I don’t think much about what it is to be a woman at this point in time, half of me just doesn’t have the time and the other half is apathetically consumed by the suck and pull of advertisements and online news headlines which contain content that often insults my intelligence as a human being, yet contain enough of a hint of cleavage to keep my senses mildly interested.
The sight of cleavage, combined with a biting smile that screams of bliss, coupled with an exuberant woman caught halfway in between a leap of freedom and the latest scent of Dove body spray, is enough to keep me barely emotionally occupied, yet occupied nonetheless. I want this woman’s cleavage. I want this woman’s smile. I want…this woman’s life. I watch the online ad again, I scan her left hand – no wedding ring, she’s single. She likely has a boyfriend. What’s she wearing? Red fitted v-neck sweater, jeans, she’s young, late 20’s to early 30’s, probably just invested a good chunk of change into starting up her own business. A potpourri and candle store, perhaps? I imagine the name of her new store, a quaint, cozy, seductively lit den, a hotbed of peach blossom and lavender, and peppermint oil. The wrought-iron sign deliberately posted above its entrance reads, “Making Scents”. Yes…”Making Scents”, very clever…she has a slight way with words. She’s smart. And happy. And successful. I like this woman, this joyful, confident, down-to-earth, yet sensual woman with a plan. I want to be like her, but the closest to her I can seem to get is to buy the same kind of body spray she is wearing.
From the back of my mind, I am alerted by a feeling, I hold the computer’s gaze, then I shift, then back to the screen, then I shift again. Something inside of me is silently trying to figure something out, the deep of the muck from which my evolution was inspired is tremoring, much like a baby begging to remove itself from the womb. I try to quiet it, but it’s starting to kick now, threatening to start thrashing if I don’t give it my immediate attention. I begin to feel slightly ill. I need to shut it up. I swiftly open my web-browser, begin to type: “Google.com”…”facebook.com”…I need connection now. I need “friends”. I need “people”. I need to know what people are doing because I need to know that people are doing things. I need to “like” what other people “like”. I need to be heard, to “comment”, to agree that yes, Prince is amazing and Michael will be missed. The only problem now is that my womb is empty, and my pregnancy has been prematurely terminated.
Facebook wants to know what’s on my mind, I like to “share”. Hours later, I am walking through Walgreens, really, I just came in here for some toilet paper, but the deodorant isle is calling me for some reason. I find myself in front of the Dove selection, carefully evaluating how much this deodorant costs, then dreamily slipping into fantasy…the blonde woman with the cleavage. With the smile, with the business. With the Dove. Should I buy it? Should I? No. I know better. I know that some psychologist somewhere has carefully analyzed groups of women just like me in order to help create an effective Dove campaign. And it’s working. I walk out of the store, forgetting my toilet paper in the process. I need to go home now. Something is wrong. I need to go home. Maybe if I had cleavage, I wouldn’t even need to buy the Dove. Something is wrong. I can’t shake it. I want the baby back. But I’ve rejected it, and it won’t show its face in my belly for a few days now. I’ll just have to be patient. But when it’s there, I don’t give it the attention it deserves. I’m drying up. On a black tar pit of advertisements and commercials, and false promises, and degrees of separation. I want to touch people, but I can’t, they don’t seem real anymore. The happy Dove woman has somehow stolen a piece of my identity in her effort to show me hers, and I want. Mine. Back.
I know that when I do give birth, I will never give birth to a monster.
* Name of ad campaign has been changed to protect the innocent. This blog in no way, shape, or form directly or indirectly represents trademarked company “Dove” or any of its internal representatives.