There will always be one ‘damn, I look good’ moment that is more prevalent to me than most. I was recently single and attending a wedding. There is, of course, already a stigma attached to the single girl at a wedding, let alone a recently single girl, post-breakup by only a few days, making it all the more important to style myself exceptionally. The pity and sympathy concealed in swift glances and brief conversation would be simply too awful to endure. I will admit that it probably wasn't the nightmare I thought it would be, but was I scared to attend a wedding so soon? Yes, absolutely terrified! Did I know what I was going to wear? Not a clue. Did I survive? Like a trooper!
On the morning of that wedding, I had decided upon an outfit relatively last-minute and it was a bold choice for me. An oversized, painted, silk skirt detailed with a large, exposed silver zipper down the front. I tucked a black silk top with plunging v-neckline into the skirt and combined it with a slightly worn-out pair of heels. This was the woman who vowed never to wear separates to a wedding, since it had been deemed a fashion faux-pas circa mid-noughties. I took my time on my makeup and tied my hair up into a loose, high ponytail. Up until this point, I had never worn my hair up for weddings or events because I could never get the style right; still, I tried.
Without a care in the world, I took one look in the mirror just as the sun was cascading into the room, and all I could think was, ‘damn, I look good’. For the first time in over a year, I felt like my best self. And it wasn't even entirely about the way I looked aesthetically, but something beyond. Yes, even I had to admit that I looked pretty damn good, but I also felt like myself. This happened in a split moment, all before the monster of modesty overtook me and I wondered why I was being so positive – or, in the eyes of some, why was I thinking so highly of myself? Women can’t do that! Or, at least, that’s what I had been taught.
For so long, women have been taught that their looks exist solely for the appreciation of men. That a woman cannot – and should not – admit that she looks good, feels good or is good. And it is an extremely damaging mindset.