Often when I'm out in public, I listen in on other people's conversations. Some might think this is rude, but I like to look at it more as human studies and not sticking my nose where it doesn't belong. For the most part, I listen to arguments, low whispers, loud laughter, and anything if one of the people has a French moustache. Don't ask me why. These are the rules. I simply obey them.
Yesterday, I was on the ferry making my way back home after a lovely trip over to Vancouver Island and I noticed the two girls in front of me leaning in real close and talking all serious. So, like any naturally curious and slightly ill-mannered person, I turned the volume down on my music and tuned my ears to their conversation.
Let me take a moment to say, these girls were young and pretty. Young like mid-twenties and pretty like what Hollywood tells us pretty is. I myself probably wouldn't date them. They wore too much make-up for my o'natural liking, seemed too high maintenance (as we all know I like my gals to get dirty from time-to-time) and neither of them had the curves I covet in my girls. That said, they were pretty.
Their conversation, on the other hand, wasn't.
With all the hush-hushy-hushness that was going on, I honestly thought I was going to hear about how one of them was pregnant or had mounted their ex against their better judgement. But no, what I heard was a laundry list of insecurities. And the most baffling thing said was uttered by the slender blonde girl in the yoga pants.
"I just know he'd love me more if my thighs were smaller."
I simply sat there staring at her, mouth agape, in shock as she went on talking about how her boyfriend said he loved her, but that he's holding himself back and she knows it has something to do with her weight and the way she looks. And, much to my horror, her friend simply nodded and replied, "Guys are such visual creatures, looks are sooooo important."
I audibly groaned at this point and had to disguise it as a cough. Dudes the world over took a blow and these girls didn't even bat an eye. Gross generalization...you betcha!
Yes, we've heard it a hundred times before, men like to see things. They are turned on and engaged by sights, colours, and shapes, while women are more emotional and rely on feelings and mood to get ye olde engine revving. But the whole visual thing isn't linked to perfection. Sure, men like to see boobs, but they don't have to be perfect boobs. Yes, they like pretty girls, but they don't have to be models off a runway, or super, sultry sex kittens. Each and every man is different. (Surprise) And what is visually stimulating to one dude might not be visually stimulating for another. Think of it like art. Some people are all about abstract art, they understand it and the skill required to craft it. While others think Jackson Pollock's work is a mess on canvas and prefer the more classical portraits from the Renaissance era. Then there are those of us who love Man Ray.
This makes me sound like an expert on men. And I am. Clearly. (Sarcasm font)
After slouching down in my seat, and staring at these two befuddling creatures, I had a very bizarre thought. If love is directly linked to the size of one's thighs, I'm in a world of trouble. Mostly because I am packing enough heat in my thighs to put the Mafia to shame, but also because this would render my whole idea of love obsolete! There goes my assumption someone would love me if I was kind, giving, affectionate, attentive, pretty-ish, smart and funny. Crap. It's all about my thighs!
All jokes aside, yeah, I know physical attraction plays a role in the whole love equation, but I never thought it was reliant upon it. Isn't that part of the lusty game? Well, I wouldn't know. I've never played the lusty game. Meaning, I've never 'hooked up' or been in a relationship that was driven only by physical attraction.
Firstly, I'm not that type of girl. When I look at someone, I can see what's attractive about them, but if their personality is that of a wet mop I'm not letting them punch my dance card, so to speak. Sense of humour and general wittiness is far more important than perfectly quaffed hair or six pack abs, neither of which are high on my list of ideal mate traits. The thing is, after knocking boots, I want to be with someone I can chat with, or someone I can actually laugh and make jokes with while having a romp. Mental stimulation and giggles for the win.
Secondly, I'm not the girl people lust after and can't keep their hands off of. This has nothing to do with my self-esteem or me not having confidence. It has everything to do with me being an awkward, cheeky, sarcastic tomboy. Trust me, sexy is not my middle name. There is nothing more hilarious than the thought of me in some skimpy lingerie. My body is not bodacious. And while I think I am cute as a button, I know I'm not sun-kissed, hairless, svelte or drool worthy. Tongues do not fall out of mouths when I enter a room. There usually is some pointing and a bit of hiding, though.
But don't get all down about it. What I lack in lustiness, I make up for with heart and enthusiasm. No one loves like I do. It's one of a kind. Original. Cannot be duplicated. And isn't directly linked to thigh size. Not that boys every have sizeable thighs. Ever notice that? Except for dancers, they have some serious quadriceps.
The thing is, Little Miss Yoga Pants' thighs were half the size of mine, and yet her insecurities blew me out of the water. She went on about herself in this negative fashion for close to an hour, making sure to tie all her faults in with how much her boyfriend loved her. Boobs - not big enough. Hair- not long enough. Ass - too jiggly. Eyes - a boring brown colour. The list was long and ridiculous. As she aired her self-doubts for her friend, myself, and the two other people sitting near us, I realized that if she changed everything she disliked about herself, she would be a completely different girl altogether. Somehow I doubt that's what her boyfriend wants. But what do I know?
Halfway through the conversation, I had to fight the urge to lean over and ask, "Is there anything you like about yourself?" And by the end of it, I was floored by her perception of herself.
We all have insecurities, things we don't like that we want to change. It's a human quality. And wanting to improve isn't a bad thing. It's when we fixated and obsess over our perceived flaws that the situation goes awry. For some reason, we love to overlook the good traits we possess. Probably because we are striving to be someone we aren't, something we see on television or in magazines.
Simply put, constantly picking ourselves apart is crappy advertising. Some people say, there's no such thing as bad publicity, but I disagree. When you advertise the wrong things, then the wrong types of people will be attracted to you. Even worse, if you're constantly talking about your flaws, your fat arse and bad skin, then that's what people will begin to see. Talk about bad self promotion.
Think of it like work. If your manager only comes to you when you've done something wrong or wants to talk to you about areas you need to do better in, then you start to question the job your doing. If you never hear good feedback you'll assume you aren't doing a good job. It's why they invented this thing called constructive criticism. So, apply the same logic to your relationships, most specifically the one you have with yourself. If all you talk about is what's wrong with you, other people will start to believe it, and so will you. As you concentrate on your imperfections, your assets and strong points fall to the wayside. You forget them.
This girl on the ferry, I'm positive she had good qualities, but it was hard to see them through her insecure psycho-babble. And isn't that the kicker. It is so unattractive to see and hear someone constantly beating themselves up. Oh, don't get me wrong. I have yet to master the high self-esteem, happy with everything even my cellulite and stretch marks, got no chains on me attitude. Some days it's hard not being the prettiest girl at the party. Heck, some days it's hard not even being in the top ten. But if I can't be the prettiest, skinniest, sexiest or loveliest, then by God, I'm going to be the funniest. Or at the very least, the one who makes the weirdest noises.
Our self-doubts and areas of improvement aren't just going to go away, but it's time we all made a concious effort to focus on the good. So do me a favour, go forth and exercise some constructive self-criticism. Whenever you say something negative about yourself, make a point to say two positive things.
And for the love of everything big and small, love does not get stronger the smaller your thighs get. Or waist. Or ass. If it did, celebrity couples would last forever and ever.
Love only gets stronger through time. Trust. Patience. Intense kissing. And cake sharing.
Well, that's what I think, at least.