Thursday, April 8, 2010

Embracing your Beautiful self

While reading my Essence magazine, I came across a beautifully written article from Bishop T.D. Jakes about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I was truly moved by his words. I can only hope if I continue to write and read more thought provoking authors, that I too will write heartwarming articles as Jakes’.

What touched me was his constant call to all of us to believe in ourselves, love ourselves and teach our children to love themselves. He used Susan Boyle, who was a contestant on the show Britain’s Got Talent, as an example of how her unattractive appearance possibly cost her victory on the show. We, as a people, are so fixated on beauty and acceptance, Boyle’s singing career never blossomed.

By reading that article, it brought up a lot of issues that I experienced first hand growing up as a child. I remembered my most challenging years (all five years of elementary school) of being the outcast because I wore my natural kinky hair style and wore hand me down clothes. For a very long time, I wished to be invisible because being noticed got me nowhere but in a fight trying to defend myself or on the back of the school bus crying. Lady, my mom, can attest to how many days I would come home crying, begging and pleading to switch schools. But she told me to stick it out, and I did. I vowed to myself after what happened to me in elementary school to never tease or torment someone about their appearance.
Looks and clothes are fractions, if not nothing of who a person really is. Think about how many great people would or have gone unnoticed because they are the ugly duckling.

It hurts my heart deeply that we put so much emphasis on beauty that it overshadows a person’s true worth. We glorify buying new noses and other body parts to fit in. I believe in the saying “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” and I think Jakes does too. He quickly referenced that some times weight looks good on people, but they have to see the beauty in themselves in order to believe it.

I’ve never been smaller than a size eight. I’ve never been tall. I’ve never had long hair and I’ve never had exotic colored eyes. I wear a size 11. I’m 5’2. My hair falls to my shoulder and if I don’t perm it regularly, it will get unmanageably kinky, and my eyes are brown. I love the young woman that I am and the woman I will grow up to be.

If nobody told you they loved you today, I’d like to be the first to say so.
I love you.
Until next time

(Note: I submitted this to Essence to see if they wanted to print it...they didn't respond! Oh well...)

 Me at 3 years old

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