Source: Flickr CC
Source: Flickr CC

My mother is very wise – she’ll tell you herself that she’s “always right” – but she recently shared a nugget of wisdom with me that made her seem like a chauvinistic Confucius. “Being a girl is good,” she informed me, “But being a pretty girl is GREAT.”

Ahhh grasshoppahhh.

Her comment was in response to a joke I had made about how I never have to buy my own drinks when I go out because there’s always a generous gentleman willing to foot the bill. But, it got me thinking about how easy life is as a relatively attractive female. A smile, a head tilt, a flutter of the eyelashes – these actions go a long way towards getting me what I want – even if it’s something small like the matinee movie ticket price when it’s 10 minutes past the cutoff.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using your strengths to your advantage. It makes life more convenient.

But when a work trip took me to Vegas for a week, I experienced a rude awakening. Apparently, what’s considered attractive in cities like DC and Chicago just doesn’t cut it in Sin City.

Walking through the casinos in my sensible work outfits, I felt invisible.

Checking in, it was hard to get the bellhop’s attention. Before dinner, I struggled to order a water from the bar. My morning run on the strip garnered zero catcalls. It was as if, because I wasn’t prancing around in stilettos and glittery pasties, I no longer had anything to offer on the feminine front.

Clearly, Vegas has an entirely different definition of “pretty” and I am surely not it.

So as terrible as it is, I’m looking forward to being home and being slightly objectified, because it means I get my coffee sooner from the barista at Starbucks, and restaurants let me use their bathrooms even when they’re “reserved for customers only”, and someone is always close by when I’m out with friends, offering to buy me a drink.

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