One day I needed to ask my property manager for the monthly allotment of guest parking passes. He greeted me with his usual warm welcome and asked what he can do for me. After retrieving the passes he made an unwarranted comment,
“You always look so… comfortable.”
Understandably, I was presentable just enough to walk around my apartment complex but maybe not enough to leave it. However, why he felt the need to comment on how I looked, I’m not quite sure. Was he implying I always look like shit? Or that I might have just woken up? I get, I live in LA, where people look hot even in sweat pants, but that doesn’t mean I should conform… right?
To put things into perspective, I should explain my lack of care for my physical presentation. It’s not that I’m lazy or ignorant about what looks good on me. I do, in fact, enjoy looking nice, even the long process of it can be fun. I am female after all and the girly-girl in me (very small…) does enjoy getting dolled up every once in a while.
However, I only do so when I have a meaningful reason to. This might be for a family event or a friend’s show or a hot date. But when I’m out in public I truly do not want to be noticed for what people see physically.
I’ve been victim to unwanted attention and it wasn’t pleasant.
I used to be flattered at physical compliments but now they mean little to nothing to me. As someone who acquired PTSD after the aforementioned unwanted attention, I went the exact opposite direction.
When I walk to work, I am wearing non-form fitting clothes, have sunglasses on, and earbuds in with very comfortable shoes. At work, I don’t wear heals and nothing that stretches tighter when I sit down. I don’t wear make-up either, or do anything to my hair besides dry it after washing. Yet still I get the unwanted catcalls and the VERY OBVIOUS up and down looks. I’m not sure about you but this elicits the reaction in me of wanting to shank someone.
You’ve might have been asked at some point in your life…
if you had a super power which would it be?
I like the idea of teleporting, it’d be nice to visit home without having to be in the car for five hours. Mind reading sounded fun until I watched True Blood… it’s bad enough what comes out of dudes mouths; their minds are worse. And speaking to animals has always been a favorite of mine.
But lately I think I’d want to be able to shapeshift. I would love to be able to walk down the street as an ugly old 6’4 pot bellied man with very intimidating tattoos.
It might seem funny to some, especially to those who know me since I’m quite small, but in reality I find it sad. My desired super power is to literally turn me into someone else, which is not right because I’m just now starting to learn to love ME.
Women and girls are pressured by society to look a certain way, and if they don’t, they might not be presentable in more formal situations such as work or… well, any public appearance where you might be in or close to the spotlight.
If it were a societal norm that men felt pressured to conform, too, it might not be such an issue, but they’re not and that makes for a very stark contrast in expectations.
There’s a fantastic documentary called Miss Representation and it demonstrated how in history we came to this outrageous duality of accepted norms for the two genders. If this topic interests you I encourage you to look into it (streaming on Netflix).
As much as I’d like to divulge said history this post is long enough. But in a nutshell we have been influenced my many mediums to look and act a certain way and it’s ridiculously unfounded. There’s no intrinsic reason for it.
And in the long run it’s a colossal waste of time.
I’ve come to the conclusion that friends and possible significant others are only worth keeping close if they find value in who I am, don’t care how I look, and are more concerned about my health and well-being.
If there are people in my life who do place significant value on looks, and I do have family and friends who think that way, I just have to look past that fault of theirs and hope they have other redeeming qualities. Much like I’d hope they do for me and my bare face.
So, sorry I’m not sorry Mr. property manager, you will just have to deal with me looking “comfortable.”