It has been so long since I’ve been here on WordPress. With school and life and work and family my nerves have become so ridiculously frayed that I haven’t even found the time to write anymore. And I think that’s what really brought me this wake up call. That the one thing I do that I don’t need other people to see or hear or acknowledge, the one thing that’s so deeply engrained in my soul that I can’t remember a life before it, has been pushed to the back burner on the whims of people I don’t even like for things I don’t even want to do.
I saw a few videos on YouTube this morning. One was a Dove ad about how 6/10 girls don’t like their natural hair. The second was another Dove ad showing how girls quit activities they enjoy because they don’t like how they look or how other girls are better at it. The third was by Gillette Venus. It talked about the Power of &.
The Power of & describes a broader spectrum of women. We’re not just pretty faces, dresses, and high heels. We’re writers & poets & athletes & singers & scholars. We are multi-facited creatures with interests beyond the superficial, but advertisements only show women at either end of the spectrum. The women are either fancy, partying, and on the runway or hands-on, getting dirty, and being active.
Our society is not in a good place when our girls are shown that they have to choose between girly and hands-on, that there is no both or inbetween. When naturally curly hair is seen as a blemish rather than a blessing. When who we are becomes taboo because it’s out of the box.
I looked in the mirror after seeing these videos, sick of a culture I wasn’t even aware of. Because while other women were criticizing every pore and line of their faces, all I saw in my mirror was a pretty face. I saw wide eyes and high cheeks. I saw dusk skin darkened further by time spent in the sun and lips still stained by the lipstick I wore the other day. I saw a face I was proud to have, a juxtaposition of active and girly.
I’d just watched videos of women who are prettier than I am describing themselves in unattractive ways because there wasn’t a model that fit everything that they were.
Everyone can’t fit into the same box. Especially not society’s box. That box only has space for the thin, young, and wrinkle-free.
But rolls and wrinkles and scars and blemishes are what makes us beautiful. They carve stories into our bodies that our voices can’t express. They give extra meaning to everything we do. They say “I’ve done something with myself that I’ve never done before and here’s my souvineir.” They say “I have lived my life.” And that’s the most beautiful thing about them.
So if you don’t fit into a box you see, make a new one all for yourself. And tell somebody something positive about them. Say you like their smile or their shoes or their makeup or their hair because that thing you say may be all they need to hear to start seeing themselves in a new light.
Song of the Day: “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars