Rita Hayworth once said that “Every man I knew, went to bed with Gilda and woke up with me.” Gilda was her most famous (and most sexually desired) character.
Shamefully, the only reason I know this quote is the classic Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ rom-com, “Notting Hill.” (If you haven’t seen Notting Hill, go watch it right now. Stop reading this silly blog and enjoy the glorious flowing man-locks of 90’s Hugh Grant). Actually, forget that. Go watch “Gilda.”
I mention this quote because it is so indicative of the way we view women today and it resonated with me. No, no, I’m not implying that I am in anyway as fantastic as Rita Hayworth, but…
Wait. Yes, I am implying just that. I am implying that all women are as absolutely beautiful and feisty and smart and sexual as the ravishing Rita Hayworth.
Society tells women that we must be beautiful, sexual, brilliant, thin, talented, soft spoken, and all around perfect in order to be considered desirable. Who can live up to those standards?
In the past, I have found myself buying into that theory- placing far too much emphasis on my physical appearance- to ensure that I too might be desirable. But even Rita Hayworth, lauded as one of the most beautiful women in the world, took off her make-up at the end of the day. She ceased to be what she allowed the public to see and went to bed as just…Rita.
We all wear a mask throughout our day. We hide behind make-up, behind sarcasm, behind professionalism, and whatever other wall of choice. We have a public persona that we choose to let others see, and only a select few special people get to know the real us.
I’ve stopped wearing make-up on a daily basis. I didn’t want to hide behind a mask. Do I feel prettier when I wear make-up? Absolutely. Do I feel less desirable without make-up? Shamefully, yes. Sometimes I need to get all gussied up to remind myself that I am desirable and for that, I get upset with myself. I do not want to need that kind of validation.
The truth is- anybody looks good after hours of hair and make-up. ANYBODY. Just scroll up and see the proof. Beauty is skin deep. Your personality, your thoughts, your beliefs, your sense of humor, your intelligence and your attitude are what make you who you are. You are only as desirable as you believe, and I mean that in more ways than one.
We are what we choose to be.
Do you want that job? BELIEVE that you deserve it. Do you want to feel pretty? BELIEVE that you are pretty (because you are, dammit)! Do you want that promotion? BELIEVE that you will get it. Do you want to be sexy? BELIEVE that you are sexy.
I know that it can sound silly, but it’s true. Confidence makes all the difference. You are not the mask you wear. Take off the make-up (figuratively or literally, you get to choose!) and be confident in who you are.
Rita struggled to feel loved for who she was and perhaps my analogy is extreme (We can’t all be rich and successful, world famous actors purporting to be the image of perfection) BUT I stand by the sentiment. We don’t always show our true self to the world and that’s okay, but make sure to let your guard down and show yourself, without the mask, to those who really count.
Everyone wants to be loved for who they really are, so take the time to take off the mask and figure out who that is. Then you can choose who sees the mask, and who doesn’t.