Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen my tweets last night about going to hear Spike Lee speak. Despite @MidtownMo‘s determination to steal my joy, I was really excited about it and by the time we got to the welcoming speeches I was nearly jumping out of my chair. Once he [...]
Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen my tweets last night about going to hear Spike Lee speak. Despite @MidtownMo‘s determination to steal my joy, I was really excited about it and by the time we got to the welcoming speeches I was nearly jumping out of my chair. Once he finally took the stage I was ready. I even put down my phone so I could give the discussion my full attention. There is just nothing better in life for me than listening to someone who is great at what they do talk about it.
The problem was that the “moderator” of the discussion – a well-known Canadian film maker whose name I will not mention here because I feel like it’s rude to call him out like that – basically….shitted it up. Beyond the fact that he had clearly not done his research about Spike Lee, beyond the fact that the discussion was so unstructured that 10 minutes of the hour were spent discussing Michael Jackson while at least 3 of Lee’s films went completely unmentioned, this dude was so fucking awkward and self-conscious that it was painful to watch him.
If I ruled the world which I have no desire to do because I’m pretty sure it would not leave me enough free time to tweet and paint my nails I would banish self-consciousness from all humanity. I’m pretty sure it has the all-time worst ROI of all emotions – the amount of time you spend worrying about what other people are thinking about you is probably about 9999999 times more than the amount of time those people are actually spending thinking about you. If, in fact, these people even know you exist. Yet still I see people every day limiting themselves and limiting their experiences because they are afraid of what people will think of them.
Let me just say this before I go on – there are times in life where what others think of you is a valid concern. Your professional reputation? Yes, absolutely. Your carfax? No doubt. But beyond that I think you need to give yourself the freedom to explore life in safe or productive ways without getting bogged down with concerns about what people are gonna think of you.
And of course you know who are the worst offenders when it comes to self-consciousness are, right? Women. And you know when their self-consciousness fucks shit up the most, right? When it comes to sex.
I know women who will turn down sex because their bikini line isn’t freshly waxed. Who won’t remove their bras during sex because they think their titties are too small. Who can’t have orgasms because they’re too busy worrying if their stomach is rolling when they bend over that way. Women who insist that the lights stay off at all times, who won’t allow themselves to do that thing you know they want to do because they don’t want to be labeled a freak. Who won’t initiate sex because they’re afraid of rejection (actually scratch that one because I do that too) and who won’t get on top because they don’t know if they’re doing it right.
Honestly I want to bang my head against the wall just thinking about it. But I refuse to punish myself for everyone else’s navel-gazing.
Gloria Vanderbilt once said that we should all have “great, secret, big fat hopes for yourself in love and in life”. If I have any great fat secret hope for myself it would be to become an activist and galvanize people into thinking my way. But my cause wouldn’t be anything as lofty as civil rights or the environment or affordable post-secondary education; it would be this: for women to get the fuck over themselves. And the first order of business would be to banish all sex-prohibiting self-consciousness. I think I would start a fucking revolution.
And that’s the end of my rant. But tell me what you guys think? Are you self-conscious? About what? Do you try to overcome it or do you just not do the things you’re too self-conscious to do? Is this the exclusive domain of women or are men guilty of this too? Men has a woman’s self-consciousness ever gotten in the way of a good time? Speak on it in the comments.