By Laura Fenamore, Owning Pink
I have a secret.
While it’s true that I care more about women making peace with their bodies than most people, and although I live my life committed to supporting women in liking who and what they see when they look in the mirror, I was one of the first in line to see Sex & The City II when it came out a few years ago.
Seems so shallow to admit that. Let’s face it ladies, as much as many of us love these four characters, they are not exactly representational of most women today – many of whom are struggling to take care of their children while working full time. But while Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda do not represent most women, they do represent something that makes my heart just sing. I fell in love with the characters from the get-go. I literally cried my way through the last episode of the series, and have watched every episode a few times each. The pretend world they occupy feels and looks so glamorous, and I love how they strut around exuding power in a way that feels sincere and effortless.
While I do like to look nice, I am not a shopper and I am not someone who goes crazy about fashion. But whenever I am trying on clothes, I make believe I am Carrie – my favorite character on the show. I am nothing like her, and yet she is my alter ego. I just love how she walks around NYC in her high heels and cool clothes.
My own “Carrie” moment
So yesterday, I am in Banana Republic and I put myself into Carrie mode. I see this pair of heels that are so fun, so cool, and so not me, and yet I had this feeling come over me, and suddenly I HAD TO HAVE THEM! I did not care what they cost, how high they were, how much they hurt – I just had to have them.
I wear a size 10 wide, and it is difficult to find shoes in my size. However, the store had a 10, and on my feet they went. They were too tight and so not right. I said to Michael, the gay guy helping me, “These shoes are so tight, but I want to be like Carrie.”
Michael cracked up. Then he looked at me very seriously and said, “Honey, beauty is painful.”
I said, “You are so right, and it is so unfair.”
Of course I got them. After all, they were on sale.
Does it have to hurt?
I care more about our insides than about how we look. I care about how we talk to ourselves every day, and I want to live in a world where we are less critical and more self-loving. I care more than anything about the obesity epidemic that plagues us, and I care about the fact that we are seduced by the beauty industry. I care that models starve themselves and that “beauty is painful.” Women – myself included – do all kinds of whacky things to make themselves look good at the expense of their health and their soul.
I am passionately committed to these causes. I so want to live in a world where beauty is no longer cruel. But I also have an inner Carrie who, in a perfect world, can still have sexy black high heels. It’s one of those great paradoxes that makes me who I am. I own both parts, and know they’re right. (I just wish the Carrie side didn’t have to hurt!)
What about you? Are you willing to suffer for beauty? Have you suffered long enough? Where along the continuum from inner beauty to outer glamor do you spend most of your time?
Teetering in tight heels,
Laura Fenamore, CPCC
Body Image Mastery Mentor