We were taught to be independent, strong, self-sufficient, poised and in-charge. We were told by our mothers, themselves the daughters of bra-burning times, to suck up our fears, manage our emotions, never let the bastards see us cry and never ask for help as long as we can help ourselves. Lessons were passed on that high-maintenance is for bimbos and dignity and class cannot co-exist with it. Being demanding is as bad as promiscuity in the estimation of our lady-teachers. We are to serve with strength and selflessness without thought to our needs and in return we will be respected and loved. We are a wellspring of power, woman hear us roar, and we can supply the whole world with what it needs. The ironies that were passed down from grandmothers, aunties, teachers, family friends and mothers abound.
We associate being honest about our needs with images of weak, victimized, or morally bankrupt women. And so, to not be seen as a doormat, a loose woman or a gold digger we put on a persona of needlessness that then results in us becoming more… NEEDY. Think about it. If we deprive ourselves of food telling ourselves that we don’t need it don’t we become more and more… hungry?
But there comes a time when a Bulletproof Babe says “So what if I have needs? Of course I do! I’m human!” We come around to the question of how are we to expect ourselves to provide selflessly for the needs of others when our needs are not met? Even in the airplane instructions before take off we are instructed to put on our own mask first before helping the person next to us, child or no child.
I am learning through my own experience as a woman that low maintenance women, like strong buildings and towers, without support and care suffer in structure, appearance and strength from neglect. Without support and TLC they crumble, crack under pressure and become inhabited by bitterness. They lose their value – how they value themselves diminishes and is then projected out to what value others see. Others react to what they see, convincing her further of the lie that started her shrinking view of herself in the first place.
But it starts with her. What does a guy have to offer a girl who refuses to acknowledge she has needs and flaws and vulnerability and needs someone to lean on once in a while? How many times do we Bulletproof Babes find ourselves lonely and disappointed because a friend wasn’t able to read our minds and be there for us because we didn’t know how to tell them how to support us and that we needed support in the first place? How many times have we let a slight pass and pass again and pass again until we blow, totally surprising all around us? Why does it have to fall apart and be blatantly obvious and beyond the point of deniability for us to accept a helping hand?
We don’t have to be bulletproof to be beautiful, rigid to be respected, nor do we have to be low-maintenance in order to capture the attention of someone who could love us. These are the ways we trick ourselves into being someone who attracts human leeches, persons who seek to take without giving, because that is what we put ourselves forward as willing to accept. Think about it… “Oh she doesn’t need this from me. She just wants someone to give and give and give to. She doesn’t expect anything back, bless her little cotton socks. Goody! Free ride! Why would I EVER leave?” Except, of course, we don’t want that type around either, do we?
To the beautiful Bulletproof Babes out there, let us support eachother and drop the act. Being strong doesn’t mean having no needs. You deserve to have your needs met, not ignored. But the first step to making that happen is to not ignore them yourself.