beauty (free choice – nov.)

When I was 5 years old, I wanted a Barbie.

I wanted a Barbie so that I could see what perfection was without ever becoming it myself. So that I could envision myself in her plastic skin, and try to melt my own down to fit the mold.

So that I could cut my hair to frame my face and wear makeup to hide it – every brush stroke bringing me closer to the cardboard covered version of who everyone wants to be.

I wanted a Barbie so I could collect them in a box and bring them out when my own life needed a little pretending. I wanted a Barbie because they were pretty – because they weren’t me.

When I was 8 years old, I wanted a purse.

I wanted a purse so I could stick my Imperfection Band-Aids in it and carry them around like a trophy – “Come and see what I can hide.” Lipgloss, concealer, perfume, eyeliner, mascara, foundation, lipstick, eyeshadow, primer. These trinkets are tokens of my bravery – how brave am I to want to cover up the features I was born with, and invent new ones I never had?

How brave it is to smear on a face every day only to cover your own?

How worthy of a purse is a woman if they have nothing to carry within it? I wanted a purse to carry my Pop Rocks, pretend credit cards, and my glitter stick. To show others that I was a grown-up – a woman not afraid to carry only glitter and candy.

 

When I was 14 years old, I wanted a scale.

I wanted a scale so that I could count the pounds I lost and gained. So that I could weigh my importance in kilograms. Stepping onto a metal board was like stepping onto a plank – one misstep and you would fall to the ocean depths. I saw myself in the red arrow, constantly spinning until landing on a location that was never good enough. My body was not my own; it belonged to the scale, and the numbers read dictated how high or low my control over myself was.

I am 17 years old,

and I want to keep loving myself – because all the Barbies, purses, or scales cannot change the fact that I am born this way. Instead of rubbing my own wounds raw, I make new layers of skin – tougher and more resistant than the last. I don’t need a flashlight to look at my heart because I feel it beating in those around me. I feel it when I look at my beautiful face in the mirror, and when I leave my house.

You don’t need things to tell you you’re beautiful because we already know what beauty is. It is in the chambers of your heart, and in the blood in your veins.

Beauty is you, me, and everyone who exists on this planet because one’s heart is the most beautiful thing of all.

 


Photo; Tumblr

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