen for me. I was a bit mortified by her “self promotion” and theatrical postings on social media and her great stories…about herself. Now granted she IS a huge philanthropist who contributes considerably to her community, and that is something that I truly appreciate. She was a motivated entrepreneur from an early age and as a woman had to break through that inevitable glass ceiling. But I was still not smitten. And I began to wonder “WHY??” What was it that was off-putting to me? And I started to consider “who are the women that I admire and hold as role models to ME?”
So on the topic of off-putting let’s look at the top two:
1)Shameless Self Promotion
This in itself is a quality that is a double edged sword. I actually admire the fact that a WOMAN has this quality. It is a personality trait that I don’t possess and I would like to…to a certain extent. Being able to “toot one’s own horn” is something that we are told early on, isn’t lady like. “Don’t make a scene,” “it’s not nice to brag,” “don’t boast about your achievements.” All of these ring true to me because this is what I was told throughout my life by parents, teachers, books, and media. And if you take into account the fact that I am an introvert, then…shameless self promotion just isn’t in my vocabulary! BUT WHOA NELLY! The problem with NOT tooting your own horn is that you can’t complain when there’s NO MUSIC!
So in the end, the “shameless self promotion” was NOT what was off-putting to me. What was really at the root was the next issue…
2) Over Zealous Cosmetic Procedures/Outrageous Social Media Montages
This was the deal killer for me. I am NOT against a woman choosing to have cosmetic surgery, on any level whether it is botox here and filler there or a breast enlargement or even a complete face lift. It is YOUR CHOICE. The question I have is this…what is the root issue of wanting to get the procedure done? That’s it. It is sad for me to think about all the young women who have gotten their breasts enlarged simply because that is the image that they think attracts men. Makes me mad. The term ANTI-AGING makes me mad. Cameron Diaz once said that “aging is a privilege that not everyone gets to do it.” SO true. There’s no such thing as anti-aging, mother nature rule #2 or 3! But our society puts youth up on a pillar like getting old and showing it is a general disappointment, a let down to a standard that is as false as Milli Vanilli.
So as a role model to my beautiful daughter, Courtney, I want to just age gracefully. Yes I have to put on glasses now to read a menu (come on people…can we just turn up the lights a smidge in the bistro please??!!), yes my knees ache a little more after a run than they used to, yes I have more wrinkles in places that used to be plump, and yes, I undoubtably have a few grey hairs although highlights help disguise this, even to me. I have tried hundreds of face creams, serums, masks, lifting concoctions for this and that.
But the deal killer was this…this lovely lady had altered her looks so considerably that it made me sad. Because the facade of her was not NEARLY AS LOVELY after all this work, as her heart. SHE HAD A HUGE AND BEAUTIFUL HEART.
So here is my conclusion. I decided to fall in love with her heart. Because ME judging her about her looks and her choices was just as shallow as my belief as to why she did it in the first place. I have no idea about WHO SHE REALLY IS. I just judged her by an hour meeting and her Facebook page. How shallow and sad is that??!! I decided to offer her some unspoken grace and woman to woman sisterhood. Because that’s really what I want to stand for, compassion and acceptance.
This whole experience gave me a wonderful idea to start a new blog segment entitled “Brazen Broads.” I will share with you the women who I admire, some you may know and hopefully some you may not. I am SO pumped and inspired by these chicks…just wait, you’re gonna love it!
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let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. -Rumi
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