My desk faces out onto some sort of fancy office building. It is this concrete and glass monstrosity that is useful when I am telling people how to get to my apartment, “we are in the shitty building next to the fancy new building”, but until recently I hadn’t really given it much thought. The last few weeks, in the office directly across from my desk, there have been a parade of women coming in to try on fur coats. They strut back and forth, and allow one or both of the men that work in the office day-to-day to put the coats on them. I will admit that my initial reaction, as a single twenty something, was “man, I want a burly man in all black to put fur coats on me!” I don’t like it, but there it was.
Over the last few days, I have begun thinking about how that urge totally conflicts with the woman that I am, and how living here has affected the ways in which I see myself, most notably when I am indulging in weird, voyeuristic capitalist fantasies. I have been pretty down on myself lately, because I do not fit the way women should look, especially here. Being a t-shirt and jeans girl in a heels and skirts country is tough. Being a big girl in a country where the thinnest one wins is a little discouraging. Having to hear women valuated daily based on their “hotness” by the men that I live with is fucking annoying. These things range from totally within my control to totally outside of it, and they should be evaluated as such, and I really should know by now not to let them get into my head and make me think stupid shit about myself.
I don’t want to wear skirts and heels, mostly because I would put myself in the hospital if I attempted to wear them on the Vilnius streets, but also because I don’t think that a woman should have to make herself uncomfortable in order to be seen as attractive. I know that I could stand to lose a few pounds, but not because some arbitrary asshole decided that certain curves are good and certain curves are bad. And the valuation based on hotness thing, well, that’s here to stay. There isn’t anything that I can do to change the reasons that people find women attractive. I can let it turn me into a self-hating misanthrope, or I can just accept it as a given and move on with my life. I keep hearing that there are men out there that are actually attracted to women because they are intelligent or interesting, and although proof of their existence is lacking, I continue to believe. I am the cryptozoologist to their bigfoot.