Once upon a time, there was a girl. We all know her. She liked to get into cars with boys, she stayed out too late, she looked out for her own interests, she drank, she smoked, she danced on tables, she wore clothes that revealed just a little too much, she didn’t play by the rules and she did all the things that nice girls didn’t do. She was the life of the party, girls wanted to be her and boys wanted to be with her. She left a trail of jealousy and broken hearts in her wake and she never looked back at any of it while anyone could see her. She only looked forward.
How could this be? How could a girl who didn’t play nicely with other girls (or boys for the matter) be allowed to prosper, thrive and become successful? She’s not following the unspoken rule that we have all agreed to – you are to aspire to become a princess from your shitty peasant life. Not a queen. A princess. You are allowed to be lifted up (preferably by a man) that high. And only if you are nice. Only if you never ever hurt anyone’s feelings and you say sorry when you do. Even if they deserved it. Especially if they deserved it. Only if you attribute all of your success to others. Only if you have never done anything at all questionable to get to be a princess. You are allowed to be raised from the muck of your squalor to princess where you will smile, you will wave, you will do the things you are supposed to do. You will not rule or make any kind of decisions that are not for puppies or children and then only if your husband says it’s okay. This is the pact. This is what we all agreed to at birth.
But now, this girl has broken our covenant that we have made with each other and with the world of men. She will not smile and wave. She will not simply gaze adoringly at her husband. She will not say sorry, she’ll go to war. There’s only one thing that can be done with her. She must be brought down. She must be brought down by her friends, her family, her coworkers, her lovers and she must be put in her place (which should be lower than it was when she started so she learns her lesson about reaching). She is to be broken, she is to be battered, she is to be punished. She is not to be bloodied but victorious, she can only be a cautionary tale.
Once upon a time, I was that girl. And time and time again I was put in my place by a lot of things. So I learned, at a very young age, to chose my battles. It was the only way I could win. By speaking softly and kindly. By never engaging. When I thought I broke free from those chains, I just bound myself up into a new set for some other man to tell me how to act and what to think under the guise of being “free” until I was the penniless girl without a winter’s coat and ice in the air. When I finally learned to break those chains too, I swore I would not be chained again. I would step into who I was supposed to be – someone who didn’t care about her clothes or hair, someone who put her shoulder to the wheel, someone who didn’t blow large amounts of money at the club, someone who was a diligent worker, someone who planned, someone who didn’t make waves or cause a fuss. A nice girl. A good girl. A safe girl. Someone didn’t need to be brought down by the pack of wolves breathing on her windows.
For a long time I chose safety over glamour. I started to become that girl who my Muse despised. The one who sold pieces of herself for security instead of freedom. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself because to draw attention to myself was to open my door to the wolves while screaming, “Come and get me, boys!” It’s ironic, right? How long have I been telling you that secure is no way to live? I think because I knew it’s no way to live.
I am afraid of my glamour and the dark part of my woods. Because glamour when done right is equal parts Elphie and Glinda. I was good with Glinda and I was terrified of my Elphie. Every time I’ve embraced her, every time I’ve gotten really close to having zero fucks to give, I was beaten down so hard that I became too afraid to try and reach her. To reach that part of myself. The one that was careless and carefree. Subconsciously though, she will not be bowed. I have been secretly threading tiny pieces of my glamour together, so secretly I didn’t even know I was doing it. My Allie, my Serena, my Chanel, all of the alpha bitch queens we aren’t allowed to be past being a teenager because it’s no longer safe. The stakes have gotten too high, the punishments too brutal. But I take them back, so slowly in such tiny pieces that I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Until it has become a girdle. Until it has become part of my spiritual kosmesis. My defiant maiden self who would rather die than be crushed.
These pieces had became even more forbidden because we had traded them for safety. But now the joke’s on them, right? Because we’ve gotten faster, stronger, harder. You know where the traps are laid. You know where the danger is. You know how to sacrifice. You know how to look the universe in the eye and not blink. You know all the false glitter that will distract you. You know the glamour in the right dress, the right perfume, the right words. And you use it. Judiciously, carefully and with intent. Not just to spill out your glamour to the Universe for the attention of anyone who will look at you. You know whose attention you want. You know how to get it. When you were less wise, you were less afraid, you would snatch their attention right out of the air and not think twice about it. Now is the time to merge the two.
It’s yours. It’s always been yours, even if you hid away from yourself when you were too afraid to use it.