Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Less-Than Girl

I'm going to be totally honest today:

Sometimes I wish I was better at being a girl.

Now before some of you get all weirded out on me, let me try my best to unpack that statement:
1.  I haven't decided to bat for the other team.  Still like the fellas.
2.  I was not born with lady-bits and man-bits.  Straight up female here.

What I really mean is that sometimes I read magazine articles, books, and different blogs and then end up feeling like I'm just not doing a great job at being a girl.

My eyes aren't large, blue, and "full of womanly tenderness".  They're average-sized (one is actually a tad smaller than the other one), brown, and...brown.  My neck isn't long and graceful.  My hair doesn't tumble down my back in glossy waves.  It's curly and usually a little frizzy.

And that's just in the looks department - really, that's just above the chest.  That doesn't even begin to cover my lack of cooking prowess or the fact that I have never successfully "crafted" anything.  I'm not even going to begin to talk about the barren wasteland that is my love life.

I want to be careful here, because I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea - I really do love reading blogs, novels, and magazines.  If it weren't for some of these mediums, I would never have perfected the art of the adult non-80's side ponytail and I wouldn't have figured out how to make the world's best scrambled eggs (gently nudge the eggs - just nudge).  But I think that sometimes they make me feel a little "less than," a little stupid, and a little clumsy.

So here are some images from blogs that I saw yesterday.  I'm not going to say where they came from, because I really don't want hate mail, and once again - I follow these blogs because I like them.  I really do.  But here's how they occasionally make me feel:

#1:  "We look perfect, even first thing in the morning."*
This particular blogger states that these pictures were just part of her normal morning routine.  Now.  I dig the looks, honestly.  The girl on the right is all kinds of cozy, what with her wintry pom-pom hat, chunky cardigan, and slouchy socks.  The girl on the left did a bang-up job of mixing patterns.
How I felt when I saw this picture yesterday:  I was feeling good about the fact that my bangs dried straight.  Now I feel like I should have a floral crown.  How could I step outside without a floral crown?!
Reality check: Come on.  I have never, in the history of my time on this planet, looked this adorable first thing in the morning.  I have never seen anyone in real life who looks this adorable first thing in the morning.  I  have never worn a floral crown that I made myself (except for that time I was Ophelia in "Hamlet").  Even when I am rockin' my style, I don't ever conveniently have a great photographer on hand to capture it in the most flattering detail.

#2: "What?  You didn't bake cookies from scratch this morning?  You don't have three kinds of sprinkles in your cupboard?"
This blogger claims that at this time of year, homemade sugar cookies "are a must!"  She makes them every year. Several times a year.  Everyone loves them, and everyone wants the recipe.
How I felt when I saw this picture yesterday: I heated up a frozen waffle in the toaster oven for breakfast.  I reheated pizza in the microwave for lunch.  Yep.
Reality check: Ok, so I'm not the greatest cook.  Also, I don't want diabetes, which I would completely get if I made cookies all the time, because I would eat them all.  All.  Of course, I just checked on Facebook and my best friend just made about 14 batches of Christmas cookies in her limited spare time today.  Ugh.

#3: "We handcrafted this play kitchenette today.  No biggie."
This blogger loves her kids.  I mean, really loves her kids.  Enough to work with wood.  And hammers.  Enough to build a toy kitchenette on a random Tuesday.
How I felt when I saw this picture yesterday: I was pretty pumped to find someone who would embroider "My Aunt Manda Loves Me" on a bib for my niece for Christmas.  But now I'm feeling like maybe I should have set up a buzz-saw in my living room and made her a homemade Easy Bake Oven.  Will she think I don't love her?  Will she wear that bib and realize that a stranger embroidered it?  Will this cause her to take drugs in 2028?
Reality check: I don't have any kids.  My niece is six months old.  And since I like my limbs, I should never come near a buzz-saw.

Of course, most of these bloggers make a living by being beautiful, cooking, and crafting on a daily basis.  But that's just not real life, is it?  Real life is a lot messier.  Real life is more, well, real.

Maybe you can relate to this feeling of inadequacy, or maybe you're totally unlike me and you woke up this morning confident that you're going to work out, cook a ten course meal for your man, knit sweaters for your two perfect children, and gaze upon your entire family with womanly tenderness before you go to bed. Of course, maybe you'll do all that today, and then wake up tomorrow and do nothing but watch an all-day marathon of DVR'd "Revenge," eat a carton of ice cream, heat up Lean Cuisines for dinner, and run out of toilet paper just before bed.

Either way, let's just accept that most girls struggle with "less-than" feelings at some point.

We can all be these blogtastic girls every once in a while, but most of the time?

Let's just be us.

I will now get back to taking lots of pictures of my adorable cat.  Just keepin' it real.

*I have created titles for all of these pictures.  None of these bloggers are that annoying.


Jane said...

Okay this is one of my favorite all time posts of yours. For now. As a new mom who stays home with her baby girl, I thought I'd turn into this cleaning freak, baking and cooking nut, organized to the max with a cute baby girl on my hip.

Well...I usually do have a cute baby girl on my hip but I'm also covered in spit up too, wearing my pjs or some outfit I bought to be comfortable in especially so I could say I wasn't wearing pjs all day. (Sweatpant capris from Sam's). And dinner's are usually good, but super duper simple. If I can even get them ready before Jason comes home.

So I love looking at these blogs, but I always think in my head, "HOW? Do these women have nannies?"

Amanda said...

Thank you! I'm glad to know I'm not alone here. I have a sneaking suspicion that all of these bloggers have more than their fair share of "sweatpant days," too. We just don't. Ever. See. Them.

Jane said...

Yeah, I've been thinking of posting a picture of me in all my mothering glory with the caption, "I don't know how Jason can resist this." or something like that. ha! Because it is SEXY, that's what I know. :)