Material Girls v. Real Live Women

Women like Madonna and Marilyn Monroe are known at the quintessential “Material Girls”. Heck, Madonna had a hit song with that title….while Marilyn flaunted her love of richness with Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. For those of you who are nostalgic, or maybe are too young to have seen the movie the song was featured it…Here’s the clip from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Oddly enough, they’re not the original. Before these two, the indomitable Eartha Kitt (aka The Original Catwoman) did a song with a similar theme called Just An Old Fashioned Girl. It’s a very charming song, actually, and if you haven’t seen it before, you should watch.

Based on the three above examples, it’s glamourous, a bit fun, even. There’s always a wink and a smile. It’s all tongue in cheek. The sad truth, though, is that there is a reason for this character creeping up. Unfortunately, she’s not just a beautiful myth. There are many women out there who perpetuate that stereotype…and not in the fun, quirky way we see in those songs and it frustrates me.

Women are strong creatures. They’re resilient, intelligent, adaptable. It drives me absolutely crazy when women decide to settle for the strictly material or pretend to be something they’re not… We have all known different versions of these women who show off the lesser versions of themselves…the ones that dumb themselves down, or pretend to be helpless or incapable. It’s so sad.

When we as women portray ourselves as “the weaker sex” for whatever reason, we lessen what we could be. We don’t give ourselves the opportunity to truly love and be loved. We fool good men into thinking that the vision of us we’re choosing to reflect is the true person, someone they can love…only to eventually be disillusioned. The reality is that we can’t keep up that kind of pretense forever. The mask cracks–the true creature beneath shines through…and the person who’s chosen to love they mythical you that you’ve created is left with both shattered heart and damaged trust…more often than not, too late to prevent irreparable harm. Yes, we can also be manipulative like that.

There is a power in showing your true self to the world. You give them the opportunity to love the amazing person you can be. No walls. No gimmicks. No games. The people that choose to love you are there for the right reasons. And yes, there’s always a chance that someone else is hiding who they really are (unfortunately the world is not perfect and women aren’t the only people capable of such machinations), but we’re also resilient. We learn. We grow. We rebuild.

The other benefit? For me, at least…by not hiding my brain, my competitiveness and my drive…I’ve been able to create careers for myself. I have shown myself beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m perfectly capable of providing for myself…and anyone else who may come along. The men who’ve shared parts of my life have known that I’ve wanted them there strictly for who they are. They’ve never had to wonder if it’s because I’m afraid of being alone or because I can’t live without a man to support me or any of the other wrong reasons people get into relationships. Somehow it’s made the relationships stronger, healthier, less stressful.

I’m not saying that being yourself will make everything perfect…life rarely is. But I think you’ll find it’s worthwhile. Sure, sometimes the phonies do wind up with all the superficial things…but it can’t keep them warm at night. It’s not there to comfort them when they cry, to laugh with them when they succeed. To understand who they are.

Remember, you don’t have to hide who you are at the core… you’re beautiful just the way you are. Don’t allow yourself to be less than the best you that you can be. You deserve to be loved for the person you are. I hope you don’t misunderstand…I don’t presume to judge you if you’ve been one of those people… the ones who’ve hidden who they are for whatever reason. I just hope that you realize how absolutely, beautifully unique you are. I hope that everyone allows their true selves to shine through…because like snow flakes and finger prints, we’re all originals…all precious and unique.

What myths or personas out there drive you crazy or make you sad? Do you think that they make this world better or worse? Why do you think people hide?

And for Valentine’s Day….here’s my message of love….


25 thoughts on “Material Girls v. Real Live Women

  1. prewitt1970 says:

    Feeling I’m the wrong gender to speak openly on this subject, I’ll keep it short. Kit.. You rock, strong, intelligent woman (ppl) in my opinion are simply amazing. Ok now I’ll run away back to my painters corner.


  2. Lawrence Grodecki says:

    I’m not going to comment on Madonna, though I wonder about Marilyn Monroe. You’re inferring that the character she’s paid to play in a script she has no control over represents her personal views on materialism. Sadly, you make no reference to the last of her films, an independent one, which is very different than “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend”.


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Actually, I was strictly speaking to the role she played in her film, not the person she was. The clips were strictly used as an illustration of the type of woman I was choosing to discuss. It was never my intent to infer anything about her, Eartha Kitt or even Madonna for that matter. The point of the music was to simply state that we laugh and joke and sometimes put that kind of behavior on this pedestal of fun and playful…often times sending the wrong kind of message.


        • Kitt Crescendo says:

          It could have been my wording. I went back and re-read…can totally see where you may have gotten that impression. As for Hollywood/life comparisons, unfortunately…in terms of money and the superficial being what motivates a woman to choose a man, it happens all the time. I get the need for financial security, don’t get me wrong. I just think there are more important things in life, and money isn’t the only thing a woman should take into account when choosing a man.


  3. Katie says:

    It gets on my last nerve when women pretend to be something that they’re not, because it’s usually driven by men’s approval, but how valuable is that approval when it’s the approval of a facade, anyway? …Just seems like too much work for me. 🙂


  4. Audrey says:

    Thank you, thank you! You’re sending out a counter-culture message that every woman needs to hear at least once in their lives. Especially around this time of year when the commercials on TV tell us that our value equates to the shiny gifts we’d better be getting for Valentine’s Day. How messed up is that? It’s no wonder so many girls and women live with broken self-esteem – when the world says you’re only as good as the “stuff” you have. There’s so much freedom and joy in being uniquely you, in not being weighed down by worthless possessions, in known yourself, choosing yourself, and accepting yourself as priceless.


  5. awkwardcharm says:

    I know women like this and I can tell you that your point about phonies getting all the superficial things, but none of it keeping them warm at night is absolutely true! Yes, money provides for the creature comforts we all love, but what happens when you hit a rough patch in life? Who will let you cry on their shoulder or make you laugh – as you said. Those are the people to value.


      • wordsurfer says:

        Yes. We’re conditioned not to believe in ourselves. Often, anyways. That’s the part about teaching I miss and love. I want to go to those teenagers and read them this blog post and tell them: forget everything anyone has ever told you about how you should be and what you should do – this is the really important stuff!


        • Kitt Crescendo says:

          Thank you. I think it’s a great lesson to teach. One person at a time. I’m finding that the opportunity to help people this way happens more frequently in our daily lives than we think. I try to lead by example, but also to impart this message when the chance presents itself.


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