I recently purchased a remote controlled, flying shark. I find it incredibly juvenile yet impossibly fun—a brand of humor to which I happen to subscribe. I flew the stupid thing around my entire house, getting it stuck in vents along the way, learning that fans are not friends, before finally stopping it in front of the master bathroom mirror. I thought to myself, “There’s a joke here.”
I was right, there was a joke there. I thought about how funny it would be if a great white shark had the kinds of thoughts that I have when I look in the mirror. Am I pretty enough? Am I smart enough? Am I funny enough? Am I “real” enough? Will people like me?
The “Mirror, Mirror” image was the first. It cracked me up! Seeing such a powerful creature, capable of untellable feats, master of its domain, getting insecure about something so trivial as being the “fiercest of them all” in the same way that the Queen in Snow White was worried about being the “fairest of them all.” That was hilarious to me. Reimagining a shark as insecure seemed like comedy gold.
I began to think of other situations in which I could place the shark that I may elicit such joy as when I put it in front of the mirror. (I should mention, at this point I’ve decided that the shark is female. So, from here on out, I shall refer the shark as “her” instead of “it.”) I thought about all of the stereotypes that women shoulder and the worries we have, the ones that are largely based on our gender and imposed on us by our society, and I came to the realization that my little shark-project was not so much simple comedy as it was satire.
It’s satire because there’s actually a large social commentary property. If it’s silly to imagine something as powerful, beautiful, and terrifying as a shark being insecure then isn’t it also ridiculous for us to be insecure? I, as a woman, may not be the terror of the seas. But I, as a woman, am capable of far more than I’ve given myself credit for. I’m capable of far more than I’ve been led—no, than I’ve been allowed—to believe. I’m not bashing women for being insecure. I’m bashing the idea that we have to feel insecure.
We carry this notion that there is something we are missing, that there is something we must attain in order to achieve security. And that something is not logical! Insecurity is not saying, “I need a job because I don’t have one.” Insecurity is not saying, “I’m a selfish person and that is part of myself that I need to work on.” No, insecurity is when we tell ourselves that we must be prettier, smarter, funnier, wiser, and… Something-er in order for us to be liked, accepted, loved, or chosen. We must always be something-er because we’ve grown to believe that we are not enough. We must always be something-er because who we are, already, is not what the world wants.
I’m calling B.S. We ARE enough. And if we stepped away from the mirror for two seconds we would find that we are exactly what this world needs and if the world is too stupid to want what it needs then you’re better off for having never changed to accommodate it. Ladies, the first step to infiltrating the borders of our insecurity is to admit that we don’t need insecurity to begin with. And to help each other accept that we don’t need our insecurities, we must encourage one another in that. We must accept on another, love another, and choose one another in the name of women standing strong, together. Men, we welcome you on this train, as well! I don’t mean to leave you out, I just speak directly to the women because we tend to be the harshest critics of one another and that’s something that we need to work on. But guys, we need you. We do. And I’m sorry if in recent years we’ve tried to push you away in an attempt to make ourselves feel self-sufficient. In the same way you are with us, we’re still learning what it’s like to be equal with you. Sometimes we over-compensate. But that’s another talk for another time and no, I’m not putting the entire burden on women so get that out of your head. J
I am going to continue unraveling my need for insecurity and I am gong to continue doing that with a dumb flying shark. Because I find it to be hilarious and I dearly love to laugh. Next time you question your worth you should ask yourself, “Would a shark need to do this?”
Because if something as powerful and beautiful and terrifying as a shark doesn’t need to worry about how pretty she is then neither do you. You, my friend, are a human being who is capable of great things.
And you’re more than pretty enough.
Follow along on Instagram @katiecmansfield, Twitter @katemansfield, or Facebook!
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fiercest of them all?”
“Is there gluten in wine? I need to fit into my wedding dress. Yes…I’m single. What’s your question?”
“I’m still about 6 lbs away from being hot enough for peak gym hours so, for now, I mostly work out at home. I want to have Kerry Washington’s arms.”