I grew up with the misconception that beauty is skin deep.
Yes I said it right Misconception.
I grew up thinking that certain “add-ons” were not necessary and that adding enhancements such as makeup and weave were just that.. enhancements.
Though my mother wore makeup it was pretty basic, light foundation, some mascara, eyeliner and then on a good day lip liner ( brown only). My mom never imposed looking a certain way on us ( makeup wise only), never made us feel like we had to wear makeup or extensions nor did she have us wearing extensions at a young age tearing out the hair that she worked for 19 years to grow ( she was a hairdresser when I was younger). As a young girl I was never made to feel that I was not enough because of the colour of my skin. length or texture of my hair or the enlarged size of my forehead ( Big Foreheads are in ). I considered myself blessed to have had a mother who made sure her daughters were loved, and knew it through her words and actions.
When my teeth were changing over and I had to get braces because my baby teeth wouldn’t drop out, knowing the way the world could be if I grew up with teeth that looked a certain way, my parents spent a pretty penny on braces for myself and even my older sister. They didn’t want their daughters to grow up feeling subordinate so they did all they could to ensure we were as close to “perfect” as physically possible. My hair was always done, outfits always pressed out to perfection and mental and physical temple taken care of.
Thank you Mom & Dad .
As I got older and puberty hit me, with bodily changes came things about myself I did not like. I was in my mind “cursed” with bad skin when I started to see that the little mini mountains that would pop up on my face started leaving scars… scars that would not go away and left my face looking like a game of connect the dots. I remember making my mom cut me a bang hoping that it could hide some of my blemishes that I felt would hold the opposite sex back from wanting to approach me.
It’s sad to say that most things we as females do are to please men even when we say we are doing it for ourselves. The clothes we wear, the hairstyles we do, the makeup we apply is unconsciously to appease and tease the opposite sex.
Its human Nature.
I was never really interested in makeup until after I graduated from University. At age 22 I felt the need to use powder, concealer and “contour” my face mainly because that’s what everyone else was doing. Prior to, even with the scars and marks I had I was somewhat content and back then being in a relationship, my then boyfriend didn’t care too much about makeup and all those extra add ons.
We have been pruned to believe that blemishes, scars, stretch marks and anything that is not “perfect” is not OKAY. Surgeries, treatments and products have been created to alter our natural essence and morph us into clones of what we are mentally programed to believe is acceptable and the social norm.
We use External add on to cover up internal mess.
I will be the FIRST to admit it, I don’t need anyone else to agree with me, I know what it is. There have been days when I felt ugly, felt abused or used or just under the weather and have used makeup, hair extensions and a certain outfit to cover up how I truly felt. I’ve conditioned myself to believe that If I feel like crap but look like I have it all together then people will assume life is good, my bank account is stacked and that I am living my best life.
I have battled with the aesthetics of swimwear on my body. Having had stretch marks “Tiger Stripes” from a young age I have hated the way certain stuff looked on my body. Family vacations and summer outings where minimal clothing were required was something I dreaded, afraid that the marks that engulfed my behind and sides would draw too much attention that I did not want nor need. To me, these marks were more of a curse than anything else. I had seen so many females prancing around in little to no clothes their skin smooth and blemish free, reminding me of an almost nonexistent time in my life before I stretched out and got “marked”.
I think it was that I felt marked up, felt that these disfigurements were a reminder of just how flawed I was not only externally but also within. They posed as constant reminders of my imperfections and insecurities, reminders that no matter how much I try to conceal and cover up they would always be there.
The Battle?- Growing up, Maturing into the woman I aspire to become.
I bought the creams, watched the natural remedy videos, even looked up non medical and medical surgeries that could potentially remove the scars on my face and marks on my flesh. I recall walking into a Black Beauty Store and gravitating towards the bleaching cream section, looking for an aggressive but safe cream to fade my insecurities away.
My struggles may not have been as “extreme” as others but to me they were still struggles. It took me some time to realize that my issues were more than just with my stretch marks or the blemishes on my face, they were with myself.
I had issues with feeling truly secure about who I was and who God made me to be. Projecting my thoughts and feelings onto my body was merely a way of distracting myself from the issue at hand.
So even when my face is covered in MAC, Sephora or any other makeup brand I now know who I am and am secure enough to not let cosmetics not only define me but also act as a shield to cover things about myself I am not content with.
And those stripes all over to me are now small stories of my growth into womanhood, marks that convey that I am natural, my growth and bodily expansion real and untempered or modified.
My Unfiltered Bawdy.
Watching the news of lately I have seen many influential wealthy people who appear to have it all together taking their lives due to internal issues that aren’t projected or discussed.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing any internal issues, talk to someone about it. There are judgment free hotlines, friends and family members who can talk you through your pains and mental battles and aid in nursing you back to a clear and calm mind.
Built up frustration, insecurities and stress can lead you into a dark tunnel leaving you feeling that the only way to escape is by taking your life..
Death is not the way out.