Through My Lens–Why We Think There Are No Fish in the Sea
By Nadirah Angail
Ladies, picture this: Youâ€™re standing outside a bookstore, just chilling, and a beautiful woman walks by. Her makeup is flawless, her outfit is fierce and her shoes and bag look like something out of your dreams, not to mention her hair is laid and you have reason to believe it is actually hers (or she has a bad hijab on, wrapped cuter than yours has ever looked).What is your response?
A. Stare in amazement, just wishing you could look like that.
B. Give her a dirty look because you know she thinks sheâ€™s better than you, and you definitely donâ€™t associate with people who think too highly of themselves.
C. Canâ€™t help but to automatically like her. Who doesnâ€™t feel drawn to beautiful people?
D. Compliment her and use her as inspiration, thinking, â€œMaybe I could spend more time taking care of myself.â€
If I passed this quiz out and then collected and tallied the responses, I bet Iâ€™d see a mix of Aâ€™s, Bâ€™s, Câ€™s and Dâ€™s, with fewer Bâ€™s than anything else. And isnâ€™t that a good thing, that the most negative answer would be picked the least? Well, yes and no. Yes, if thatâ€™s the reality, but no, because it probably isnâ€™t. Just as a poll asking â€œAre you racist?â€ would probably produce more Noâ€™s than Yesâ€™s, itâ€™s easy to see that when the true answer isnâ€™t the PC one, the truth is often underrepresented. I donâ€™t care how many Aâ€™s, Câ€™s and Dâ€™s are reported. We all know there are far more B responses out there. And why is that? What is it in so many of us that makes us hate a woman because of her beauty? What makes us assume she thinks she is better than us, when the unconscious reality is that we feel intimidated because we automatically assume weâ€™re beneath her?
And not to ignore the beautiful sisters that can readily recognize and validate another sisterâ€™s radiant light, but my concern is that the former severely outweigh the latter. What makes some of us receive another womanâ€™s beauty positively while others receive it as a threat? There are many answers to that question, some of which I donâ€™t know, but others I do. I know that we are too often judged by our outward beauty alone, and that this skewed judging criteria leaves manyâ€” if not mostâ€”of us feeling inferior, unworthy and defective. And every time we see a beautiful woman, we are reminded of that defect.
I also know that while men are encouraged to have a â€œthere are many fish in the seaâ€ attitude, we are trained to believe that thereâ€™s only one fish in the sea and you betâ€™ not let nobody take him! This hypothetical fish doesnâ€™t just represent a man. It represents everythingâ€” jobs, a happy family, education, money, a good life, etc. Men are more able to relax and appreciate each other because of their perceived abundance of opportunities for success in all realms. Women arenâ€™t born into that same calm. We, from a young age, learn to be competitive because of the perceived scarcity of opportunities for success. They tell us, and we believe, that only some of us can get a man. Only some of us will be educated. Only some of us will do well financially. Under these assumptions, we canâ€™t appreciate another womanâ€™s beauty, because weâ€™re too busy keeping score. â€œWhat does she have that I donâ€™t?â€
We need desperately to move past these ideas of scarcity and adopt those of abundance. Donâ€™t let someone else tell you what you can and canâ€™t have. Donâ€™t think just because she has something that thereâ€™s not enough for you, because this world is spacious and the Most High is gracious. What He has in store for us, no one can take. Weâ€™re all born in the best of molds, so our potential is infinite. It is only when we realize this that we will be able to feel our inner beam resonate with othersâ€™.
â€œEmpowering women-through knowledge, recognition & guidanceâ€ www.nadirahangail.com