Last month, I went to the iFabbo conference in San Francisco. This is a conference for fashion and beauty bloggers, so everyone was fashionably late, dressed to the nines and super excited about all of the panels. For me, it was nice to be in a room full of people like me. I truly enjoyed shoe gazing and talking to people who are just trying to make it in the world. It’s also fun to chat with people about clothes and hair and makeup without them looking at you like you’re a shallow, vapid moron. While hobnobbing with all of these fine people for a day netted me a goody bag full of awesome products (which I will give you the scoop on in coming posts), it also gave me a new perspective on my approach to people.
I have lived in “Girl World” (thanks, Tina Fey) for my whole life. Even though I lived in a small town, and there weren’t a lot of people, the cliques started early. In 3rd grade, my friend Marisa started a club called, “The Sassy Sisters.” Thankfully, I was in the club. We took over the monkey bars at recess and sneered at people who dared to climb them. Middle school, high school and college were no different.
My time spent in and out of these cliques taught me how to judge a book by its cover. Fitting in is a method of survival during your teen years, so it’s not uncommon to carry the sneering into adulthood. As a young woman, I always made snap judgements about people based on what they looked like. Thankfully, I always got to know people anyway, and most of the people I thought I would hate have become some of my closest friends. While at the iFabbo conference, I looked around the room and thought that most of the women there would have been tagged in the “bitch” category, simply because they had interesting style and a lot of makeup. I can’t speak for all women, but I know that several of us are intimidated by people we deem, “prettier” than us, so it’s not uncommon to go on the defense.
But guess what? These pretty girls are people too, and they are nice, enthusiastic and sharp as tacks (well, not all pretty girls, but anyone who wants to make their passion into a business is intelligent in my book). I can’t imagine my life without some of these people whom I initially discounted on appearance alone. They have been there to support me through all types of situations. These days, when I hear people calling out others because they are “stuck up,” I want to intervene. You can’t infer that about someone unless you make an effort to talk to them for a little bit. I also hate the term, “real women.” It implies that we all have to look the same, or we’re fake. Guess what? Every woman on earth is real. We all walk around and eat and breathe and sleep. My thighs touch. My friend who’s 5 inches taller than me has thighs that don’t. I’ve got other friends who are on the plus size of the catalogue, and guess what? We are all as real as can be. Next time you want to write someone off because she’s dressed a certain way or does her hair and makeup a certain way, swallow your pride and talk to her. You might make a friend.