Note: This post was written and posted 6/6/2012. I thought of it yesterday while shopping downtown with my sister, both of us doing double takes at well put together & effortlessly cool women. It’s funny how all of us look at other unsuspecting women with admiration & awe, but cannot imagine other women who might be looking at us the same way. What do you think?
You know who she is. Effortless. Poised. Pretty. Cool.
|Audrey Hepburn casually reading a book outdoors in between takes.|
When I was about six years old, there was a girl in my school who could sing, dance and was cute as a button. She was a cheerleader, a brownie, and had a starring role in every school play and holiday show from what I can recall. Everything she did, I thought was just right. Her bowl cut was always shiny and perfectly curled under at the ends. Her satin green bomber jacket gleamed in the sun. I loved her classic black and white leather saddle shoes, and I asked my mom to get me a pair from Buster Brown to wear with woven navy knee socks, but I didn’t admit it was because I was trying to emulate a third grader. Instead, my mother bought me a two toned brown suede pair from Bass and three new pairs of green cable knit knee socks. Back then, I already realized this was a kid I could take some lessons from, even if I couldn’t get the lessons exactly right.
Fast forward thirty years, and I still see someone like her now and then: Rocking a super hero tee at a cocktail party in perfect ironic fashion; impossibly toned limbs wrapped around captured small children in a candid family beach photo; standing completely straight while socializing even when her kitten heels are sinking into the grass. She sits next to me eating a steaming bowl of ramen with timing and precision, never burning her mouth on a hot bite of karaage nor making a sloppy mess of the noodles. All this on a cold rainy day wearing a perfectly draped white blouse under her cashmere sweater. Oh the lessons I have learned from her.
At the SFMOMA today, I saw her. She even had a mother and auntie version of herself too, from what I could see. Can I please be that elegant during my child’s christening, or any frantic family gathering for that matter? I even laughed when I saw her and had to take a moment. Even the everygirl next to me looked at the photo and smiled. Maybe she knows her too.
|Yvonne Venegas, “Bolsa” from “Maria Elvia de Hank” series, digital print, 40 x 50″.|
As I admire the many incarnations of her I encounter in my life, there is one she always is: unaware. She’s just her without even thinking of it. I don’t even think she knows it. Did you know that you could be her? That’s my favorite part. How can you be envious. I can’t. I just love her for it.
“You know, there’s a thing about the woman across the room. You see the woman across the room, you think, She’s so poised; she’s so together. But she looks at you and you are the woman across the room for her.”
Thanks for this perspective, never thought of it this way. We should appreciate ourselves more.
Glad you got something out of it! Yes, it takes work to remind ourselves that each of us may be “her” in someone else's eyes.