“Hey,” he shouted. “Hey, we’ve got a question.” There was nowhere for my car to go. Hearing his question was inevitable.
“Why do all the women in Beverly Hills have big lips?”
The man in the passenger side threw his head back and laughed. The driver demanded again, “Why?”
I clenched my teeth and directed my focus on the slab of cement to my right. I slowly rounded it with an inch to spare.
My answer to their inquiry is this: SHUT-UP.
The last thing women need is more judgment heaped upon their bodies. Countless advertisements and magazines and commercials and our parents and siblings and even our supposed “friends” have in subtle and non-subtle ways judged our looks. “You look like a rhino from the back!” “You look like a slut!” “You look like a dyke!” “You look tired. Are those more wrinkles under your eyes?” “Your butt is too big!” “Your butt is not big enough!” “Are you pregnant?” We are bombarded with millions of contradictory messages. Ads tell us that if only we buy this product, we will be perfect. What a fantastic formula: contradiction plus perfection guarantees that no matter what, we are NEVER going to get it right. It only takes one external dig to believe a lie that says we aren’t beautiful and therefore, we aren’t enough. Then the internal shaming begins. What we say to ourselves in the mirror may be far worse than any criticism two guys in a truck could ever hurl.
Do women see through the lies and programming? Of course they do. Women are reclaiming their beauty and self-worth on their terms every single moment. But it is a fight. Understand this. It is a fight for their lives until they are healed and whole.
So, do you want to help women out? Stop shaming them. Stop critiquing. Stop trying to elicit a woman in a car next to you to participate in your judgment of them. I REFUSE. Women with boob jobs, nose jobs, lip injections, I love you. Women with untamed hair, with wrinkled skin, with cellulite, I love you. I love women.
Do you really want to help? Be the space that supports women as they come into self-love, as they rise into their own beauty, as they remember who they really are, as they reclaim their power, as they restore their bodies to holy temples on sacred ground. Praise the process. Though you may not know it, this is the true beauty you seek, but you shall never claim ownership of it. It is not yours to own. It is yours to behold in awe and in reverence.