Brea pulled into valet and let out a huge sigh. She wasn’t feeling her best this evening in the dress she had chosen to wear to dinner with her favorite ladies. It had become a regular thing for the group to get together for dinner at least once or twice a month, but lately she had been avoiding it. She just hadn’t been feeling herself lately. Luckily her favorites – Mika, Joy, and Rosie – had convinced her that she needed this evening out and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. She walked into the restaurant and instantly felt out of place – all the women at the bar where petite with long silky strands of perfect beach curls cascading down their backs.
It didn’t take Brea long to spot the kinky coils of Mika’s fabulous curls bounce up from the booth waving her over. She could already tell that Mika had worn the tightest crop top for their ladies night and the envy of her confidence suddenly made Brea feel even more self-conscious of her dress selection. She stumbled over to her friends as Mika loudly proclaimed in the restaurant that she needed to “SLAY,” while Joy and Rosie clapped their hands. Brea quickly slid into the booth as Mika embraced her with open arms and an even louder welcome. “HEY GIRL HEY,” rang out from Mika as Brea slinked down into the booth away from the prying eyes of the restaurant. She muttered a quick hello and quickly looked over at Joy and Rosie as they laughed at the carefree attitude of Mika. Joy was always so great as sensing when something was out of place and quickly made her way over to hug Brea. Without hesitating, Joy quickly asked Brea, “girl, what is the matter with you? The night is young and we are ready to party.” Brea glanced over at the bar and admired the perfectly tan bodies with their lean legs on display, with no words to convey the uncomfortable feelings stirring. Before she could even start to convey the little thoughts she had, she felt Rosie’s hand wrap around her own. Mika quietly spoke the words that Brea needed to hear, “be realistic girl, we are not all perfect cookie cutter examples of what magazines deem beautiful.” Joy and Rosie both nodded as Mika continued, “real women come in all shapes, sizes, and curves – so stop beating yourself up about not showing your legs off or wearing a dress that you find fitting.”
Brea glanced at Mika and knew the talk wasn’t over. Without skipping a beat Mika said, “confidence is being comfortable and beautiful in your own skin, so own it girl.” A tear started to fall from Brea’s eye and Mika quickly grabbed a napkin to wipe it away. “We aren’t crying tonight Brea, we have too much to celebrate,” Mika exclaimed while flagging down their waitress for the first round of drinks. Brea stared at the diversity and beauty within each of her friends. Mika’s beautiful curls and vivacious curves, Joy’s alabaster skin and playful freckles, and Rosie’s perfect tan and toned arms – she was staring at what real women look like. Not the cookie cutter images that are plastered over malls, catalogs, and magazines. Real women with confidence and power in their diverse backgrounds. Brea laughed as she finally heard Mika request that she stand up and take a twirl so they could all admire her dress.
She knew she was in great company.
“Ads featuring real women and real beauty are such a necessary component to offset the potentially dangerous programming out there for little girls.” -Rashida Jones