There is a brilliant Poetry Slam reading by Katie Makkai that I have watched a hundred times and I will watch hundreds more. It never fails to inspire me in my quest to love myself exactly as I am. Before we move on, have a watch.......
(Warning, there is explicit language)
Pretty great stuff, huh?
Among many brilliant lines, one that always sticks with me and I play over and over in my head, is about leaving the bars defeated because you weren't deemed "suitable f*ckable." Once you get past the expletives, the idea is fascinating.
WHY do we spend so much time, effort, and money to keep up appearances? It makes us feel good. But WHY? Because we get validation from other people when we look good.
I'm not saying this is everyone's story, but it think that it's far more common than we realize. When you really break it down, our efforts to appear more attractive are really a quest to get strangers turned on. Even if it's for our significant other. Why is sexual attraction so highly valued?
WHY!? WHY!? WHY?!
Why is it so important for us to look good? What is wrong with not being attractive? Is being ugly the worst thing that we can be? Based on how many products, services, surgeries, and photoshopping goes on, it certainly seems as though appearance ranks pretty high in the seven deadly sins. As I look at my daughter though, I would much rather she be unattractive than mean, greedy, a bully, or abusive. Certainly we have more to offer this world than our looks. And perhaps if we're honest, after a lifetime of focusing on our looks, we don't have much more to share.
I surround myself with body positivity and diversity, and even I struggle to separate my worth from my physical appearance. Think about it. From birth, we are bombarded with the importance of female beauty. Babies wear bows and headbands to make sure that everyone knows that they are girls. I have a daughter that looks like a little boy and strangers often comment on my son. When I mention that she is a girl, people are embarrassed and immediately backtrack and tell me how beautiful my daughter is. It's okay that you called her a boy! She does indeed look like a boy. And that's okay. She is hilarious, serious, observant, intelligent, and deeply empathetic. It's all right that she isn't a looker. But even at 1 1/2 years old, society values her looks. This will continue through her childhood and certainly into adulthood. Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas in Austin, measures out the benefits in his book, "Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful." According to his research, attractive people are likely to earn an average of 3% to 4% more than a person with below-average looks. This is a real thing you guys.
I guess what I'm saying is that it's not an easy path to walk down after a lifetime of socialization, but I really hope to remove my appearance as a factor in my self worth. What a freeing experience and awareness to have for ourselves and to pass on to our children. For we are never merely pretty. Pretty amazing. Pretty smart. Pretty funny.
Where do you stand on the idea of being "suitable f*ckable?"