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7 Things I Envy About Other Women

It’s the end of a long work-day and I’m caught in the thick of the rotisserie chicken panic at Whole Foods, where moms like me scramble for dinner redemption.

Scorching hot chicken in one hand, groceries, purse and gym bag in the other, I hop on the escalator to escape, when suddenly I find myself mesmerized by the skinny sequined belt on the woman in front of me.

Wrapped twice around her waist, it held together an otherwise ordinary bulky, cable-knit beige sweater.  I thought to myself, “man, I could never get away with that” and allowed myself to fantasize just for one minute what it must be like to nonchalantly throw a shimmery belt over anything in your closet.

This wasn’t the first time my mind has drifted aimlessly into the covet zone, but I don’t like thinking of myself as an envious person.   Thru the years I’ve consciously used lust to either change my circumstances or accept them.  But it’s when I catch tiny glimpses of things I realize I will never have, that I take a deep sigh and longingly wish, even if just for a minute or two, about what life is like on the other side.

What can I say, the grass is always greener and I have desires, I am weak.  So if you’re having a bad day and find yourself with one of these qualities here, just know that if you cross my path, I’m wanting a little of that magic you’ve got.

1. A well defined jawline.  After my Ultherapy treatment back in the spring (waiting patiently as my results unfold), sizing up other women’s jawlines has become somewhat of a hobby, especially because it’s a tricky area to treat.  And for the most part my friends, your fate in this department rests on your genetics.  I can tell who will get the chin dumpling, who will get jowls, who might get the waddle.  So when I see women with that perfect 45 degree angle between their neck and jawline, I want to go up to them, shake them by the shoulders and say “do you know how damn lucky you are”.  They don’t, the probably don’t.

Credit: WireImage

Credit: WireImage

2. Tiny waists that showcase the perfect belt.  Even over bulky things (above).  I’m too short-waisted for this to look good and for the love of God, can’t even think about bulky sweaters with or without the belt.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t try;  I have about twenty of them hanging in my closet – neon, animal print, sequined, gold — unused but not unloved.  Thankfully, this trend, which peaked in 2010, is waning, but it would be nice knowing I could get away with this if I wanted to.

Style/Photo Credit:

Style/Photo Credit:

3. Legs that can wear shoe booties and ankle straps. Oscar de le Renta is a cruel monster for designing these shoes that I don’t understand yet desperately want but will never be able to wear.  While my legs usually work in my favor, I’ve learned after years of being 5’2’ that there just isn’t enough body real-estate to carry this off without looking like a well hoofed pony.  I will forever be serving a life sentence of leg lengthening stilettos in nude, black, metallic or leopard.

4. A great back.   There is nothing sexier than restraint coupled with the element of surprise and this case that means revealing a swath of skin that no one sees coming. On a woman with a great back, people are left glancing, staring; on me they’re left with “I think you forgot to zip your dress up”.

It’s one of the most elegantly sensual looks a woman can sport, but not everyone should.  Now my back is just fine, it doesn’t hurt, it holds me up, but it’s just kind of there.  A woman with a great back has length, shape, muscle tone and great skin.   It’s actually a tough look to pull off well, but one of the most under-estimated assets a woman can have.

I actually think back is the new butt.

Photo Credit: Mario Testino, British Vogue 2011

5. Naked arms.   If I had great arms, my closet would be crammed with sheath dresses in every color.  I would make full arm gestures in meetings.  Every day would be an arm party.   A great arm isn’t too skinny (looking at you Angie) it’s not too muscular (hey Madge), it’s shapely and supple like Michelle’s or Halle Berry’s.  Mine offset narrow shoulders and tend to be a fat magnet, so if I’m 5 pounds over my fighting weight or haven’t planked in a month they resemble little Jimmy Dean sausages.

The test of a really great arm?  Being able to hold your arms high and wave without having your upper arms do the same.

I dream.  Or maybe I should just plank.

Photo Credit: AP


6. Women who can wear creamy beige neutrals.   Color is my prison.  While I am a huge advocate of color and think it’s one of the easiest ways to look prettier, for me it’s my only choice, especially as I’ve gotten older.   Largely it’s my skin tone.  I’ve got that Irishy, freckled thing going on with yellowy undertones that drown in creams, beiges and just about any neutral.  And neutrals look so sumptuous, and rich.   Don’t even get me started on the glories of a white crisp shirt worn with nothing at all.


None of it can be mine in this lifetime, I will forever be dressed like a rainbow.


7. Women who look great in wear stripes.  There is no sign of this trend going away, and why should there be?  Stripes are awesome and classic.  But no matter how many interpretations of the Breton shirt I’ve tried, they just look terrible on me (see arms above).  I wrote about my stripe lust over the summer after yet another failed attempt to wear stripes.  But for you girls who look wonderful in stripes; enjoy them, love while I live my striped fantasy life thru you.

