If a picture says a thousand words then 1000 words still don’t manage to tell the full story. I think when people see fashion bloggers they assume that bloggers must clearly find themselves very attractive. I mean, we do share lots of pictures of ourselves in snazzy outfits so I can see how people make this assumption. Pictures don’t actually talk, people do and it’s always in television interviews that we find out that the women who we find beautiful and awe-striking don’t always feel as beautiful as we perceive them to be?
I talk about body confidence, body acceptance and loving yourself “as is” a lot.
I talk about body confidence, body acceptance and loving yourself “as is” a lot. I stand behind it one hundred percent because acceptance is the first step to healing. Self-doubt is a wound from an injury inflicted by several outside sources. I know this because I am always actively participating in my own healing process. It can seem like I have the highest self-confidence in the world but I don’t.
For as long as I can remember I have loved getting dressed up. Every Sunday my mom would get my sister and I dressed and we would go to church. Every dress always felt like a cloud of femininity that I could float on forever. We would get so many compliments at church and people would stop and look at my sister and me to tell us how pretty we looked in our dresses. I ate it up. I believed every compliment. How could I not believe them? The dress was pretty and I was pretty in it and my mom worked so hard to ensure that we looked like angels. Everything supported my belief that I was pretty.
I don’t think I ever felt unattractive until I went to school and boys would tell me that I wasn’t pretty. Which was news to me because everyone at church thought I was pretty? The more they told me that I wasn’t pretty the more I paid attention to what boys considered attractive. I wanted to know what was catching their eye. I started to realize that the girls who were being praised at school for being pretty had hair that was much longer than mine, not always but sometimes their skin was lighter and their eye color weren’t brown.
As I got older my research continued. It even carried over into my own interest like being an avid magazine enthusiast. I have been reading magazines for as long as I can remember. Hell, I had a subscription to Highlights magazine at age 8. By the time I started reading magazines like YM, Teen Vogue, and Seventeen while searching for the latest trends and pictures of boy bands, I noticed what boys noticed about women. Their faces, their bodies and what would make one woman more attractive than the next. I started realizing that on the rare occasion a Black model was featured in a magazine, however, her face didn’t look like mine. I didn’t have a nose like Tyra Banks or hair like Ashanti. I also noticed that the girls who boys found attractive at school had similar qualities to these women.
The sad part about all of this is it wasn’t like all the boys found me unattractive or that I was getting the worst of the taunting. I just wanted more options. I wanted the ability to have my pick of who I wanted to date. I didn’t feel like the ugliest girl in the room but I felt like I knew who had the advantage. I knew where I ranked. I was average. I had what most of all the Black girls had; brown eyes, short to medium length hair and a wide nose. A nose that was clearly Black. A nose that didn’t lend to a question like “what are you mixed with?” A nose that made it clear both of my parents are Black.
A nose that didn’t lend to a question like “what are you mixed with?”
I didn’t have a problem with being Black I just wanted more attention. I just wanted to date the most popular boy on the Varsity football team and I thought having a slimmer nose would give me that option. My nose became the one thing that I would change about my body. My nose was hindering me from being my most attractive self. I mean I would never be able to have “good hair” but I could get a weave. I could never have hazel eyes. I could, however, pay a doctor to take a little off the side and give me a nose that looked a little bit more like Halle Berry’s.
Thank God, for MTV True Life: I Got Breast Implants. After seeing the bad side to plastic surgery I started doing my own research about rhinoplasty. I found out that slimming my nose on the outside could also narrow the airway inside. I have enough issues breathing as is with my allergies. Maybe my nose wasn’t worth the temporary attention of the cutest guy on the football team.
As I age I get more and more happy with the decisions I made not to alter my nose. My nose looks like my family’s nose. I am happy to look more like my mother than Halle Berry. Now that I’m in my thirties, I realize that my nose would have only been the start of altering myself because there is always a quality that you won’t have. Something else will become the “it” factor like big butts are now, but tomorrow it will be something else. I can’t change every time I feel inadequate. I can only figure out what is making me feel like I am inadequate so I can deal with the feeling instead of feeling the need to change my body.
I advocate for women to take the time to ask themselves, “Is this what I want because I want it?”
I advocate for women to take the time to ask themselves, “Is this what I want because I want it?” If the answer is yes then I support her right to make that choice but if the answer is no then I implore her to find her own unique beauty that is beautiful because she says it is! I blog for many reasons and one of them is so that I can be a face in the crowd that feels familiar. Proud of a face that may be deemed average by some but it will be familiar to someone else because it is reminiscent of features that look like theirs.
Women, Black women, skinny women, fat women, women with short to medium length hair, brown eyes, wide noses, and flat asses are beautiful. I’m rooting for you. I’m in your corner and I love you!