Me, a burka, and a man.

I’ve been thinking a blog in little tiny pieces for a bit and I’m going to try and type it out even though it’s not come to it’s maturity in my mind yet. So forgive me if this is disjointed, I usually don’t show my thought process so publicly. 

This is me, right now:

Hanging out in a messy hotel room

This is pretty much what I’ve looked like all week. Different clothes, less wind blown hair, but basically this is me. When I’ve been working out in the fitness room at the hotel I’ve been wearing my dark blue non-descript nikes, my black pants and a black tank top. My hair is always up in a pony tail.

I spent many years of my life wavering between a person trying not to stick out or have strangers look at me and desperately seeking notice. Usually the notice was for things I was doing rather than just for being. You know, jobs or wanting people to recognize what I was doing for them or a talent I was trying to develop. I think as women of a certain generation we try very hard in public not to be noticed. Don’t laugh too loud, don’t make a scene, don’t wear inappropriate clothing.

Well, two weeks ago I added an accessory to my look that is out of the ordinary and is noticeable. My glasses. If I’m outside, or just walk into a building they’re not noticeable because they appear to be sunglasses. At night, or in an indoor setting, they are noticeable and I’ve seen people do the, not quite a double take, but the look of curiousity comes over their face. I was very self-conscious of them at first but after the first week I realized how much they were helping me so I knew there was no going back. The second week made me more conscious of the benefits to having them other than the fabulously more stable world. First was the no eye makeup day. Didn’t care. It was only for a couple of hours and I had no intention of taking my glasses off. It felt positively freeing.

Then the other morning in the fitness room when I had to share my space I realized that the man who was working out with me would probably not recognize me in an hour at breakfast because I would be wearing regular clothes and have my hair down and look more put together. Then I remembered the glasses. What a fabulous disguise I have inadvertently started wearing. He of course would recognize me, if I was wearing the glasses. I bet if I showed up for breakfast without them he wouldn’t. It’s freeing in it’s own right to think that no one is really looking at ME. They are looking at my glasses.

Which of course led me to think of women in Burkas.


They are not individuals. They are not recognizable. They are women in burkas, just as I am a woman in inappropriately dark for indoors glasses. It gives them a certain freedom but at the same time will never allow them to shine as individuals to strangers because no one will ever look past the burka at the person underneath. Of course, why should we worry that no stranger will ever remember us as individuals but only as a certain noticeable piece of our picture. I don’t know. Like I said, a little disjointed, but it really makes me want to look past the obvious when I see people. I want to make sure that I see them as a whole. Not just the one memorable piece of them.


Comments on: "Me, a burka, and a man." (3)

  1. Sounds like you’ve bought into the old Clark Kent disguise fraud. I bet when people see you wearing glasses for the first time, they’ll ask if you cut your hair or have a different style. “There’s something different about you but I can’t put my finger on it!”

  2. Freedom from the stresses of individuality.

  3. this is an insightful post, Tracy.

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