So, today at work, where most things happen, I decided to ask one of the carhops a question.
Now, to help you understand a little about this girl, let me paint you a picture. She’s a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed nymph, just well-endowed enough to make the cheerleader-types jealous and gets enough attention to make the alternative kids gag. She’s always wearing little glitzy baubles to catch the boys attention if her tits don’t work, and gets more tips than the top carhop in the joint.
I asked her if she thought she was pretty. Just an off the cuff, random question. I prepared myself for a bitchy little sneer.
Her response was a surprising roll of the eyes and a nervous laugh.
This was surprising to me in a few different ways. First, having been one of those ‘alternative kids’ in high school, I had always held the assumption that ‘girls like that’, that is to say, pretty, slender, big-tittied, popular blondes, were better because they KNEW they were better. And somewhere, clunking around in that shaved head of mine, that assumption was still alive. Barely breathing (along with my cripplingly low self-esteem), but still, alive. But here she was, feeling just like too many girls do.
Second, the media. Those who know me can attest to the fact that I consider ‘The Media’ (put in capital letters just as nasty old villains should) my sworn enemy. I mean, who better to fight against? Satellite TV, the Internet, the Newspaper, the Radio, Billboards, Flyers, door-to-door salesmen—
Anyone can put their opinions in or on these. With just enough money (or internet access), you can make the most positive, upbeat person kneel in defeat. Wallow in self-pity, because
You’re not good enough. You’re not pretty enough. You’re not handsome, tan, young, abled, skinny, smart, sexy enough for the world. You should just crawl in a hole and fucking rot, you waste of motherfucking space.
And let’s face it. Not enough people use ‘The Media’ to its full potential. It’s always, Look At Me And You’ll Feel Crappy In Seconds!, not Read Me and You’ll Get The Warm Fuzzies And Feel Great Because You’re Fine Just How You Are, You Beautiful Creature. Don’t get me wrong, there are people, wonderful people, who try and use the media, books, tv, etc, for good. And they succeed. I wish I could meet every single one of those people and shake their hands, give them a hug, tell them they’re awesome, whichever they’re comfortable with. But it’s just not what you’re bombarded with when you flip on the telly, or pick up a magazine at the doctors office. It’s always nag, nag, nag, go take a walk you lazy animal, pluck your eyebrows, men hate this, women love that, change yourself to fit OUR standards of beauty because OBVIOUSLY
You will listen to us and we are all that matter.
I didn’t mean to go off on a rant, there.
But you get what I mean. Here she is, looking like she just walked out of Seventeen Magazine, and that same thing (or, category, I guess) probably tells her that she needs to work harder, shed a few more pounds in her ‘problem areas’, wear just this shade of lip gloss, wear her hair this way, you’re not good enough, blah blah blah, the same thing it tells EVERYONE.
The stupid thing is that she listens.
I don’t mean to obsess over a co-worker. The girl who I teasingly call ‘barbie’, who actually isn’t that bad. It just struck me as really, really fucked up, that she goes through the same thing I went through in high school, and still combat now. The same thing that a hundred thousand other people fall prey to, and if they’re lucky, come up from it.
It’s just really fucked up.
I had to get that all out.