As I was standing in line at the grocery store today, I began to casually peruse the magazines by the check out counter. Dozens of covers with beautiful airbrushed models all promoting new fashions, diet trends and a multitude of tips on how to keep the men in our life happy. I will admit to buying the occasional People magazine and the only ones I read religiously are Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter.
It's so hard in today's society to be a woman. Contradictory information is thrown at us from day one. We are told to be modest but not prudish, intelligent but not intimidating, sexy as long as we aren't being exploited and happy in our own skin as long as that skin is being treated three times a day with an arsenal of beautify products.
Hasn't it always been that way though? Women have always been held to such ridiculous standards and not just by men. I think as girls we judge ourselves and each other much more harshly than the opposite sex could ever dream of. But I think sometimes we enjoy the martyrdom of not being good enough. The days I actually think I look attractive, a seed of guilt springs up. "How dare I think I might actually measure up while girls like Miranda Kerr walk the earth?"
Now I know what your thinking... "What in the world does any of this have to do with classic movies?!" Let me explain. I came across this picture of Ava Gardener while messing around on Pinterest this evening, and I had a bit of an epiphany. Really look at this picture. You can almost feel the force behind her eyes, the strength of her body, indignant confidence. That's what I want to exude when I look in the mirror each morning: Strength. Strength of character, confidence in my opinions, grateful that I'm not the size of a Victoria's Secret model and instead revel in my own genuineness.
Ava Gardener wasn't perfect. She wasn't traditionally beautiful. She had a mystery about her though and an unabashed quality that was even more appealing than the shy coquettes of her time. She was known as having the vocabulary of a drunken sailor, mesmerized many a ladies' man all the while holding onto a firm sense of self. Even her flaws were somewhat hypnotizing. I think a lot of her success came from this center of self.
So instead of comparing myself to every photo-shopped model on every grocery store counter in America, I'm going to instead embrace what makes me me and find confidence in the eyes my mother gave me.
Thank you Ava for the inspiration!