Female envy

We're all aware of the competition that women are capable of feeling between each other. Her ass is cuter. How does she keep her hair so flat? So what if she doesn't need to wear makeup. I like wearing it. Why does she giggle like that? Could she flirt a little more? And the famous…what does he see in her anyway? And here's the best part…EVERY woman has done it and will continue to do it. Some actions are rooted in more superficial issues than others, but still true for all. We need to stop trying to act like we don’t do these kinds of things because denial usually just makes the problem worse.

Sure, some of us are much better at keeping our inner she-bitch hidden and sometimes we can overcome it for periods of time. Some of the effective ways to avoid such loss of our selves to the whims of the societally-imposed she-bitch are by not reading popular magazines, not watching popular TV shows, not hanging out in popular places, and not being around popular[ly defined] people. At least then you know you are hanging out with real people; people that, even when you have those urges to give the evil eye or spill your drink on her new pants (even if they were 2 bucks from the thrift store they still look cuter on her than they would on you), you know that it is an unfounded urge produced by society's subliminal evil forces and not of your own doing.

Now multiply that by 13. Awesome. That's how I feel walking through the streets here in Mexico. It's something I've accepted and now have a much easier time dealing with. It's that... women here have a hard time liking me for who I am. I'm different. I'm exotic (i.e. over 5'3'', blonde, light eyes, and wear flip flops regularly). They don't know who I am. Men notice me because of this, and only this, and it causes a lot of women to not want to be mi mejor amiga. The intimidation that I unwillingly represent not only causes nervousness but often, blatant glares. We're talking in restaurants, in bars, at work, at baby showers, in the supermarket, the taco stand on the corner, and especially walking down the street. And then they notice: I speak Spanish? Phew, forget it. Not only am I a gringa, but I can employ their language, too, and communicate with other people. I am officially the enemy.

If I am honest with myself, I can admit that I only have one real Mexican female friend. I definitely have other good acquaintances who know I'm not Satan's gringa messenger. Maybe we just haven't moved past the role of just conocidas, but it's still disheartening to be fully aware that my lack of a real female Mexican social circle is due to basically…the color of my skin and hair.

One time I went to an internet cafe and the person I'm dating nudged me to look up. The guy working there was oblivious to his open mouth and googley eyes as I walked in. Now… I know how to work it – but this kind of reaction? I can't take credit for it. But the kicker was what the girl sitting next to him, who we then figured out was his girlfriend, said: "Hey…hey…I'm right here! No ya know what? Go ahead. Just look. It's not like you see one of those every day". Wait for it…wait for it…annnnd….she sends a glare right at me!!! Awesome. Another amiga to add to the list.

It's a weird dynamic I got goin' on here. The truth is, I absolutely love living here. I love the people, the culture, the food, the music, the relaxed lifestyle, the passion in the people. But even after a year of living here, I still get really irritated by the reaction I receive, both from men and women, when I'm walking in the street. Like I've mentioned in other posts, it's not a major city and that has a lot to do with the specific experience I'm having, but I don't like that I feel more comfortable walking down the street holding my partner's hand because at least then the men can't whistle and the women know I'm no longer competition. Trust me, the novelty of being "different and exciting" wears off a lot faster than you think. And even faster if your Irish roots scream stereotypical "gringa".

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