I woke up today with a certain built-up angst because of a picture my dad sent me earlier this week. It was an image of a young girl, who, due to an interior disease, has a loss of pigmentation throughout her exterior.
Her skin is saturated brownish-white and her eyes are contrasting with both colors of brown and green. She is divinely majestic.
I could easily just expose her picture, but I’d rather you imagine her.
Imagine her being your daughter. Imagine her being your sister.
Imagine her being you.
Now imagine your noteworthy features being ridiculed and bashed. Imagine feeling like you’re ready to stream tears every time someone gives you a precarious look because you can’t possibly blend in — where no amount of makeup can fully conceal what you look like to them. You unwillingly stand out because you are not the norm.
Imagine feeling the urge to constantly compare yourself to others, and then further execrate yourself for not matching up because you diverge from all societal expectations of what we consider ‘beautiful,’ or more commonly now ‘sexy.’
And when you aren’t being scorned, you are being pitied. You are put on some forsaken pedestal because they feel you’ve somehow earned it solely by the virtue of your peculiar looks.
Instead of accepting our differences, we marginalize them. Instead of embracing all of our imperfections, we mask them. We are so caught up within ideals that are frivolously out of this world, that we belittle all purpose — our individual purposes as a species.
We demean our value as people.
I’m not about to get on a some self-righteous rampage because I’ve only now started to throughly develop an awareness at how much foolish emphasis we put on our exteriors amongst this generation and now sadly, more prominently among the upcoming one.
I do strongly believe we must love ourselves and that it is ultimately in our own will to fully commit to a self-love, whether interior or exterior.
However, it seems as though our self-love is repressed when we are rejected by societal ideologies. Yet, loving ourselves will never come from how much validation we get from others who don’t know or even come close to understanding you in the way you do and who more often than not, put an overemphasis on how pretty, handsome, or unappealing you look on whatever given day.
Truly loving oneself begins with you and ends with only you. It comes from the deepest, most precious parts about yourself; even the not-so-nice ones.
Now let’s imagine a world where everything you’ve learned over time to consider is beautiful becomes non-existent. What if beauty, real authentic beauty, had nothing to do with how ‘perfectly’ put together one is, or how many squats we must dedicate in order to amplify our given body features?
What if we lived in a world where beauty wasn’t solely a staple of appearance? It was merely an attribute that enhanced all the other rad parts about ourselves.
I know I’m only kidding myself to think that this kind of world will exist in its entirety, but we can at least begin to be attentive and suggestive about all the implications of beauty that we witness.
If being beautiful nowadays is based solely on exterior credentials, then you know what? Fuck being beautiful. I want no part in it.
I am not beautiful, I am me. And you, are you — distinctive and damn proud of it. Please know that this is enough. In fact, it’s more than just enough. It’s more than most of us are.
You are not just some doppelgänger, and should never wish to be.
Let’s teach our kids and peers the importance of what self-value actually is.
So when others approach him/her and calls them cute or pretty, they can respond, “I’m smart, too.”
And when they get older and begin to be burdened with the realities of life, they don’t choose who to date or marry sparingly. They are dealt with someone where they don’t just tolerate each other’s quirks, but actually kind of like them.
Let’s learn to love in its entirety.