Ironically, when telling my mother-in-law (she who all things South American beauty savvy) about this post, she said,

“You know what I envy?  People who really don’t care about what they look like”. 

Well said MIL, well said.

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  1. As usual, your posts always leave me smiling, even laughing out loud, which is a perfect ploy to distract us all from our deficiencies :-) Nicely played!

    • Thank you and glad you liked it. From now I’m going to champion that we don’t have deficiencies, only things other women envy.

  2. Sign me up for #2, please. My legs (and feet) just aren’t designed to pull off shoe booties (especially the open-toed kind). Damn you, pretty legs n’ feet people….

    • I know right? In my next life I hope I come back with long pins because damn you Oscar del la Renta and Victoria Beckham, I want to wear these? Even though I don’t understand them….

      • That settles it. We are most definitely sisters from another mister. I tell anyone who will listen that I should have been born with longer stems…or else why would God have made a plethora of amazing fashion pieces designed for long-legged folks? (Insert dramatic sobbing here ;)

        • I hear you sister, the world can be a cruel place:)

  3. OMG – just adore that sparkly, spangly belt and would love to have a waist to attach it to buy hey, that girl probably wanted some decent childbearing hips!

    • That is true, very true. I have those childbearing hips for sure, and the child to prove it.

    • WIDE hips are one thing, decent CHILDBEARING hips come in all sizes. Just ask
      hipless Gisele Bundchen and all of the other supermodels with multiple healthy babies in tow.

  4. “I actually think back is the new butt.” Awesome. Thanks for putting a smile on my face first thing in the morning!

  5. Love it. But I think I just put on these things on without a thought as to whether I can pull them off. I live in rural Tennessee, and no one here seems bothered by back fat. That may be my #1 reason for loving it here now.

  6. “I actually think back is the new butt.” Love it. This is my first visit & I love your spunk and style!

  7. Thanks Rian. I’ve been enjoying “Truth and Cake” for quite some time so I’m flattered you’re doing the same.


  8. I will never know what is like to show cleavage. “Have you ever thought of having your boobs done?” my mother ventures now and then but I am too much of a wuss to even contemplate surgery. But I do have some envy for women with just about the right size and perkiness peeking from plunging necklines. About shoe booties and ankle straps: I have more real estate than you in the legs dept but, trust me, unless your legs are stick thin in a runway model way, they just don’t work. Those are cruelly designed for the other 1%, the Carla Bruni type

    • You know I originally had small breasts on my list. I’ve always been chesty girl and would trade my cleavage for wearing a tank top braless any day. I also happen to think that small breasts are younger looking. From someone who’s had big boobs her entire life they are waayyyy over rated.


      • Having been well-blessed in the chest department since age 10 and then having a reduction at 35 I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I have to say i LOVE going braless and wearing little halter tops now….at 45!

        • My dream! I would love to skip the bra

      • You are more courageous than I! I have always been a perky 34C, but even though I can still pass the pencil test I would feel uncomfortable without a bra. I don’t like the idea of my nipples on display. For those with the nerve, though, go for it!

        • Hmmmm. Then again, there are those petal thingies. Maybe I’ll try it. Sounds liberating!

  9. I am 6′ and I envy petite girls who find the nicest shoes at a cheap price because they’re size 3 or 4 and no one else get those. And because they hang out -literally- of the waist of their tall tall boyfriends – we are the tall ones, we need them!

    • Yes, but there has yet to be a 5’2′ supermodel:)

  10. Yes to this! I really envy women who can wear stripes and button downs, or sweaters over button downs. My chest just does NOT allow for it!

    • Mine either. But that’s OK, we can certainly rock V necks

  11. I’m pretty sure you are my long lost sister:)

    • Haha, who knows:)

  12. I feel sad that you are so ashamed of so many parts of yourself that you outlaw so many trends for yourself. You literally are ashamed of everything from your chin to your ankles. You say “From now I’m going to champion that we don’t have deficiencies, only things other women envy.”, but all you’ve done is demean yourself and your (most likely imagined) shortcomings. It makes me sad that strong powerful women with such a great forum to empower other women has so little self esteem. I’m sorry you feel this way, I hope you can learn to accept yourself for who you are and rock that backless dress, a belted sweater, bootie shoes, free arms and stripes (though probably not all together because THAT might look a little off) because most likely you’ll look far more beautiful than you think, and who knows? Maybe some one will look at YOU in the elevator and think “Hey, what a cool look! I have a ton of belts in my closet, I wonder what they might look like if I tried them with a sweater?”

  13. Women like you need to stfu, you have no right to comment on other womens looks, unless you’re a dyke. You have no perspective of your own on women, other then what you got from fashion magazines and straight men. So stop policing other womens self expression you fucking straight bitch.

  14. Troll in the house! Dontcha just LOVE ‘em?

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