In the not so distant past when I was single, I had a friend Chloe. Chloe combined flair and sex appeal with an engaging personality, and tied it all together with that intangible ribbon called ‘X factor’. In short, she had the ability to cast a spell over anyone she met.
This was something I was overly conscious of one night as we headed out to meet up with a male friend of mine. I gave Chloe the heads up that she was not to flirt with the secret object of my affection. But, from the time we entered the room it was clear all she needed to do was breathe to engage his attention.
Walking home that evening, I berated her, for well, being her. We lost touch after that night and I never bothered trying to re-connect.
Female friendships often breakdown because one person in the friendship falls victim to their own visceral feelings – the overriding one here being jealousy. In the relatively short time I was friends with Chloe, she was forever having break-ups with her girlfriends over the same issue – men-folk and stealing her friends’ limelight. But really who is at fault here? Chloe for simply being herself, or us, her friends for having self-esteems that couldn’t match her ‘fabulous-ness’?
After all, if another woman is the centre of attention, you must be doing something wrong. Right? Now more than ever women feel like they need to be everything to everyone. Ergo, it’s not surprising you feel you have failed when the focus is averted. And it’s not about narcissism either.
Far from egotism, we women are hard-coded to operate on a level of being ‘on’ and fabulous all the time. Caitlin Moran notes in her book How to Be a Woman, that women have been programmed to blame themselves instead of looking for an external cause.
Moran also suggests woman have been conditioned to embrace the concept of being a princess, “while there were other role models around, the sheer onslaught of princessalia every girl is subject to wedges its way into the heart, in a quietly pernicious way”.
So how does one negotiate all the “princessalia” and find their own way to fabulous? Well experience has taught me this:
Your ordinary may be another’s extraordinary and vice versa. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.
Being fabulous has much more to do with how you feel about yourself. It is clear that the essence of what attracted people to Chloe, was the unequivocal confidence she oozed.
So shift the focus to being comfortable in your own skin and remember this one: The only one who is putting Baby in the corner is you.