I’ve told you before about my girl crushes. After years of complaining (yes, I used to love complaining – niets menselijks is ons vreemd) that I could not find any female role models (which I even made a documentary about) over the last two years I have fallen from one crush into another. Meeting and discovering so many amazing, breath taking, honest women that I don’t know what I was thinking back then. What was I looking for? Or where was I even looking? I did not come any further than Annie Leibovitz and Simone De Beauvoir. Two women I still adore. But it was only later that I discovered the pensée and inspiration of Anais Nin, Joan Didion, Susan Sontag, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sara Mitland, Marlene Dumas, Phoebe Philo, Maria Magdalena, Fiji McAlpine, Brigid Schulte, Edie Sedgewick, Monique Wortelboer, Prajnaparamita, Shantimayi, Rachel Brathen, Sarah Britton, my mother and my dear girl friends to name a few, who turned me upside down with their knowledge and/or their curious, ballsy, original way of living.
Looking back I guess there still was this wanting to do it different, not to say even better. I desperatly wanted to be a modern woman who new how to take the best of everything and I was desperately looking for someone to show me how. Now I know there will never be anybody to show me how. This is my life and my struggle. There is only the doing and the trusting in the doing. And most of all the stop judging yourself. Because when you stop hitting yourself in the head about every fault, the judging of others will naturally interest you less, and miracoulasly you’ll get less vulnerable to the judging eyes of other women. Of course I still can get insecure when I walk into a room with twenty something girls without wrinkles and babies who give me a look that I should be ashamed of myself for having both of them. But then I walk into a room with thirty something women who give me the cold shoulder because I have the kids and the husband and still wear size 10 and love my work. Then the next room full of forty something women give me nasty looks because I did have the babies and have hardly any wrinkles yet. Last stop is the room with women over 50 who finally came to the point where they accepted themselves and raise me the glass. Let’s have some fun. I will move through all of those phases before the fun can start – so I’d better take a shortcut I thought some time ago. And there all these great women came popping up, showing me how to be your own. How to not be afraid of judging eyes and mistakes and picture perfect. I am learning to embrace the imperfect, to celebrate it and love myself more than anything in the process.
Female solidarity means everything to a women’s life. It has always been this way. We just have forgotten about it. Let’s try to find it again. That deep connection of being a daughter, a mother, a friend, a sister, a neighbour, a woman. Let’s feel better about ourselves because we can, not because we need to put other women down to do so. And help each other feeling better, also because we can and we always have. We all know, in the end, it will probably be another woman who will save your ass!
(PS Men, I will write a post in your honor soon…!)