If you graduated from high school in this beautiful, flawless, rich land we call America, you probably had to read the Great Gatsby. If you somehow have not read it, here’s the Sparknotes. The Great Gatsby is a book about a guy who loves a girl so much. Everything that happens is because he loves her and wants to be with her and wants to hang out with her. I think that makes a perfect story.
When I read the book, as an optimistic yet stubborn aspiring She-E-O with an adoring husband, the part that stuck out to me most was when Daisy Buchanan says she wants her future daughter to be a “beautiful little fool.”
These are three things I’ve always tried to be, in pursuit of male love and attention. And it exhausted me. And it’s coming to a close because I’m done shrinking myself. Sure, I’ll elaborate.
Beautiful- I’ve always wanted to be beautiful. I’ve paid attention to what I wear, my hairstyle, my complexion, my nose, my body hair, my arms my legs my stomach my feet my fingernails. Whatever it has meant during every year of my life, beautiful has been a goal. And it took around 24 years to realize that beautiful is a feeling. It’s subjective and it ebbs and flows and you are the only person in the world as concerned as you are with your own beauty. Besides Joan rivers may she Rest In Peace.
Little- I didn’t always want to be small. When I was really young I loved to eat and I ate everything. It wasn’t until I was 12 that girls at summer camp called me fat and then I started checking nutrition facts on the backs of chip bags. After puberty, I wanted to be so small. I still ate but I would feel angry at myself for eating too much and I would get upset that I wasn’t the smallest size in the store. I never talked about it. Then I got skinny and now that's how I look. I’m thin and it doesn’t make me happy. My big big brain and amazing sense of humor are what bring me joy. At my funeral nobody is going to talk about what I looked like in a bathing suit. They will talk about the time I met Guy Fieri.
Fool- Daisy Buchanan wanted her future baby to be dumb, as if to say naive, as if to say ignorant. Because sometimes it’s just too painful to be so aware of all the shit that goes on. Analysis and opinion and questions and deep thoughts are exhausting. Being a fool is an easy way out. It’s a lounge chair by the pool and you’re not responsible for anything and even if you were, the piña colada is giving you a brain freeze so you best sit this one out.
To be a beautiful little fool is to be out of the way. It’s to be neither seen nor heard. It’s to be small. It’s to hold in your feelings and tiptoe around the truth and bend over backwards for people who wouldn’t do the same. Being ready and subservient are not what women need to be anymore. We don’t need to be little to fit into tight spaces. We don’t need to shrink anymore. The only things that are better small are M and Ms. I’m on the pursuit of being big. Big ideas big feelings big portions. Bigger is always better. More is more. I’m sorry Daisy Buchanan but I have other ideas.