Lunachicks. Rilo Kiley. The Distillers. M.I.A. We drove and we sang. Gut splitting yells of strength. Howls of anger and love. We recounted their nights of sex along with them, and we shook out our perfectly primped hairdos to their playful lyrics. We were all girls on a joyride to laugh in the face of mediocrity, mainstream beauty, and material bullshit. Self-assured that we were pumped with enough self-esteem to wipe out our less lionhearted competition, we chattered on about our new not-so-secret hope to become a finalist for America's Next Top Model. This did start out as a joke. A way to kill the afternoon. But after hours of survey questions, practiced runway struts, and searches for outfits that best defined us while still looking fashionable, this day had turned this into something more. Something needlessly serious.
We drove on. The ride was long and our tenacity started wearing off. Was this beginning to be more trouble than it was worth? But as we sped around a corner and through a yellow light flashing to red, it finally came into view. The mall that would be packed full of wannabes, hopefuls, and die hards. The brown bricked, faceless building housing the haute couture cattle call loomed over the road ahead of us. It was surprisingly harmless looking. Mundane, really. And in it's opulent normalcy, we were comforted. That comfort then fueled us with more confidence. And that confidence gave way to a feeling of 'why not us?'
We cruised through the parking lot with the windows down. 'Hey, other try-out girls walking in, hear our music? We are bad asses.' Passive aggressive intimidation. I nudged my old Buick into a tight spot only 50 feet from the doors. Flipping down the visor mirrors we smoothed our hair. I ran a finger under my eye to fix where the liner had smudged. As I wiped the black soot from my eye carelessly on the dark fabric of my car seat, our there-for-moral-support friend flashed us a beaming I-believe-in-you-smile, "It's time!"
The three of us started to walk to the double glass doors, stained with the hand prints of shoppers, and their children. The moral supporter had pulled a few feet ahead and was closest to the door. I tugged the dress of my other friend. Let's catch up. She threw me a panicked glance. I shook it off. We're already here, nothing is stopping us now. What was there to be worried about? There's nothing scary about this building, if anything it was dull. It wasn't intimidating, so it's contents couldn't be intimidating. We pushed through the doors, and despite my intransigence, my stomach lurched. Why was I nervous? Didn't my guts remember this wasn't a big deal?
Who we are
8 months ago