I used to hate the way I looked. Ug. If I was a guy, I’d be in bliss since there are so many beautiful women in Thailand. Thankfully, I read something a long time ago that comforts me. It’s from Marianne Williamson, “There’s room for all of us to be beautiful.” A Return to Love was the book that changed my life and I don’t remember if the quote came from there, but I want to say, Thank you, Marianne. Maybe one day I’ll be able to meet you and give you a hug.
That single idea changed the way I view other women. I used to feel like we were all in some sort of competition. When there was another Asian woman around (when I was normally the only one) we’d inevitably size each other up. There are tons of Asians in Hawaii and heck, girls challenge each other with their eyes up and down all the time. I don’t even know why we do this! I think guys do this, but in a different way. I don’t know.
I used to feel better if I perceived myself as thinner and more attractive than other girls in the room. Or I would feel ugly if the girl was prettier. Or fat if she was skinner. In college my two good friends were Kara and Sara and they are very pretty. They were the kind of girls the guys swooned over, knocking over pitchers of beer so they could sit closer to their ample bosoms – I mean, to them, and their long lashes and sweet smiles. I felt like a seventh grade pubescent boy both in stature and maturity. Nobody in Durango Colorado was interested in a petite Asian, except maybe the inebriated.
But I loved Kara and Sara, and I knew I just needed to be patient and appreciate that I was different looking. They couldn’t help that they were gorgeous. When I did end up dating, I accidentally caught my boyfriend and his friends referring to K & S as “the bopsy twins” – he was a little embarrassed and just laughed when I looked at him confused.
Why do you call them that?
“Because! They’re kind of ditzy.” Then he proceeded to giggle like them and mimic some of their gestures. His observations were spot on, so I laughed. But I was surprised, too.
In high school, my best friend M was the girl all the guys liked. When I heard a comedian say, “You know how like at a bar, there’s the pretty girl and her ugly best friend. . .” I knew I was the best friend. My guy friends would approach me about M and ask, Do you know if she’s got a boyfriend? Do you think she might be interested in me? Could you put in a good word, etc, etc. And my teenage ego would sink into the abyss only angry music could assuage.
My senior prom date wanted to take her out, but since she was already taken I was the second best choice. Everybody thought he liked me because he serenaded me on the front lawn with his guitar, but I knew he was doing it for show – to display his talents in front of all of my friends and show what a swell guy he was. My high school guidance counselor assured me that all high school boys are stupid.
Years later, I confessed to M that I was jealous of her.
Because – because you’re so pretty! All the guys liked you.
“Well, I used to be jealous of you too, you know.”
What? No! Whatever for?
“Because you’re so funny, so outgoing, everybody wants to be your friend.”
Considering how shy and quiet she was, I took her compliment seriously, but frankly I didn’t think she’d have any reason to be jealous of me. I couldn’t believe I used to show a picture of her to my boyfriends to see what their reaction was. As if they would suddenly decide she was the better one to have and leave me for her. It’s amazing how women can be so insecure. Perhaps pathetic is the better word.
Ladies, I am not penning this from the comfort of a warm and fuzzy relationship, marriage or even as a mother, I write this as a singleton full of warmth and love for herself. When you see a stunning girl that all the other guys are watching (not so subtly) just remember, there is room for all of us in this big wide world to be beautiful.