At a very young age I realized that my image was not only not like my peers, but that there were parts of me that weren’t visually acceptable. I had to be about 6 years old, first grade when I came to this discovery. I guess this is the time most kids start to discover the world in a new and different way. But by the time I was in second grade, I began to hide. Though I didn’t have the word for it all then, something inside of be knew my looks were unconventional.
Back then and even now media images scream of ideal beauty. As a kid I began my work at trying to achieve those ideal goals. I knew I looked different and many peers didn’t hesitate to remind me of this daily. Of course this form of taunting took its toll. Because I embodied the direct opposite features of the light skin, blue/hazel eyed, hair down the back, tall and thin female, I didn’t earn a beauty badge. Girls that looked closer to this were complimented, embraced, and sought after. And though I did poses some of this attributes, I didn’t enjoy or recognize it within myself. These moments were damaging and changed the way that I looked at myself and others. It took a few years to get over this mental hurdle.
As women, girls, ladies, we are willingly and unwillingly tied to our physical image. We can always detect a flaw even when others don’t see it. We are always striving for that perfect image that truly doesn’t exist. But what I’ve come to realize is that I’ll never look anything like those images on the screen or pages. I don’t posses any of those qualities. It was time to understand the face, body, hair, and skin God gave me. After all, I was made in His image.
At this point in life there are several parts of my image I am still working at and wanting to change. But I’ve come to accept and love my brand of beauty. My rich chocolate skin, my kinky crazy hair, my short stature, and even my thick frame all are beautiful. Images that look similar to myself will not often grace the pages of a magazine or screen. My image may never be embraced by the fashion or beauty industry. But this brand of beauty suits me fine.