London makes me feel better about being a woman. Not that I have a hard time liking myself or anything like that. Hear me out. Being born and raised in California I was easily influenced (growing up) by movies, magazines, and the men I hung around. It was no surprise I had a pretty skewed self image. California is surfing, sunshine, beauty, and women who are sculpted—sometimes literally. I am no size two but I am beautiful and talented and not in a brag-y way but as a self-affirmation. However, it took me a long time to get over the fact that I’ll never be a barbie, not that I’d want to now anyways. I still struggle with many insecurities. Being a woman in general is difficult. There’s a hard line to dance on between being sexy or sultry, to being slutty. Being professional to casual is just as mind-boggling. So when I sit at the Liverpool Street station in London, waiting for my boyfriend to join, I watch the women of London commuting; and it makes me feel better about being a woman. Here I see the end of day rush—women with backpacks rather than Prada purses. Trainers rather than Louboutins. Sure these women were dressed as if they were coming from work but hair is frizzy, in buns, or in ponytails. Only a select few actually had perfectly coiffed hair.
After sitting and watching all of these lovely ladies it makes me feel okay when I allow myself to put up my extremely long, hot, hair into a bun when running around the streets of London or when back home in Cambridge. I do sometimes wish I could be one of those women which don’t seem to sweat. The ones that can have perfect make up all day long rather than my beet red face and social anxieties. But I’m not. And you know, I’ve started to be okay with it. I used to hide it. I would walk slightly behind others—especially my boyfriends and dot my face with a paper towel. Now when people mention it, I just smile and say, “I know.”
So when I see the majority of women in London wearing flats and running around in a ponytail I feel a bit normal. Sure my hair is down for the times I’m waiting at a Starbucks for the man but I will not feel bad when I need to put up my hair and wear flats. Thank you women of the world for not only making me feel normal but realizing that there are types of normal that are so different from California.