Maggie: If I told you “you’re pretty,” what would you say?
Kate: I’d say, “Thanks, Maggie! You’re the best. You’re so pretty!”
This blog post from Healthy Girl made me think a lot about arrogance. OK, well, maybe not a lot, because I’m actually bad at thinking a lot. My thinking occurs in short bursts, and in between I have to eat a snack and check Facebook. Not even exaggerating. Maybe understating slightly. People need to be more upfront about different ways to be smart. It’s time to take back our own brains! Say no to the narrow, stereotypical portrayal of the intellectual! I’m here, I have a short attention span, and I’m proud! That could have been catchier.
Healthy Girl feels weird when a random guy compliments her legs. Not because he is totally creepy. But because she feels like her legs are just not that complimentable. (It’s a word now. You don’t need to look it up, just trust me.) I know what she’s talking about. It’s ridiculous. Yesterday these two guys walked by me as I was turning a corner onto 81st between Amsterdam and Broadway, and they both started calling things at me. I didn’t look at them, I just kept walking, but I responded internally to everything (that I could understand) that they said.
Guy: “DAMN!! Them boots is made for walkin!”
Me: “Yes, these are definitely really cute boots. They were a good choice. I love wearing them.”
Guy: “She lookin’ GOOD!”
Me: “Hmm… This is a good outfit, and I look good, but GOOD? Maybe he just didn’t see my face that well.”
Guy: “Girl know how to wear some JEANS.”
Me: “Now that is true. My butt is awesome.”
Me a little later, still thinking about it: “Although….I’d have to say my butt is not as awesome as —(notices girl in unbelievably tight white pants across the street) that girl’s, for example. Maybe if those guys had seen her, they wouldn’t have said anything to me. I probably shouldn’t go around thinking my butt is awesome. That’s really arrogant.”
See? See how this works?
So then, between eating half a grilled cheese with tuna and eating the second half of a grilled cheese with tuna, I thought about the function of arrogance in the evaluation of the self- aesthetic. Because I think in sentences like that.
Why am I, and so many other people, afraid to be confident? Wouldn’t it make my life easier if when someone told me I looked good, I could just agree, and we could call it a day?
Here’s what I think it might be: If someone sounds arrogant, then it’s OK to criticize them. In a way, they’re asking for it. So when you say, “I look amazing,” it’s almost like someone is more likely to tell you what they really think by saying, “Um….Not really.” And then suddenly it wasn’t worth it, because you feel terrible.
Sidenote: I LOVE this post by an awesome blogger named Tiffany, because when someone said something mean about her appearance, she didn’t believe it for a second. THAT is success. Not arrogance. But honesty.
It’s amazing that I can sometimes feel with such certainty that I’m unattractive, but am never completely convinced that I’m beautiful. I feel comfortable saying, “Oh, no, my hair is AWFUL today.” But it’s almost impossible to say, “Yeah, I know, my legs are great.”
Maybe we need to rethink arrogance. It isn’t really fair that guys on the street get to think I look better than I think I do. What the hell do they know? I see myself every single day. I even get to see myself naked.
And, I mean, seriously, my butt IS awesome.
Un-Roast: My butt, of course. It’s awesome. Maybe I should say that a couple more times. I don’t think you’ve heard it enough.
Everyone: Well? When is OK to sound “arrogant”? And, as always, what do you love about yourself today? (Boys, too!)