I am a melancholy Pisces, a water sign. I swim in the cool aquamarine waters half in and half out of a dream. If a sparkle catches my grey eyes, I will swim closer, but slowly, because that’s how I am.
The other women, with loud voices and big hair, with wide eyes and bright lipstick, are they spicy? I think yes. They enter the room without looking around for approval. Dressed in low cut tops, with sharp red lacquered nails, they are not here to please you.
My mother and grandmother, of traditional Asian mindset, would look upon these women and communicate with a downward turn of the lips, a narrowing of the eyes. As a sensitive child I was very aware of their every movements, and desperate for their approval.
Even in high school and as a young woman, I never wore anything “revealing”. I have never worn high heels. I got my first mani – pedi in my 30s, and it was rose colored fingernails (sensibly short of course) and turquoise toenails (I could hide those in my boots).
The spicy women, wearing whatever they chose to wear, wearing elaborate makeup, or none at all, asking no one’s permission, overthrowing the idea that being “pretty” or “quiet” was required of a proper woman, embodied the freedom I wanted. I never could completely let go of my ingrained judgment, of how a woman should look and act in order to be appropriate in the eyes of others.
Sadly, my mother and grandmother have passed away. Many values they taught me I am grateful for. But this disapproval, this “better than thou” attitude, is not valuable. Thankfully, as I grow older, I am beginning to worry less about what others think, and I am trying to overcome the harshest judge of all – myself.
Do I want to wear a tight outfit? Do I want to wash my face and head to work, or put on a full face of makeup? Do I want to get tattoos or color my hair blue? Am I worthy enough to exist? These questions I do not have to ask anyone’s opinion on, or anyone’s permission. I am a grown-ass woman now. Does this make me a spicy woman? I hope so.