THIS IS WHY HASSLE ON THE STREET UPSETS ME. I want to be seen, and recognised, for what i really am, and the rest of the bollocks just highlights the ways in which i’m not.
from Courtney E Martin, Perfect Girls & Starving Daughters:
We become unsure of our own sight so early on, convinced that the only accurate view of ourselves is outside ourselves. We search for signs that we resemble the mold…we feel, in these brief, fruitless encouters, like we are being seen, when really we’re just being noticed. The difference is significant.
Being noticed is ordinary, fleeting and impersonal. Being seen is extraordinary, lasting and intimate. Being noticed is common and only skin-deep. Being seen is rare and profound. It is what happens when you stay up all night talking in a stranger’s car because the conversatin is so good you forget to reach for the door handle. Suddely it is light and your stomach is growling and your future feels as if it is laid out in front of you like a highway in the desert…Being seen is when your gitrlfriend asks ‘Why do you seem so sad?’ before you realise that you are, in fact, sad. Being seen is rarely about physical beauty [although i think for me it is sometimes about seeing the beauty in the physical]. Being seen is never about being buff or thin.
Being noticed, by contrast, is easy. It is par for the course for most women, especially young, to be noticed, a deeply ingrained ritual of our culture. Men watch. Women are watched. In our reality-tv culture ordinary girls, as well as models and actresses, become accustomed to being objectified….It seems we are all after the same goal, getting women naked and on display…
I’ve been seen, and now i have that middle paragraph tattooed on my soul.
Ah well. C’est la vie. Maybe, one day, being glimpsed sometimes, fleetingly, will be enough?