Friday, October 24, 2008

Age 16

If we are not able to look like our peers, we feel neglected. If we look too different from our peers, we become outcasts. It seems to be a lose-lose situation. Reading the other posts, at times I was like “What! They’re crazy!” But when I question if I would have said the same thing or done the same thing, I was silenced. A quote that stuck with me that I read in a post was, “I would like to be able to say I wish I were more comfortable in my own skin…but the truth is, I don’t want to be comfortable in MY skin.” At first I thought that was outrageous, but then I knew I felt the same way. I always put this exterior shield of protection where I try to make all my girlfriends (and even guy friends) feel that I am 100% happy with how I look. But truthfully, that’s not possible. Yeah, no one’s perfect, but in today’s society that’s not acceptable. Sometimes I look at my sister and her friends and see how GORGEOUS they are, yet they always seem to find “those flaws.”

So reading another post - “I imagine that some women would think my body was perfect and others would think I was too big” - I was able to come to the question, “What is beauty? What is beautiful? Is it not in the eyes of the beholder?” Yet knowing all this, you can’t help to feel that judgment against yourself. I know sometimes when I am with a group of people who look prettier than me, I begin to imagine what they are thinking of me - “Ewww…look at her thighs…can she weigh anymore?…Only good thing she has are those eyes, but other than that she’s done…” - but then I just snap back to the conversation and try to make a joke and act like everything is alright. Because of my rough exterior behavior, guys see me as one of them. I am that chick who is more a guy then a girl, the one who says it like it is so “she’s not playin’ no games and she ain’t tryin’ to hook up with any guy.” And that hurts. Once in a while I want to be looked upon as one of “those girls,” the ones guys look at and go “wow.” But then again, I just don’t want to be another girl to be looked upon as “I’d tap that.” I want to be that girl that catches your attention because she uses the mind that god has gifted her with - and yes, maybe because she is beautiful, inside and out.

Another subject I think no one seemed to touch upon was color. Traditionally, where I come from, girls that have lighter skin color are consider prettier….and me being BROWNER than anything you’ve seen, my family seemed to always bring that topic up. Luckily to me, I always found my skin color pretty…it was the one thing I would never ever change because it made me feel different and unique. I know I can’t say the same for my cousins. In a country where your skin color is such a big deal, I have seen them literally bleach there faces to try to make themselves look as white as a “pearl” - it was like watching Michael Jackson get his treatment right in front of you! All jokes aside, I feel that it’s sad that as women (and even sometimes as men) we go to SUCH extremes to become that “beauty” - to become accepted into that stereotypical beauty.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Age 22

Today a stranger told me I was beautiful. My first thought was he was lying – this had to be a cruel, hurtful joke. Is it possible for someone to really think I am beautiful?

I hope a day comes when I don’t shy away from compliments. I hope a day comes when I believe what others see.

Age 17

Realistically I know I am not unattractive, but when I look in the mirror I am so sad by what I see. I want to be happy and confident in my skin, but all I see are flaws.

Stringy hair.

A constellation of freckles.

A big nose and crooked smile.

A frame that lacks tone.

A small chest.

I’ve learned to use humor as a way to appear happy and comfortable with who I am. But I’m sad. And scared. Scared that I’ll never walk with my head up and mean it. I want to be proud. I know I have so much to offer…I just need to find the inner strength to show the world. I need to be OK with me. I hope that day comes…soon.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Age 15

I was really excited to start the school year. Every summer I go away and don’t see all my friends, so school is where we reconnect and share stories.

This year is different.

While I was away, things changed. My friends are taller. My friends have developed breasts. Some of my friends even got their period for the first time. None of those things happened to me. I am the same girl in the same child-like body jealous of all these changes I don’t get to experience with my friends.

So much has changed.

I have not.

This year is different.