What's Your Currency?

I plead guilty to being an internet-stalker last week! Well, it wasn’t my idea, but I found myself on the phone with a friend, looking at half-naked google image search results of a girl I didn’t know. Heyho world~ we are the creeps of the internets!

“I’m so sorry.” I said to my friend sympathetically, “She is super hot. There’s no way around it.”

The situation was rough: my friend’s new boyfriend had recently been propositioned by his friend’s ex, who of course happened to be a model.  

My friend, one of the most gorgeous and fascinating girls I know, was now suddenly feeling a little insecure. I think she called me for reassurance, which I fully intended to give, but what popped out of my mouth first was: “WHAT. How can a human person be so amazing to look at?!?”  

My bad.  

After the initial shock though, I calmed down and reminded her: This girl is a professional model. Her looks are inseparable from her success. She has guidance from her agency, and she has to invest as much time, money, and energy into her appearance as we do into our respective careers, so to compare our faces and bodies with hers just doesn't make sense.

For most of us, our looks are not our currency.

I took this concept from an Amy Poehler interview I heard on NPR recently. I love Poehler-bear, and think she’s cute as a button, but in the interview she talks about struggling with body and beauty issues.

From NPR: 
When comedian Amy Poehler was in her 20s, she read her boyfriend's journal and found out that he didn't think she was pretty.

Poehler says it taught her that the earlier you figure out your "currency," the happier you'll be. “I learned, or decided early on, that my looks were not going to be what I leaned on, and once I decided that, it was a little freeing.”

Poehler-Express also describes her insecurity as a “demon voice” in her head that tells her things like “You’re not as pretty as this person.” 

Eek, nothing good comes of comparisons, guys!  Another recent conversation I had with a friend went something like this:
Ewww see this? New Year’s Resolution is to get rid of this. I’ll try gym-ing it away, but if that doesn’t work, promise not to hate me if I try lipo.” 

I honestly couldn’t really see the "this" my friend was referring to, but I assured her that 1) I’d never hate her 2) there was nothing wrong with her body and 3) if I were into chicks I’d totally wanna do her for life.

She sighed with exasperation, “I just wanna look like Taylor Swift!”

I see my cute friend as perfect because I’m not comparing her to anyone. She is awesome in so many physical and non-physical ways. She is exactly as she should be. But she sees herself as imperfect because she’s comparing herself to her ultimate hot girl, Taytay.

I disagree with her completely, but I get it, and I’m not above this kind of comparison either. My ultimate hot girl is Penelope Cruz <3 <3 <3 

I loooove her! I love her accent and her humongo eyes and her ridiculous curviness. (What does it feeeel like to be that curvy?!) Obviously if I compare myself to her, it does not go favorably. She has an hourglass figure, and I have the figure of a 12-year-old tomboy. But part of growing up for me has been accepting certain things. I’ve come to accept that resembling Penelope Cruz is not my currency. And you know what? It's for the best. Because if I were her I'd probably just talk to myself in a mirror all day :D

I'm still figuring out exactly what my currency is, but I think it may be something like my ability to laugh at myself even in the most trying times, or my ability to seem like I’m listening when I’m not. People love that right? No?

Anyway pals, whatever your currency, you look hot today and I adore you!