Saturday, September 26, 2009

I've come full circle

I love the movie Legally Blonde.

Now I realize, to many, Legally Blonde is nothing more than a Girl Power waste of time. However, those that just dismiss it as another brainless chick flick with slightly less male characters and a lot more pink are completely missing the point. I was sixteen when I first saw Legally Blonde with my best girlfriend Aubrey. As we lounged in her parents living room, I found myself relating to the struggles and triumphs of Ms. Elle Woods in oh-so-many ways. Somehow, I saw myself in the sassy, opinionated, and chic Elle (without the boobs, blonde hair, or wardrobe, of course). So often in high school, I was completely dismissed because I was perky, cute, and waaaay more than a bit of a flirt. It was automatically assumed I was vapid and empty-headed. I can't even tell you how often I had people insist I was making up a word they didn't recognize because they couldn't fathom I had a bigger vocabulary then they did [insert eye roll here]. Who cares if I say "like" more than my fair share, that doesn't mean I can't be intelligent. So, when I saw Elle deal with the same issues, I guess I just felt understood.

When I graduated from small-town Stillwater High School (Go Pioneers!), it was so refreshing to go to an intellectually-challenging college and have people assume that if you were there, you had to be a relatively smart cookie. I really, really enjoyed that aspect of school. Even when I got married, had my first baby, and was pregnant with my second (at the young age of 22, no less), people still assumed that I had some substance to me.

I'm sorry to say...I've come full circle. I'm once again Elle Woods, with flatter boobs and un-fabulous hair (what I wouldn't do for that volume *sigh*). Now that I'm no longer in school and am at home with three very young kids all. day. long., I find myself being, once again, completely dismissed. When I venture out for the necessary trip to Walmart or even [gasp!] the mall, people look at me like I'm certifiably insane or, even worse, completely through me. I was on a rare Girls Night Out a while back, and I got all excited that the person ringing me up at a store actually *saw* me and even carried on a conversation, no less. I don't know if my girlfriend really understood what the big deal was, but now that she's a mom herself, she probably does now. When people do talk to me, I often find myself talked down to. I don't know if they think because I procreate I must be an idiot or what. It's like, "Hello! I do have three children, but I do know how babies are made, I am aware of birth control, and I do have intelligent opinions! Thanks, buh-bye now." Never does someone ask me about my opinion on politics or religion or even the latest bestseller, they just ask me about my children...and that's about it. Don't get me wrong, I love talking about my kids, baby names, and potty-training, but I do have a brain just north of my uterus. So, while Elle lamented, "All people see when they look at me is blonde hair and big boobs," I'm complaining that all people see when they look at me is overactive kids and the mommy uniform.

Maybe I'm overreacting...heaven knows, I'm venting...I guess I'd just like someone to reassure me I'm not alone in feeling like this.



  1. nope your not alone, everyone is always allowed a good vent here and (holding up a mug of hot chocolate) is to others noticing our brains, over the screams coming from our children!

  2. Vent away my dear, and it was a very good vent at that. I think women in general are overlooked. I have been taking a womens studies class this semester myself and it has been very eye opening. We have talked about looks, age, and even medical biases in the community but Whitney, you are right. There is prejudice against the mom and especially one that has 3 kids so close in ages.

    Bravo my dear!!! Simply fabulous post!

  3. Ahhh, fabulous post. It's funny, because there was a recent thread on BBC that was talking about the woes of mothers with multiple children. They were mentioning the scathing comments that people would say to mothers w/ multiple kids. I was shocked as I haven't heard all of them (mind you, I have heard some though). It's like if you have more than the 2.5 designated children then you are somehow lacking, ohhh, I dunno...self control or the brain power needed to NOT have children and they need to somehow "right this wrong" by asking and saying stupid, rude things. Somehow they have missed the point that it's NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!! Hello??!! Yes, Whitney. You are an extremely bright, beautiful, talented, special person that deserves every bit of respect...mommy uniform, or not.

  4. HEY! That was me you were talking about (on the girl's night out) - and yes you're totally right, I didn't completely understand why you were so excited until a few short months later...

    However, I completely understand now, and I have only the one kid. I just love how people assume I haven't finished my degree because I have a kid, or how I won't understand the conversation. Yah, I think that's really been the hardest part for me to accept about motherhood - the general assumption from strangers that I couldn't hold my own in a conversation with them.

    And if I remember correctly you compared me to Vivian in that movie... with the bad hair and conservative dress.

  5. Of course it was you...I just thought it looked a little odd to mention "my best girlfriend Aubrey" two times in a row.

    Don't worry, you're much nicer than Vivian was at first and have much better hair. As for the conservative've come so, so far ;) Plus, who doesn't like a fabulous cardigan now and again?

  6. I decided to go back to school when I was 25. By then I had two children. In order to start back to school I had to prove that I was "mature" enough to go. The counselor had the nerve to say, "you probably don't read very good material, sitting home w/ 2 kids, so you are going to have a to take this test to see what your reading level is." Well Booyah on him I was at college level on my reading skills. That really made me mad and I was determined i was going to enjoy college and show him up.
    Another thing I learned was to keep up on current affairs so when people started talking to me I could talk about things going on in the world. It always shocked people because all they thought moms did was talk about their children. sharon

  7. Go Whitney, I know what you mean. Let it out girl, you deserve it. It takes extreme patience and actual intelligence to raise a child properly and you are raising three. I agree with you on all fronts! Glad I'm not the only one feeling this way. :)