Women, Beauty, and Competition

Guess what, Goddesses! There’s plenty of pretty to go around. I was honored this weekend and in the past few weeks of being in contact with some of my closest women friends. They are all beautiful. The other day I began to wonder why it is that so many other women are not so lucky to have many true female friends. Why is there some kind of jealousy and competition  among Goddesses? Why are some women so intimidated by other women who are gorgeous and so engage in silly catty behavior towards one another? I don’t really know, so you’ll have to go ask Dr. Phil or somebody.

What I do know is that when I am going to meet some of my women friends I take extra steps to look nice. I make sure I have on a nice outfit and throw on a little makeup. I make sure my lips are shiny and my lashes are long and luscious. But my intention is not to upstage my friends. My purpose is to be pretty for them to look at. Let’s just face it. I am straight. I love men. But women are prettier. We have more variety to our looks. You don’t have to be a lesbian to appreciate a stunning face and a fabulous outfit. How do I know this?

Well, a few years ago I met this woman on a listserv. We are both mothers and had a lot in common. yoga-flower At the time a lot of my women friends had gone away or taken on other interests. Being a mom can sometimes be lonely so I reached out to connect with someone who likes to have fun, with a little sidekick in tow.

When it was finally arranged for us to meet face to face, I got all pretty and went to meet her for coffee. When I got there I was disappointed. She had not made any effort to look cute for me. She had on stained sloppy clothes and carried a raggedy-ass bag and her face could certainly use a little paint. But I didn’t judge her. We had a nice conversation that afternoon.

The next time I met her I secretly hoped she probably didn’t know what to expect the first time we met but this time she would have herself together. She did not. I couldn’t help but to feel a little slighted, as though I wasn’t important enough for her to try to look her best. Or at least presentable. I wanted to see her beauty. Yes, she had her natural beauty and while I really didn’t expect her to present like a supermodel, because I certainly never do, I felt uncomfortable and taken for granted, kind of like the husband of 5 years whose wifey consistently looks a hot mess when he comes home from work in the afternoon.

I am still friends with the woman but we have gone in different directions for reasons unrelated to appearance.  Whenever I see or talk to her I try to encourage her and let her know that she is beautiful and that she should not be ashamed to coax it out into the open.  Nevertheless, I suppose she has her reasons for being the way she is and I accept that.

When I meet up with my friends who take steps to look pretty I feel pretty. Beauty is not a scarce resource to be coveted and fought for, it is abundant and unlimited.  Some of my friends are far more beautiful than I am. So what? I don’t wish they were ugly so I could look better. I want to admire them while I sip my tea and giggle about life.

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