Betty Boop’s “Pizzazz” Fizzles Mine
by Holly Varni
April 18, 2013

Twice a week, I take one of my sons to a speech therapy appointment where we check in with the same front desk receptionist every time. After going so often, I have had the opportunity to study the person sitting behind the check-in desk and have gotten to know little snippets about her life. She and I have established a friendship based on familiarity rather than similarity but nevertheless, it’s a relationship.

My visits are not like other people who come periodically. I am consistent; therefore, we have happily settled into a pattern of ease. She takes my credit card, which I’m pretty sure she’s memorized by this point, but she still peers at it professionally as she types away at the computer. While she inputs the information for insurance, I comment on her outfit and jewelry of the day. That is always our topic of conversation, because the contrast between our two lives fascinates me.

We’re both women and certainly share commonalities, but our divergence is as if she is the North Pole, and I’m the South Pole with 180 degrees between us. She exudes femininity. She is the embodiment of a goddess. I am a mother of three boys. I think that says it all, and no further illustrated distinctions of me are necessary.

Allow me to paint you a mental picture of her… She’s very petite but has the body and curves that could rival Betty Boop. Her black hair is not curly but long streams of molasses.  She swears that the four and five inch heels that she wears everyday are very comfortable. Every skirt hugs her body perfectly, and the top, which is usually a cami with a light sweater, allows her cleavage to blossom like mushrooms under which the entire population of Smurfs could hide.

I’m not saying she does this intentionally or inappropriately, because when one is packing that much into such a small container, I’m sure it’s hard to keep those gifts contained. If I were to somehow cosmically have her chest, it would give my husband a reaffirmation of God.

Moving on to my point, she’s what many would call a “Bling” girl. She shimmers and shines while twinkling and jingling. She claims that the copious amount of jewelry she owns and the reason why she can change it up every day is because it’s all fake except for a few cherished pieces that she wears on her fingers. She describes her drawers and chests heaped with jewelry, spilling over like something from Pirates of the Caribbean. Each one of her outfits has a matching set of earrings and necklace. This girl is put together!

The flip side of this scenario is me…. I normally don yoga pants and a light sweatshirt.  I tell her that I do in fact have earrings at home, but when she studies my naked earlobes week after week, I don’t think she believes me.

So one day, I touched up my make-up which I never do after its applied in the morning, and put on jeans and cute top with dangling long earrings. I felt confident and sassy as I strode into the office. I didn’t have the Betty Boop wiggle, but I gave a smug smile as I leaned over the desk. “Do you notice something about me?” I asked, throwing modesty aside.

“You’re wearing earrings!” she smiled. I was elated she noticed until I saw her eyes roam and glance over my bare neck and wrists.  Ugh. I had forgotten the rest of the bling. I hadn’t adorned myself fully. Two-thirds of my body was plain.

I left with a very clear understanding and acceptance that I could never be Betty Boop. Even if I try, I only come up short as a pathetically poor imitation. I don’t have long streams of hair, extreme curves, or the ability to do errands all day in my Mommy-Minivan wearing five inch heels.

However, being the South Pole version of a woman isn’t bad. My running shoes get me where I need to go quickly, my short hair is functional which my husband says he thinks is cute, and as for my yoga pants, I won’t be giving them up any time soon. In this season of my life, I have to serve and take time for others more than myself. Beauty is going to be found in my kids. They are my bling. They are what I spend the most time on.

I’m glad that there are Betty Boop’s out there. They remind me that sometimes it takes very little to feel attractive, and they encourage me to take time in doing things that make me feel good. My Betty Boop inspired me to get a pedicure. Afterwards, as I stared down at my colorful toes, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt a little zing of pizazz. And for a yoga wearing mama, that goes a long way.

Whether your Betty Boop or not, full of bling or bare, feel beautiful today.