Standing in the grocery store line up, she glances at the women on the magazine covers and is again reminded how her new flubber body doesn’t measure up. In attempts to look elsewhere, her view falls on the candy bars a slight look over. Insert toddler meltdown, she hopelessly grabs a candy bar to soothe her nerves. Ah nuts. Guilt settles in as her memory cycles back to the woman on the magazine she’ll never look like.
It’s the first day in a long time she’s had time to fix herself up. With her makeup and hair done she makes her way to the mall in her trendy boots and skinny jeans she’ll never tell you how long they took to get into. As she makes her way down the mall, she notices a young man looking her way. She looks away, revealing a slight flush of red on her cheeks. She looks back to see the young man still smiling. Is he really smiling at her? Could it be she’s still “got it”?! Her heart beams with worth, only to add a touch of guilt for wanting a young man to find her attractive. She looks back only to discover he wasn’t looking at her, but the cute 20 something she didn’t see walking on the other side of her. She is reminded once again that she isn’t 20-something anymore…. and that she’s pushing a toddler with fingers full of drool and cheerios.
She’s been home for a month without seeing a soul other than her children. She’s been having some behavior issues with her youngest and has been afraid to leave the house. Her friends have been inviting her out to their playgroup for awhile. Loneliness and isolation have taken their toll. She decides to brave the elements (meaning her children, not the weather) and head out to get some needed grown up time. She enters home of a woman she doesn’t know, happy to see a couple of familiar faces there already inside. The host introduces herself and quickly mentions where the kids can (and cannot) play. As her two noticeably energetic children run off, she sinks into the comfy couch with a cup of tea, anxious to engage in adult conversation. Within minutes, her children have drawn on the walls and pushed one of the other children. Embarrassed, she takes her children aside to talk to them about their behavior. She can hear the whispers of the other moms examining her method of discipline. Her children are laughing and running away as she tries to communicate the consequences. They aren’t listening. She has no control. She can feel the other moms glaring eyes. She quickly gets their coats, escapes out the door, straps her kids into the seats of her vehicle and drives off in tears, vowing not to leave the house again for a very long time.
She wakes up in the morning and hits her normal morning routine of breakfast, getting dressed and is now ready to wash her face. As she reaches for her toothbrush, she glances at herself in the mirror. In disgust, she can’t believe how old she looks at 40. Where did all these wrinkles come from?! She squints, only enhancing the wrinkles. In disgust, she scrutinizes every facial detail. She takes a moment to use her hand to lift her skin on her cheek. Now THAT’S more like it. She removes her hand to see her face droop back down. As her eyes shift downward, she notices that gravity has taken over more of her body than just her face. She lets out a sigh of despair. One more glance in the mirror shows her a double chin she didn’t know she had! Her hair shows yet another grey hair to add to the collection. This scrutiny makes her sink into an emotional wall of invisibility to the rest of the world. She no longer “counts”. If only she could afford the treatments Jennifer Aniston has, then! THEN, she’d feel worth something. Her opinion would count. She would be taken seriously. Her ability to keep from aging would win the admiration of all who come in contact with her. Instead, she wallows in disgust with her aging body. Her disgust turns to apathy. Her dreams are no longer valid because she is no longer valid. Somehow, she has believed that her outward beauty determines her ability to contribute to the world.
She is the one who spends endless dollars on beauty treatments promising her youth, only having to go back for refills more and more often.
She is the one who pounds herself into the ground at the gym to achieve her dream body.
She is the one who feels unheard.
She is the one who drinks at night to soothe her pain.
She is the one who feels her time is up, not because it is, but because of culture’s emphasis on youthfulness tied to worth. She’s bought in to that idea.
She is the one who no longer contributes.
She is isolated.
She is the one who wonders if good friends exist.
She is the one who eats to soothe her boredom, and then wallows over fitness magazine covers.
She is the one who remembers what “she used to be”.
She feels like her opinion doesn’t matter.
She feels…. invisible.
The vulnerabilities women face is what the show, Invisible at Theatre Grand Junction June 14-15 is all about.
Tired of living like this? This is the heart of the book Culture Rebel. Tired of living like this, I busted out into a life full of freedom and meaning. You can check out the book, the video trailers and order your copy here.