jdeena

Never settle for what is…come tomorrow it will be what was

Tag: social media

Baby Steps

The other day I was talking to my friends about my take on relationships. Apparently, I’m cold and unromantic because I think that certain things guy do are stifling and obnoxious. For instance, I don’t like it when a guy is completely adoring in the first few weeks of meeting me. I have my own life going on and can’t drop everything to talk on the phone multiple times a day. A guy who constantly praises my looks turns me off because I feel like after the first 20 or 400 times….I get it, ok? You think I’m pretty or whatever other generic term you like to use. I also find it odd when a guy is ready to spend money on me from the first time we meet or hang out….like, shouldn’t you know if I am worth the $50 you’re about to spend on dinner? I don’t mind if we go dutch the first few times until you’re positive you like me.

So is there something wrong with me thinking that way? My friends tell me over and over again that I push guys away with this type of thinking, but I really don’t know how to be that other type of girl. I can’t let a guy just wine and dine me because- let’s face it- this ain’t no movie and we’re not characters in The Notebook. (Excuse my English there, I just had to let that out)

The problem is, when a guy showers me with gifts and adoration, I feel that it isn’t genuine. Why? Maybe because I never experienced that before in any relationship and I feel like it’s just a ploy to get me to let me guard down and then break my heart. Maybe. I haven’t really thought about it that much. Haha. But seriously. I just feel like it’s so fake and just a show. But a lot of these guys are truly genuine, because once they realize I’m a cold bitch, they move on to wine and dine another girl I know and live happily ever after. So what I have realized is that I need to let go some of the previous relationship trepidation and allow a guy to treat me in the way he feels I deserve.

This isn’t to say that I will turn mushy and clingy and expect a dozen roses every month (I hate roses, such a typical choice. Surprise me with Casablanca lilies and we’ll talk). Or that I will let him pay every time we go out (and I won’t because I work too so why not?). Or that I will decalre my love for him on social media and stamp our date with those annoying marriage emoticons on my IG profile (seriously, just stop it girls. We know you’re engaged/married. We saw the bajillion pics you posted for the past 4 years.)

What I WILL do is allow a guy to tell me he likes me, call me, pay for me…on occasion. I will be charming and sweet, until he touches on one of my hot-button topics (like misogyny or hijab) or he says something that truly offends me (then the gloves come off). I guess it’s like I have reverted to my pre-adolescent stage and I need to start off the next relationship with baby steps until I feel I am ready to run right into his arms (which is SO cheesy that I’d never do it.) The truth of the matter is, I just turned 32, and honestly, I have too much potential as an amazing partner to let it go to waste being single. Call me arrogant, but hey, it’s the truth.

So, here’s to a new change in my life. Let’s pray that I don’t overdose on this and become one of those annoying girls we’ve all come to hate.

The Reality of “Beautiful”

Last week while scrolling through Instagram, a male friend of mine had posted a picture of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with the hashtag “WCW” which translates to “woman crush Wednesday.” The picture was all glossy hair, shiny tan skin, and perfectly sculpted body underneath her bathing suit. The overall appearance was striking; she looked amazing. However, upon closer inspection, she (like almost every other cover model) had clearly been airbrushed. I’m not naive; I knew she was initially. I was just shocked at how obvious it was after looking at the picture for more than 10 seconds.

I commented that his so-called “crush” on this woman was based on her falseness. He replied that I was a “hater.” So I had to reply that no, I wasn’t a hater, but that his posting this picture continues to perpetuate the idea that men prefer women who look this way, and it continues to add to the insecurity and unattainable body image that women struggle to achieve everyday. In a private message later on, he admitted to me that he knew she was airbrushed, but that it didn’t stop him from admiring her.

So what does that say, then? That men know the women they see in magazines or in movies are glossed up and photoshopped, yet, they still find them attractive? Where does that leave us regular ladies at?

I personally have never been influenced by magazines to the point of forcing myself to diet, or buying every makeup trick to contour and sculpt my face to perfection. Maybe I’m lucky genetically, so I haven’t had to deal with acne or wrinkles, even at my older age. I’m taller than the average female, so even when I gain weight I can hide it well. And I am blessed with the gift of dressing for my body type, which means I can accentuate certain features while hiding the flaws. But I have never been told I’m unattractive or fat by a guy.

Wait, what?

Am I saying that I am attractive to guys, even without the photoshop? YES! Here is what I don’t understand ladies: why do you put yourself through all these hoops in order to look like the women in magazines, when the men around you actually don’t care? I have asked my guy friends over and over again whether or not they like super skinny girls, and the answer is always no. They like curves; they want softness. They don’t want to feel like when they hug you, you’re going to break. But what really turns guys on is when you are comfortable in that body. When you dress to flatter your figure, and walk around with your head held high.

If you are so easily influenced by magazines, don’t read them. Learn to see yourself for who you are; trust me, you’ll be much happier! And when you are happy, guys see that happiness and they are pulled towards you. What we all need to realize is that we could ALL look like the models in the magazines with photoshop, special lighting, and a makeup and hair team. Strip all that away and the woman on the cover is just like you and me.

Now, with all of that said, does this excuse men for continuing to post photos such as the one my friend did? I don’t think it should be a habit, because we all know how much social media influences people. When women see men posting their ideal woman in this way, it makes them feel inadequate. And while many men think that it’s not their problem and women need to get over it….well, it’s very unfair to say that when you throw it in our face every day. Yet if a woman posted a picture of a shirtless guy with a perfectly sculpted body, she’s deemed unrealistic and superficial. Men and women both need to share in the responsibility of proper representation. We now live in the world of selfies and filters; it is hard to figure out what is underneath all that makeup. I promise you, there is nothing more liberating than being comfortable without makeup, your heels, and all those hair products. Strip it all away, and get comfortable with the person inside.

She’s beautiful.