Redefining The Single Woman
Instead of “single & fabulous,” the life of a single woman in her late 20’s and beyond is all too often labeled “single & desperate.” Instead of viewed as a choice, “single” seems to denote a lack of options. Everyone seems to want to meddle in the life of the woman who refuses to settle; setting her up on endless dates with guys she has no interest in, calling her “desperate” or “lonely” or “too picky,” or asking: “What’s wrong with her?” I would like to propose that the question we should be asking is: “What’s right with her?” The way I see it, the solitude and bravery and uncertain path of the modern-day single woman is something to be applauded as bold and courageous and unique and not lauded as sad or pathetic or weak. As single women, and especially for those of us in our late 20’s to mid-30’s, we have racked up countless hours celebrating the choices of our married counterparts – helping them shop for wedding dresses, stepping into an endless stream of really bad bridesmaid’s dresses, and elbowing other women out of the way more times than we care to admit to try and catch that elusive bouquet; praying that maybe, just maybe, if we can reach out far enough, we might not just catch the bouquet, but also our own dreams of wearing that white dress to forever. Is it too much to ask, then, to expect society to celebrate US and our choices? To throw a festival of fabulousness in OUR honor, to cheer us single woman on for being courageous enough to search for ourselves instead of endlessly searching for a mate?
Times…they are most certainly a-changing, and with it, a new generation of “The Single Woman” is being raised up to march to the beat of her very own drummer…even if it is only in her underwear around her very own apartment, grooving to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” Just last week, a single diva in Taiwan, Chen Wei-yih, married herself in a ceremony designed to inspire other single women to love themselves and view their solo journey as significant, with or without the company of a significant other. “It’s not that I’m anti-marriage,” Wei-yah noted. “I just hope that I can express a different idea within the bounds of a tradition.” And though I’m sure Chen got some VERY strange looks along the way, I tip my hat to her for being so bold and feisty and audacious. She publicly and fearlessly made a decision to celebrate her life, as it is, saying “I AM” to herself rather than waiting to say “I DO” to someone else.
Love is a beautiful and wonderful and even sacred thing…but until it arrives, shouldn’t we give ourselves permission to THRIVE? The thing that the movies and greeting cards and your great-aunt Ida who shoots sympathetic looks your way and slips copies of “The Old Maid’s Survival Guide” to you at family gatherings fail to portray is an accurate picture of the life of The Single Woman. I don’t know about you, but I LIKE being able to spend money on myself without asking anyone’s permission. I LIKE to take myself out on a weekly date to the bookstore or the movies and spend time in my own company. I LIKE staying in my pajamas all day long and watching “Friends” reruns while eating a box of Oreos and not feeling guilty about it. I LIKE not having to shave my legs if I don’t want to and taking pole-dance aerobics on a whim and blasting Britney Spears tunes while singing into the broom handle while I’m cleaning my house. I LIKE the freedom that comes with belonging to ME and only me, to have and to holdi sickness and in health, forsaking all others til death do us part. And while I’d love to eventually have someone join me on my journey, I refuse to stay grounded if they don’t. So I want to encourage you, my beautiful single ladies, to flip the script on your inner Single Woman and start to see yourselves for the truly brave, empowered, sassy women that you are. In the Single Woman Dictionary, RIP OUT the pages “Needy” & “Desperate,” because YOU ARE NEITHER. After all, fabulous, fearless females through the ages have helped redefine The Single Woman:
“I have too many fantasies to be a housewife…”~Marilyn Monroe
“I’m single because I was born that way.”~Mae West
“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free till they find someone just as wild to run with.” ~Sex in the City
“I don’t need a man to rectify my existence. The most profound relationship we’ll ever have is the one with ourselves.”~Shirley MacLaine
“Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.”~Sarah Jessica Parker
Isn’t it time for US to weigh in, too?