Give Me the Self-Confidence of a Mediocre White Man

by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Leigh Anne Jasheway

I recently decided to try being overconfident in myself, like a mediocre white man going about his everyday business. Specifically, I’ve plunged headfirst into directing and producing a short movie without having any relevant experience. Sure, I’ve written multiple screenplays, but have I ever story-boarded? No. Do I know the difference between a close up and an extreme close up? I did not. Can I identify the shade of body paint that looks the most like menstrual blood? Well, as it turns out, I can.

In two weeks, I’ve conned (or convinced, you decide) a cinematographer to sign onto this project and 16 people to sign up for auditions, scouted locations, taught myself to paint because one of my characters is an artist and I need some original works, and secured a police motorcycle (do NOT ask how THAT happened). I have never in my life felt more full of myself. If I don’t watch out, I may just start to adjust my balls in public. Sure, first I’d have to get some, but that’s what the Internet is for.

But because I’m a sharing person, I don’t want to keep all this chutzpah to myself. I’ve made a quick list for other women who’d like to see what it’s like to assume you’re equal to (or better than) everyone simply because of what’s between your legs (which, by the way ladies, is awesome) and your pasty complexion. Try some of these tips and see if you don’t suddenly think more highly of yourself:

  1. Assume that when you walk into a room everyone wants to either be you or get with you. Let that show in the way you move across a floor. Widen your stance, throw your shoulders back, and plow right through anyone who gets in your way (do NOT apologize or offer to help up those who fall). All rooms are yours to dominate.
  2. Offer your ideas before they’re even half-baked because your brain is amazing and ideas don’t have to be fully thought out to blow people away. You don’t even have to use complete sentences or use legitimate words. Let them figure out what you mean. Making sense is for wusses.
  3. Assume that “No” isn’t a legitimate option for other people. If you ask for a raise, expect “Yes.” If you demand equality from your partner when it comes to household chores, expect “Yes.” If you ask a man you don’t know to smile while he rides a motorcycle through a ring of fire while wearing nothing but a police badge pinned to his hairy chest, expect “Yes Ma’am, whatever you say, Ma’am.”
  4. Always under-dress for the occasion. If it’s a formal event, show up in business casual, preferably with scuffed shoes and rumpled hair. If it’s business casual, wear unwashed sweats and a t-shirt. Never touch up your make-up. You don’t want to look like you’re trying hard to impress people. People are impressed with you already. Any more effort and you’ll ruin the illusion.
  5. Use sports analogies for everything, but make sure they’re sports you enjoy. When something goes exceptionally well, yell, “Damn, landed that triple axel like it was a single!” When this month’s sales are in the toilet (through no fault of yours because you are a winner), tell everyone, “We chalked up but didn’t land the dismount.” Then laugh after the word “dismount” because it has a sexual connotation. Always laugh at possible sexual connotations – that’s the true sign of being a middle school boy, uh, I mean, mediocre white man.
  6. Take up more room than you need. If you’re standing in line for coffee, stand in Warrior Pose to make sure strangers respect your boundaries. When sitting in public, put your purse, computer, grocery bags and that 12-pack of boxes of maxi-pads between your legs and womanspread. Revel in the extra space you deserve.
  7. Add two words to the end of everyone’s good ideas and claim those ideas for your own. If JoAnn from Human Resources says, “We should look into finding a new Employee Assistance Program for staff,” you can add “by Wednesday” and pouf, you can take credit for the whole damned proposal. (Caution: Avoid adding the words “in bed” more than twice in one week.)

As I move forward in this experiment in being as confident as a mediocre white man, I may report back from the field. Meanwhile, I have a movie to make, which I’m sure will win an Oscar. And when I do, I will under-dress for the red carpet.

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