Unless you live in a sorority or a glossy magazine you have no visibility into what the real world for perpetually put-together women looks like. Which is why you can scoff at those Insta bed selfies of girls with perfect hair and luminous skin that are tagged with #wokeuplikethis and #blessed Here I am, 9 hours into my long-haul, overnight flight from North America to Europe, looking like I'm ready... to commit a heinous crime. Sleep hasn't exactly been an ally on board and that's the kindest thing I can say about it. Add to it the incessant kicks (I know I'm supposed to love these) from a tall kid who optimized the surface area of all three sequential seats and turned it into a comfortable bed and you have a woman who's sleepless and in pain aka routine mommy life. The man of the house meanwhile slept like a baby and can potentially easily do justice to a #wokeuplikethis and #blessed bed selfie but let's not go there. We're an hour away from landing. So although it's some ungodly hour in SF it's breakfast time in air as is conveyed to us subtly with the invasive smell of scrambled eggs and skillet potatoes being warmed up. Co-passengers wake up, rubbing their eyes, yawning, opening the overhead compartments. I'm grateful for some activity around. Little mercies. It's the first time I take notice of the fact that there are more women (mostly blonde, mostly light eyes, mostly with a tan, mostly wearing tank tops and printed pants) than men on my flight. I take a closer, incredulous look with my bloodshot eyes. There's mascara that has stood the test of a transAtlantic flight time. Then there's ironed, subservient tresses (yes, tresses, because the usage of hair here seems trite and insufficient) that is ready to face the lens in record time. Photoshop won't be necessary, no ma'am. And there's an appalling lack of oily patches on the nose or forehead. I'm not at the age where superfluous aspects of my tribe would make me insecure. I've safely left that phase two decades in the past. But out of sheer curiosity I continue to assess and am soon on my way to eating humble pie, or humble jabelis, if you will. The flight has not only robbed me off my precious slumber, it has also robbed me off my prerogative to judge Insta pics that make outrageous claims. Because now I know, more than ever before, that there are indeed many, many women who do #wakeuplikethese. Guess they are really #blessed. Meanwhile I'm left with bigger fish to fry, which essentially means looking an immigration officer in the eye and convincing him I'm not about to commit a heinous crime on his turf regardless of what my face may suggest. It's a cruel world out there.