”You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself. ”
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is my favorite movie. I love how charming Audrey Hepburn is as Holly Golightly, how naive and chic she is, sitting dreamily on her window stoop playing the guitar, eyes looking into the distance. When she gets a “Dear Jane” letter from her rich fiancée, I love the hurt/power behind her line, “A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick.” I realize that in many ways I have lived my life modeling after her character. I did not date men for money or visit mobsters in prison, but I was so afraid to be vulnerable and rejected that I created a false me who could handle that sort of thing with style. I created a me that I wanted to be, which brings me to my exploration of this quote from the movie.
Paul Varjack tells Holly that she is basically afraid to be herself and to let herself go to true emotion. She is afraid of love. I used to be this way. Then I found a true and wonderful love that I abandoned myself to recklessly. It was amazing, but somehow I lost my “girl with the lipstick” in the process. Forgive me, but I have been listening to a lot of Drake recently and basically for lack of a better term, I lost my swag. (Now I am not saying that I had a lot of it to begin with), but I think it is important to retain it in your relationships. Lady Gaga says, “My music is not going to wake up tomorrow morning and tell me it does not love me anymore.” I’m just saying.
Love is the most beautiful thing and the most important thing, but I feel like while we do “belong to each other”, we belong to ourselves first. You can’t run from your problems, but you can choose which face you use to face them. Is intimacy defined by letting go of such artifices? Do you have to be utterly vulnerable?
Which face of a woman is her true, real face? The one that she wakes up with or the one that she paints and grooms? One face is her in her natural essence, but the other is her artistic expression of herself. The face that she decides to be. Oscar Wilde said,”Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, he will tell you the truth.” Sometimes we need a little breathing room from our “natural selves”. Is that the same as running? I want to stand up for BOTH faces.
As complex creatures, I think the full intimacy of a woman can only be experienced by accepting both faces as real. We need to be unapologetic and unashamed of our naked self, while at the same time owning our imagination and the freedom of artistic flair, the empowerment of expression.
When I write songs I feel like I take a naked part of myself or a natural situation that I am helpless over and then I paint it into art, this is how I find the whole picture. I tell the truth with my music, but I tell it the way I want to, with lipstick and mascara.
“If you’re going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.”
– Marilyn Monroe