Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Place Where Beauty Is Regarded

There's so much we do, as women, to make ourselves beautiful. We shave our legs and armpits, we wax our bikini lines, we sometimes even remove the little tufts of hair growing on our toe tops or beneath our belly buttons. Anything to appear less beastial and "hairy." Primitive and Masculine. We grow our hair long or strategically cut it off, take enormous risks w/ our sanity dyeing it this colour or that, highlighting or low-lighting it to hopefully bring out our best features or negate our worst. We paint our faces, struggling to even out our skin tone and bring vivid colour to our cheeks and lips, all  so we can look like perfect, peaches-and-cream personifications of the still and quiet, smiling baby dolls we played with in our youth. We deny ourselves pieces of the birthday cakes we make for our children and lasganas we bake for our husbands so that we can be slender. We jog and run, aerobicize and stretch, do yoga push-ups and plyometric jumping jacks all in effort to remain comely and youthful, to stay  perpetual  adolescents-prom queens waiting for the football captain to ask us for that first dance. And these are just the MINOR efforts we go through, we're not even talking about those of us who are daring  (or desperate) enough and can afford surgical and chemical interventions. Botox. Laser hair removal. Nose jobs. Dental Veneers. Bio-identical hormones. Vitamins. Emollients. Contact lenses. Bleach.

Yet so many of these efforts go unrewarded. Unless you  have a partner who's a prince of a man  or a wonder of a woman, a caring friend  to recognize your efforts and say: "Hey, you look beautiful today," no one even notices. You put all this effort and energy into something that goes completely unacknowledged.  And you yourself  rarely recognize it when you look in the mirror,  the rewards of all your furitive striving, b/c of the endless, self-critical babbling going on inside your head -that tormenting daemon, forever wailing your way,  stubborn and stuck on repeat.

The strip club, ironically, is one of the few places where all this effort is, strangely , finally recognized. It's your job. Be attractive. Look good. Beckon. Bewitch. Spellbind. Seduce. All you have to do...is  show up, and be beautiful.

You can be beautiful in a million different ways; you can be a platinum blonde or a ravishing  redhead,  a  sweetly winsome brunette or a regally raven-haired royal queen. You can  have a  bouncing halo of wild curls or a hanging curtain of Peggy Lipton-style stick-straight tresses. You can have small breasts or giant implants, a badonkadonk or a badonka-DON'T,  velvety black  or smooth copper skin, Angie Everhart  freckles or Elizabeth Taylor moles. Lean, long runway model legs or shapely cheerleader thighs, a pale porcelain complexion  or  a deep Hawaiian wahini  tan... as long as you are beautiful, you make the cut.

And in this way, and just about ONLY in this way, especially if you grew up being bullied or extremely insecure about your looks, it is empowering. Not everybody who walks through the door gets hired. You have to be pretty; there has to be something about you that makes men feel they want to look at you. They must yearn to be by you and close to your aura.

It's a messed up thing to say and one that's hard to admit, especially if you pride yourself on not being petty or superficial, but it's  part of the allure. You're finally in a  place where you are, at last, regarded for your beauty. No matter how small or how twisted that beauty is, here at last someone is desiring you. Someone acknowledges you.  Somebody wants you. Here you seem real.

I can't really explain it any other way. It's a head trip.

Sometimes it gave you a little spring in your step or a steady assurance  to your gaze. "I am an object of beauty. I am an Objet D'Art. I am paid to be beautiful."

And as messed up as that is, sometimes it made  you feel better.

That's why I loved that song off the SINGLES soundtrack "Chloe Dancer." In the song, as sad and as melancholy as Chloe's is,  in her mind, she is lovely, and that is what is important. She is DESIRED.

As women, we are pretty much raised to believe that we are nothing if we cannot enchant the handsome prince or bewitch the questing hero.

Our worth and our value is in our appearance and how attractive we are. Isn't that an ass-kicker? We could have the purest hearts, most profound souls, the sharpest minds or most blazing talents, and if we aren't beautiful, well, then, who really cares? And what's  it all for?

  I feel "Chloe" found at the club  the place where others saw what she so sincerely wanted  to see,  that through the approval of others, she found  the self-worth she needed to survive. "I may be a lot of  despicable things, but i have this ONE THING that everybody wants, I have this one thing that everyone  needs- I have a gift  that hardly anyone gets- I have my beauty. And that, and perhaps than alone, makes me worthwhile."

Everyone wants to be the prettiest princess and the perfect child. The baby doll in her fluffy dress. The barbie in her box. The calendar queen, the pin-up girl, the fashion model, the movie star... "here she is, your ideal, Miss America."

These are the messages we send.

"Chloe's just like me, only beeeeyooootifuuuuuulllll. Chloe does the tables...

But I'll never forget, the time spent lying by her side."

Don't forget to tell someone you love how beautiful you think they are today.

Right or wrong, it might make all the difference in the world.