I have come to the staggering, heart-stopping realization that I, Kara Nesvig, am a total Monet.
You know what I mean, right? You’ve seen “Clueless.” Need your memory jogged? Here, I’ll set the scene.
Tai: Do you think she’s pretty?
Cher: No, she’s a full-on Monet.
Tai: What’s a monet?
Cher: It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.
I woke up in the middle of the night, as I often do fretting over money or Cheetos or my duties for the next day, and all I could think of was this exchange in relation to myself. I am a full-on Monet, and to be honest, I’m OK with it.
I mean, aren’t we all full-on Monets when it comes down to it? The Instagram generation is kind to Monets; we can just filter away all the messiness and present a pretty, picture-perfect version of ourselves. I feel like such a weirdo keeping photos of Kylie Jenner in my phone for various inspirational reasons (nails, lips, boobs), and when it comes down to it I think Kylie’s probably a Monet girl too. Which she’s totally allowed to be! She’s a teenager. And I think anyone would feel pretty insecure with a sister like Kendall.
From a distance, I think I look pretty good. I wear a lot of black, because it always matches and makes me look thinner. I have nice clothes, good posture and decent hair. I keep my nails done and I usually wear red lipstick out in public. I do not go out without my eyebrows done.
But up close, things are definitely not so pretty. My leggings are fuzzy and pilled because I wear them 24/7. I desperately need a fill for my acrylic nails. I have dark acne scars that layers of makeup can’t hide and oh look! I’m wearing last night’s mascara. My fur coat, which looked so luxe and fancy and covetable from far away, has a huge hole under the arm. My shoes are definitely salt-stained thanks to my Minnesota existence. The only part of me that holds up up close is my boobs.
This should bother me, but you know what? It really doesn’t. I don’t mind the lack of complete perfection in my life. Do you remember that episode of “Sex and the City” where Carrie goes crazy comparing herself to Natasha, Big’s pretty, perfect new wife? And then realizes that while she’s not the woman who can wear white and not spill on it, she’s doing OK? That’s how I often feel.
My ex’s girlfriend is the kind of girl who always looks fresh and pretty, her hair always done in a way that mine can just never be. She looks pulled-together. She doesn’t have bad skin or frizzy hair or a weird case of hives that crop up whenever she gets too hot. Her sheer perfection, at least as I see it in our limited interactions, used to make me want to shrivel up and hide forever. She is everything I’m not, sure, but guess what? Everyone uses filters. Everyone’s got something to hide and something to enhance. Everyone knows their best angles. Everyone’s a full-on Monet just like me.