I work in an office with many other women. Some have a sense of style and try to put their best foot forward beauty-wise and some couldn’t care less. I fall into the “sense of style” category. I wear my handmade outfits with pride and I do concern myself with the way I look. I like the way I look. I am a little vain, and I primp a little here and there in the mirror, but I don’t always think about the way I look. I mean, I do have other things going on upstairs than just looks and clothes. I consider myself a fashionable, intelligent, thinking young woman.
There is one woman I work with, who doesn’t concern herself too much with the way she looks. She looks presentable everyday. She wears clothes whether they be flattering or not, that are considered office appropriate. She doesn’t concern herself with gaudy jewelry or try to make a statement. She doesn’t wear make-up, and does her hair out of habit everyday. I don’t mind these things, I really don’t and I don’t try to judge it either. There are reasons she looks the way she does I’m sure and they are none of my business. I like her, I do. She has a very infectious laugh. But during a conversation with her one day, I received the distinct impression that in a way, she looked down on me because I concern myself with my appearance and she does not. She concerns herself with more heightened pursuits.
It got me to thinking about that sort of age old internal debate inside of women. “If I’m beautiful, I can’t have brains; If I have brains, I can’t be beautiful” sort of notion. So many women cross my mind and how they embody one and not the other. Marilyn Monroe, for example: complete bombshell, gorgeous, but perhaps not the brightest (or at least, she’s always portrayed in that role). Eleanor Roosevelt: incredibly intelligent, a writer and supporter of women’s rights, though maybe not the most beautiful looking woman.
I suppose what I’m driving at is why can’t women have both? There are many examples of women who have both, I’m sure. And I’m not saying that the two examples I gave didn’t have both either. The problem I most have, I guess, is the criticism of those women who try to look their best by those women who feel they are above such petty endeavors. Come now, aren’t we all playing on the same team? I do think its a rather unjust judgment, especially when many of those beautiful, tasteful women actually do have a brain and, dare I say, actually use it! There, I said it.
What do you think? Has this ever happened to you or maybe, someone you know? Ever felt this way?
To those women whose beauty, in all forms, is very apparent, I know that your smarts are your best kept secret.