I met Olivia in Barcelona.
Apart from the perfect face, her tall, slender silhouette, I was touched by the kind of energy she radiates.
She was everything we all want to be: Beautiful, Smart, Funny....but something else struck me in a way I couldn’t really identify at first.
She had no sort of complexes regarding her body and choices. Whether it’s about her physical qualities, the way she wants to dress, the make up she chose to wear or not this morning, the way men look or try to call out to her in a way that always triggers madness and murderous impulse in my own little mind. She didn’t even seem to notice them. What she says and how she says it, and even when she doesn’t say anything, how can she, how dare she, radiate like this?
So I started to wonder, what differentiates her from us mere mortals?
Then I remembered being a kid, when men told my mother I was pretty but had “a little temper”, when teachers told me I had to be nicer to boys if I ever wanted to have kids, I remembered being a teenager in boarding school, when my history teacher told me my greatest quality was my boyfriend, or sent me back to the dorm to get dressed properly when my tee-shirt was an inch above my jean, I remembered my first steps as a young woman, when my mom told me not to interact too much with our male guests so their wife wouldn’t be jealous, because I was “not a kid anymore”, or not to make a scandale when a creepy 80 years old tried to kiss the 25 yo me otherwise “everybody would hate me”, my ex telling me I wore lipstick to “be fucked in a corner by any guy”, my friends having a debate about girls who don’t wear bras, or those who wears shorts (spoiler, it was to be fucked in a corner), this ugly dude who told me the sexual tension between us was unbearable even though I thought he was freakin repulsive, and the other confused looks followed by insults when I said no, all the comments I had every time I wore a dress or make up to go out, the classical “are you on your periods” every time I was done with somebody’s bullshit or had a stomach hich, this other ex telling me stop my girl stuffs when he broke my heart…
I remembered where our limitations as women come from, how most of us will never be able to get rid of them, and will always be limited in their way to express themselves by external negative stimulus that tend to make us want to disappear from, or in the mass, or even worst, to pretend we endorse those values and start judging our peers.
I remembered every girl has to get through the partial or total loss of her self confidence, doubt even her own motives, before becoming a woman.
And that’s probably why Olivia’s greatest advantage as an adult woman, is being born Gregory.