What is beauty? What is the measure of beauty? What makes someone more beautiful than another?
There is no mathematical equation to calculate beauty, there is no scale that measures one beauty over another. So the question stands “What is beauty”? As a woman living in a world that uses words like “classic good looks” or “true beauty” I find myself asking a simple question “who decides what is beautiful and what is not?” We live in a world were image is everything, why else would we have the phrase “first impression”. Why is image so important? Who do people say you are when they meet you for the first time? and is that a true reflection of who you truly are or is it a mask we have become so accustomed to wearing that we hardly notice anymore. Are we our “first impressions”? Is there more to us than the social mask we wear? Does our “first impression” define our beauty?
The Urban Dictionary defines “True Beauty” as “Who you are in your heart”. It goes on to say that “how you look can, and will change. But the person you are can never change, unless you allow it to be changed. The person you are on the inside is the True Beauty that should be seen”.
I believe that beauty is in every person’s face. Many believe that when a woman wears make up, it makes her more beautiful. Do we wear make up to highlight our natural beauty or to mask our insecurities? Are we losing our natural beauty in the search of what society deems as “True Beauty”? Has the persuit of “True Beauty” lead to a high number of women going under the knife in search for the perfect nose, fuller lips and the ideal bone structure? We go as far as changing the shade of our skin tone because of enduring years of being bullied in our youth for being dark skinned. I grew up hating the dark shades of my skin and wishing that God had made me normal, I went as far as seeing a dermatologist about getting my skin bleached not caring about the side effects because I could not see the beauty of my dark skin tone. My self worth was define by my skin tone and I truly believed that no man could possibly love me. I wanted to be special to someone.
Growing up with a low self esteem, not knowing the true value of my self worth and the added pressure from society to fit the mold of ‘True Beauty”, left me believing the words so often spoken to my face, that I was ugly and not worthy of being loved. I grew up believing the words of strangers, the words of people who didn’t know me at all, words that had the power to destroy a girl trying find her identity and her place in the world, their words reduced me to being nothing more than an ugly dark skinned girl, to believing that I was unworthy of being loved by someone. Truth be told, that left me hating myself and asking “why can’t I be normal”?
If I am normal, then what sets me apart as being special. Does being normal mean that I am ordinary? Oscar Wilde said, “never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” This quote stayed with me as I got older and came to the realisation that the world does celebrate the differences in people.
“Be.you.tiful” I had this tattooed on my wrist as a reminder not only of the beauty that is unique to me, but also as a reflection of the journey that has lead me to the realisation that I am beautiful. My tattoo reminds me of my struggle to self discovery and learning to love myself and that what people see as imperfections are what sets me apart from being ordinary. “Be.you.tiful” to me is knowing that I am beautiful without having to wait for the validation of someone telling me that I am beautiful. It is about being comfortable in my skin, it is about looking in the mirror and seeing a beautiful woman staring back at me and not the demons of my insecurities reflected back at me. “Be.you.tiful” is about my self worth and my contribution (be it small) to the world.
I am “Be.you.tiful”. I refuse to let anyone make me question my self worth, I refuse let someone reduce me to just being an ugly dark skinned girl, I chose to believe in beauty that’s unique to each and every one of us and I chose to believe that our differences is something to be celebrated and not hated because God created us in his image. God made me beautiful. My beauty is much more than what the world sees.
I have learned to love my unique beauty and no words will ever take that away from me. My self worth is no longer defined by my looks, I now respect the woman I am and value the little girl who shaped me into being a strong woman, a little girl who endured the pressures of our society and a little girl who found her voice and the courage to see the beauty of her dark skin and learning to love and celebrate her unique imperfections.