E-mail this page to a Friend
Welcome to the Clown Room
***** It was a friend's birthday, and we ladies piled into a limo and headed to the Jumbo Clown Room, a female strip club, ready to ring in her new year. One after another, the perfect specimens paraded with their Barbie doll physiques, and cliche "sexy" moves. Then, there she was-with her realistic hips and underwhelming entrance-I worried to myself what she thought she was doing. When the music started, she transformed not only herself, but the entire room. She was naughty, and flirtatious and so hot no one could take their eyes off of her. The place went nuts, and when she was done both the men and the women were sold. I wanted to be just like her. Her unabashed confidence trumped every boob job and collagen lip injection in the room.
It occurred to me that we are all stripping in our own chaotic clown rooms. Who we are is buried underneath so much decision making, it can be overwhelming and exposing leaving us naked and ashamed. Where once our spiritual beliefs, family business and lifestyles were simpler and handed down, we are now faced with so many choices. We are supposed to be great at our jobs while we bear children, as aggressive as our male counterparts while we nurture, independent but not too threatening, and look 20 when we're 40. The pressure to be perfect is loud and clear. But, perfect gets confusing-what does it really look and feel like? Does being perfect have anything to do with being happy?
Julie, a friend from my hometown, is a pretty good example of perfection. At 40 she is a very successful business executive, a homeowner, and has personal trainer/plastic surgery/no carb dieted her way to aesthetic excellence. Flawless from across the room, it is easy to envy her appearance. What you can't see, however, is that Julie has not had sex in over 3 years-her perfect body has not been caressed or appreciated by anyone but herself, the house she owns makes her feel more alone, and her job is a source of nothing but insecurity.
We know intellectually that we are not our accomplishments, but maybe we have arrived at a time where we are being asked to take a different kind of look at that theory. In an era where the impeccable can be purchased or constructed-where reality shows Extreme Makeover our bodies and our homes, we can alter ourselves into a false sense of success. To achieve perfection is not necessarily to achieve contentment, however, and externals like acclaim, a promotion, marriage, or a facelift can make us feel better for a moment, and in certain situations, but they are simply posing as a real sense of self worth. The moment we decide we need proof that we are "enough" we have lost the battle. Nothing outside of ourselves will ever be enough for us to believe that we are deserving or worthwhile, even when we have reached physical perfection, or are president of the company.
But wait a minute-choices are ultimately opportunities.
Maybe we just need to loosen our grip.
Maybe we are the generation who gets to really learn how to appreciate the process. Maybe perfection is like unrequited love-.the chase is more interesting than the capture.
Just because you CAN have bigger boobs doesn't mean you NEED them. We don't buy every cereal offered in the cereal aisle. Figuring out who we are is a different assignment, and self-esteem has a whole new import.
Instead of viewing our accomplishments and the choices we have made to this point as stagnant, and defining-what if we embrace them as part of a work in progress. In that way, Julie's choices are not a prison that she has constructed for herself, they are components of a larger picture. Now more than ever before, we are creating the lives that we live. To create, we must be brave enough to see our ideas forward, to have confidence in what we believe, not in what we believe will impress others. Dauntless, we will take personal responsibility for who we proudly become instead of victims to what others pressure us to be. We'll have to dig deep, breath deep and be honest with ourselves in ways our parents might not have encouraged us to be. We must decide that we live in inspiring and exciting times, not overwhelming turmoil. And we will have to realize that we are all in the clown room together-each one of us with the potential to bring down the house in our own unique way.
Please log in if you would like to make a comment.