Once You Decide You're Pretty... 💅
Confidence is the best accessory.
Happy Wednesday, my Dearest Twenty-Somethings! Hope everyone’s hanging in there. After an eventful 2/22/22, a pregnant Rihanna’s 34th birthday, and the start of a lovely Pisces season—I’m so glad you’re here!
This week, I want to touch on a scene in the most recent episode of HBO’s Euphoria that brought me to something I’ve been itching to talk about: confidence. Beyond the glitter, the opiates and the back-stabbing girl drama, these grown women disguised as teens really might be onto something!
Disclaimer: You don’t have to like or even watch Euphoria to get where I’m hoping to go with this week’s newsletter. But for reference, in Sunday’s episode of the hit high school drama, there’s a flashback to a scene where Maddy—notoriously fabulous, flashy and sure of herself—applies glittery eye makeup (of course) to Lexi, a more timid character in the series.
Lexi tells Maddy that she feels stupid with the makeup. Maddy says, “What? Everyone feels stupid. Who cares?” She tells Lexi that when she first started wearing the outlandish makeup herself, she too felt stupid. Then, she “just chose not to feel stupid.”
“Ninety percent of life is confidence,” Maddy tells Lexi. “And the thing about confidence is no one knows if it’s real or not.”
YES, MADDY!!! You’re speaking my language!! This is what I’ve been saying!!
As much as I hate to reminisce on the “old” Kanye, whom we miss dearly, he was correct in saying: “We’re all self-conscious, I’m just the first to admit it!” Life is a mind game and confidence isn’t real. For real! It’s all about how you carry yourself. Yes, in our twenties, we grow into ourselves and who we want to be, and, of course, it helps to get to know yourself, to fall in love with yourself, yadda yadda yadda, you know my spiel—but in reality, I do think the decision is ours, at least in part.
In this lifetime, we only have one body, one face, one personality, one set of thighs—hating ourselves or the things we can’t control is simply a waste of time! Obviously, insecurities and anxieties can go much deeper than simply making a “decision” to ignore them, and I would hate to minimize anyone’s experiences or feelings. However, I do think it would be worth your while to simply pretend for just a day that you have all the confidence in the world. Fake it ‘til you make it, baby!
If there’s one thing living in NYC has taught me, it’s that there’s an unrivaled power in wearing the craziest outfit you can possibly think of, and walking down the street like it’s just another Tuesday. Because it is! Do what makes you happy, do what helps you have fun, and actively make the decision of how you want to carry yourself. Because at the end of the day, what other people think of me is none of my damn business.
And let me clarify: this applies to all aspects of life. When it comes to jobs, dating, making friends, figuring out who we are—literally anything you want in this life. If you decide you’re confident and that you deserve it (because you do!), you simply are.
This reminds me of the freshman orientation at my university. One of the exercises they first had the class of several thousand young adults do was to rip up our Cool Cards—to let go of our egos and the carefully constructed images of ourselves we wanted to bring into the next chapter of our lives. I, like so many of my peers I’m sure, thought this was extremely lame. We were simply too cool to rip up our Cool Cards. It felt stupid! Today, I see it differently. (The Cool Girl doesn’t exist, as we know. And if you didn’t, scroll down to the “CONSIDER” section.) But in the wise words of Maddy Perez: “Everyone feels stupid. Who cares?” And truer words have never been said!
Wear the platform sandals. Show those thighs. Throw that glitter on your face. Get up on stage and dance. Tell a joke at your local open mic night. This life is too short, baby! Make your own waves already!
Which brings me to my most important point. I’m going to ask you to read it a few times, because it appears to be pretty simplistic:
Once you decide you’re pretty, you just are.
I’m sorry, but who are you to tell me I’m not? And if anyone ever did… Ew! Get outta here! And as poet Carson Patrick Bowie put so astutely: “Let me be clear, my love is unconditional, but your presence in my life is not. The moment that you prove that your value of me does not measure up to my sense of self-worth, I'll have no problem unconditionally loving the memory of you and moving on.”
Anywho, enough from me. Hopefully this inspires you to shoot your shot, live your best life, and squeeze every last drop out of your youth.
I received this question from a reader: “I'm moving to a new city from California. Give me all the tips and tricks for jumping into a new city!” Let’s help them out! Give them all of your tips, tricks and stories here.
Want to ask me for advice? I’m no expert, but it could be fun. Ask away here!
In case you were wondering, I’ve been getting through winter with my Life is Good playlist, which you can find here. With that, here are a few picks to get you through the week:
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza - Set in 1970s San Fernando Valley, Alanna and Gary have an interesting relationship driven by entrepreneurship, co-dependence, a 10-year age gap, and bizarre sexual tension. The movie’s a little too long, but it’s star-studded, very cute, and beautifully shot and edited. Plus, you get all three Haim sisters! Enjoy.
Hulu’s Wild Crime - A woman mysteriously dies after falling off of a cliff in a national park. I’ll let you discover the rest for yourselves, but spoiler alert: her husband’s guilty.
Netflix’s The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window - If you too can’t stand Kristen Bell, maybe skip this one. It finds a balance between ironic, satirical, and actually quite gripping and mysterious. Definitely some great plot twists.
Giving you this excerpt again, because it’s the best ever and everyone needs to read it:
“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a Cool Girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping; who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
“Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time, Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: ‘I like strong women.’ If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because ‘I like strong women’ is code for ‘I hate strong women.’)” - Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl
Affirmation of the week: I deserve the best and I only accept the best.
Question of the week: What have you always been scared to do, but know your fear around it is irrational?
Thank you all for reading this week’s newsletter! I’m always looking to improve my work, so leave a comment, send me a message, or fill out this form to tell me what you want to read about in upcoming Dear Twenty-Somethings! Also, if you know anyone who might be a good interviewee for the newsletter, let me know in the form. I’m all ears. Thank you always!
If you liked what you read, send this newsletter to a friend! Heck, send it to 10 friends! Sending love and light to you, wherever you are. 🌟
Cheers & happy Wednesday! Stay well and I’ll talk to you next week.
xoxoxo, Quinnie <3