Girls I’m Never Going To Be

Sometime a while back I came to terms with the fact that I would never be Club Girl pretty.

You know. Girls in videos. Girls who go dancing. With the fabulous long hair and the amazing smoky make-up and the jeans that fit perfectly and the back in a halter top that makes you want to run your finger down her spine. Never gonna be that chick. Not gonna happen.

I can’t grow my hair out. My hair refuses. It gets to my shoulders and stops. By then, it’s so heavy and thicket-y and not-behave-y that I’m ready to shave my head myself with Mr. A’s beard clippers. I’m learning to put on eyeliner competently but I have been searching in vain for red lipstick that doesn’t make me look like a little kid playing dress up for like 20 fucking years.

No matter how much blush/cheek stain/makeup “mousse”/whatever the fuck I slather on, by 2 p.m. I look pale again. As for the jeans and the halter, I do sit-ups and walk everywhere but I like booze and burritos and I’m broad-shouldered which even when I was extremely thin made me look like a linebacker in certain outfits. So fuck it, really, I’m never going to be Club Girl pretty.

I’m never going to be Competent Professional Lawyer pretty, either. I see these women on the train. Suits that fit beautifully, walking effortlessly in high heels, not a hair out of place, nails perfectly manicured, giant sunglasses and a shiny phone. I’m a mess getting out the door in the morning, glasses and shoes and scarf flying everywhere, stuff hanging half-out of my bag which right now at this moment contains a dozen sugar packets and a syringe case I brought home ferret meds in. I don’t so much get into the car as fling myself inside it and hope the pull drags everything I need behind me.

I’m not ever going to be these chicks. This isn’t me asking for affirmation, or even me badmouthing those girls, I’m sure they have problems and their kind of pretty doesn’t suck just because it isn’t achievable for me. This is me saying it took me a long damn time to come to terms with the idea thatthere are different kinds of pretty:

But instead of telling overly enhanced actresses the reason they’re
being passed over for parts (and therefore stopping the cycle of
unending alterations in its tracks), executives seem to be snickering
behind these poor women’s backs. They are purposely not telling women
with too much plastic surgery that that is the reason they aren’t being
cast. Yet still they have no problem telling a newspaper that they
think that “everyone either looks like a drag queen or a stripper.”
This is an instance when being kind to someone’s face is really the
cruelest thing you can do.

Look, Hollywood, you created this monster. This is your doing. You
can’t just stuff it back into a box so simply. And you can’t pass value
judgments on these women who were only doing what they thought you
wanted in the first place without some serious soul searching. What is
beautiful shouldn’t be based on the latest trend or the emergence of
high-definition TV or anything but actual beauty. Is it good that
you’re finally tired of the silicon and stretched faces? Yes. Is it
your fault they exist in the first place? Big fat yes.

Gabourey Sidibe โ€“ beautiful.Meryl Streep โ€“ beautiful.America Ferrera โ€“ beautiful.Amanda Seyfried – beautiful. All different, all beautiful. Beauty isn’t a trend, it just is. Get it together, Hollywood.

There’s a picture of Helen Mirren in a corset at that link. I’m just saying. (Holy God.)

Different kinds of pretty, and one’s not better than another. Which is not something I think we tell girls, really, which is a bummer, because while I’m mostly okay now with not looking like I just stepped off the TV screen, my 15-year-old self might have liked hearing it a hell of a lot.



15 thoughts on “Girls I’m Never Going To Be

  1. Thanks for this — I have struggled for 40 years, wanting desperately to be “pretty” — and having all the usual self-loathing, low self esteem problems that women have because of the unreal expectations from the Hollywood/Fashion magazine industries.
    More than anything, I want my 13 year old daughter to grow up WITHOUT these issues — I want her to know, even now, that pretty isn’t manufactured or defined by these industries. So, I am sending her this link.
    Thanks, A.!

  2. Club Girl pretty almost always includes Club Girl Vapid. I’ll pass, thanks. Competent Professional Lawyer pretty can be a little better, but it’s a bit of a cold look for me. Give me warm and smart and engaging any day.

  3. For the record, Mrs. Gummo & I have met Athenae and we both think she’s gorgeous. By any standard you wish to use.
    But a backlash against obsessive plastic surgery is way overdue. Especially since, even speaking on the most superficial level of male appreciation, it NEVER LOOKS GOOD. It always look phony, uncomfortable and in most cases, disturbing.
    If the Hollywood imagemakers are finally ready to abandon their Frankenstein monster, I can only say, thank goddess. But yeah, they’ll never acknowledge paternity.

  4. I won’t be holding my breath for Hollywood to get it together anytime soon.
    props for linking to the fab Ms. Snarker. She does good work.
    And yeah, I saw that Helen Mirren picture last night – I had been drowsy, having a hard time staying awake, then I saw that.

  5. Gummo’s right. Athenae can easily do Competent Professional Lawyer pretty, without any effort at all. She’s lucky there’s a Mr. A or I’d probably be stalking her.

  6. Club Girl to me will always equal that story somebody made us read in junior high, about all the girls with their Peter Pan collars.
    (And yes, I know – annoying. Really, if I could make my brain remember names and titles and stuff, I’d be a lot happier too.)

  7. Part of the reason I pretty much avoid advertising like it was the plague. It isintended to fuck with your mind, and the “Club Girl” type pays a lot of attention to the role models advertising promotes.
    If we could somehow magically wipe out all the feelings of inadequacy that modern advertising has created, we’d be a much healthier society (probably physically as well as mentally).
    Modern psychology-based advertising has been very good for the GDP, but very bad for people. If one were to throw in “public relations,” that might just serve as the country’s epitaph as well as any other.

  8. it doesn’t take much make-up before i feel like a slut. i could ‘look’ like a club girl. but i hated such claptrap since i was a kid. i have enough eye shadow to last 3 lifetimes. sigh. maybe i need to try ebay.

  9. I’m sending that Helen Mirren pic to my boyfriend…(yeah, I have one now!!! :)) He’ll be very happy about that! ๐Ÿ™‚
    And yeah – from the pics I’ve seen of my soul sistah A, she’s perfect! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have made peace with not being ‘club girl pretty’ as I have rounded out a bit (hourglass, yes, ovoid, no, not yet – hopefully not ever). I want to firm up if possible and yet still eat what I want. I’m trying to maintain my skin maybe knock it back a notch w/some creams, but nothing ‘drastic’.
    If I were to ever have the ‘girls’ touched surgically, it would be to make them a touch smaller and raises a bit – or else I’ll end up w/knee problems! LOL! They are in my way as it is, but I love them.
    My beau seems to enjoy me as I am, and considering he last saw me 26 years ago up until a month ago – that’s smile- and happy-dance-worthy! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I know what to do with what I have – that confidence is worth more than that Montag Monster could ever dream of spending on surgical retooling. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. But of course casting directors wouldn’t tell the actresses that, because then the actresses might have some leverage. And when pneumatic and perky becomes the flavor of the month again in a couple years, they’d have to admit to that too. This way, no matter what a woman is doing with her body, it’s still wrong.

  11. women with a number of personal, behavioral, and psychological problems but oh wait i’m an avid fan of Amanda Seyfried! oh i just love her! she’s amazing

  12. There’s a picture of Helen Mirren in a corset at that link. I’m just saying.
    (breaks mouse-clicking record)

  13. But a backlash against obsessive plastic surgery is way overdue. Especially since, even speaking on the most superficial level of male appreciation, it NEVER LOOKS GOOD. It always look phony, uncomfortable and in most cases, disturbing.

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