I don’t remember a lot of specific details about my Dad’s mom. I have memories for sure, I just don’t really have a firm grasp on her personal character. She died when I was in 3rd grade after a lengthy battle with cancer. I have several bones to pick with cancer about it’s continued harassment of my family, but that’s something for another day. What I do have of my Grandma are the things she left behind: a gorgeous punch bowl, some fancy silver serving pieces which are sprinkled all over my new home, and Irish roots to blame my temper on. She also left behind an odd little wall hanging that hung beside my bedroom door all through college. It looks a bit like something you might find at a garage sale, or even throw away, but it says something very important to me, “I didn’t get this far just by looking good.” Even though my Grandma didn’t live to see me graduate high school, attend college, and grow into the person I am today, her little wall hanging has stuck in the back of my mind and has my own personal mantra.
I’m always amazed and slightly frustrated when people who meet me come to the “revelation” that I’m a smart girl. WHY WOULD YOU AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME I’M NOT SMART?!?! Just because I like makeup and I’m pretty doesn’t mean I’m dumb. Maybe I’m biased, because I’ve always run with the ‘smart’ crowd, but the only women I know are smart, beautiful, and strong. None of my girlfriends got to where they are now just because they are pretty!! Does being pretty help?? Yes..yes it does. Studies have shown that women who go to job interviews with their hair and makeup done receive higher starting salaries. Great…..I can deal with that I guess. Part of being smart is knowing how to leverage yourself and your assets. Throw on an killer bra, some good lipstick, feel good about yourself, and go get those jobs! I support this, but what I don’t support is people thinking I’m less intelligent just because I can wing my eyeliner.
My alma mater…..yes, that engineering college that’s supposed to be all about encouraging women into science and engineering….posted a video a few months ago that basically only supported the notion that smart girls can’t be pretty girls. The video was about a young women who builds cars and had decided to attend Tech. Get it girl! I had great feelings about the whole situation, until she and her family started talking about how she’s only excelling because she didn’t have time for “normal girl” things like makeup. Here’s the deal, I like to look pretty, but I also have shit to do….I don’t spend hours everyday channeling my inner glamazon. Now, I understand not wearing makeup as a personal choice, but how could that choice alone possibly signify that you’re smarter than anyone else. My mascara isn’t making me dumb! You can work on cars and wear makeup. My Momma’s next door neighbors frequently comment that I look too made up to be doing yard work. It’s the glorious part of being a modern women. We can do whatever the hell we want while looking however we want. If you’re really smart, you’ll drive right over the people who tell you you can’t! Follow every make up artists advice….and blend! Blend your smokey eye and blend your interests. Don’t let any one facet of who you are define you.
Even outside of the science and engineering world, all I know are smart, sexy women. I drive 5 hours to get my hair done. Yes, I know this makes me sound vain, but I dare you to find anything but sexy intelligence in my hairdresser. She started her own business and she’s thriving. She’s gorgeous, she keeps my crazy hair in check, and she’s running a business! Clearly the hair dye is having negative effects on her intelligence….. The sassy chickadee who keeps my eyebrows on fleek just opened her own studio in town. My friend Ivanna who dances and models while managing a motorcycle shop. Clearly these women are nothing more than a pretty face….. Here’s the deal the world is full of pretty faces who are doing amazing things. It’s about time society took notice, accepted the facts, and got over it!