One would hope that the susceptibility to peer pressure dies off somewhere around 11th grade, and maybe it does for those a little more evolved than myself. But every once in a while, I’m so shaken by a stray comment or even a critical glance in my direction that I fall into this deep pit of self-doubt. Then I get it into my head that the only way to feel better is to buy shit. I mean, it’s no big secret that kabillion-dollar industries exist solely to prey on a woman’s sense that she is not quite good enough, but as much as I’d like to think that I’m too smart to buy into it, I have an embarrassing history of retail therapy.
Like the time a coworker made fun of my non-name-brand jeans and I ran out to buy a shockingly expensive replacement pair. I wore these stupid pants that cost half my rent, like, twice and then returned them because I felt like a total poser. Or when I overheard someone remark that I was so pale that I resembled a corpse. Cue the smelly, blotchy, 60-dollar, Lohan-esque spray-tan. Oh, and then there was the time I interviewed a D-list actor who told me my handbag looked cheap. On my way to drop obscene amounts of money at the Coach store, something reminded me not to buy into the bullshit: india.arie’s “Video” song came on the radio.
One line — “My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes” — stopped me dead in my tracks. I kept listening: “My mama said a lady ain’t what she wears but what she knows…. Every freckle on my face is where it’s supposed to be/ My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes — I’m lovin’ what I see.”
I mean, we all know we’re supposed to feel that way, but india.arie has crafted the perfect little weapon to fight the occasional uprising of self-doubt. I bust out “Video” whenever I forget that more stuff is not going to make me happier, and that what works for other girls is not necessarily right for me.
DJ: Jennifer White
Station: Sophie 103.7 FM.
Shift: Weekdays, 5:00–10:00 a.m.