When I was a teenager I constantly examined my body, I pulled and poked my skin; I was completely unhappy with the way I looked. I wore layers upon layers as I tried to cover my “flaws”. I often refused to go shopping for clothes because I hated the way the dressing room mirrors would stare back at me. It was a struggle and sometimes it still is; though I have more good days than bad, sometimes I swear my mirror conspires against me. Thankfully, I’ve realized that my self-worth lies in who I am as a person as opposed to how I look as a person.
The other day, I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw a video that one of my friends reposted: HOW TO GET SYMMETRICAL EYEBROWS. I allowed the video to play and in the video I see a girl take a RULER and begin measuring her face. She takes an eye liner and makes marks on her forehead, she measures and measures and measures and I’m left dumbfounded. First of all; eyebrows are bitches! No amount of measuring will make them look exactly the same; eyebrows are sisters not twins. I finished watching this video and became so aggravated. Look, I am all for enhancing our looks; contouring, lip liner, blush, and countless of other “make-up tricks” are all things I am a fan of. However, symmetry is like attempting to reach perfection … when perfection is unattainable.
Are girls and women not told enough times that they need to constantly be aiming to look better? Is it not difficult enough to be a female in this world? Now we need SYMMETRICAL EYEBROWS? The anger isn’t for myself, the indignation comes from the realization that young women may stumble upon this video and believe that symmetrical eyebrows is what they need in order to be beautiful. I have a niece and every time I see her I tell her that she is beautiful and that she can be anything in this world; she’s only 7 months. I’m hoping that growing up hearing, “You are beautiful, you are magical, you are going to conquer this world” will be enough to embed the phrase into her soul. I hope she grows up and never questions her value because of the way she looks. I hope she never has to stare into the mirror and hate the way she looks. Unfortunately, due to social media, magazines, movies and EVERYTHING ELSE; the reality is that she will constantly hear how she’s not enough. Not thin, not pretty, not light-skinned, not exotic – ENOUGH. If I make any contribution to this world, I hope it is to spread a body-positive message. I hope my writing, my videos, my over-emotional Instagram posts inspire you to LOVE YOURSELF.
I WILL ADD: if you want to enhance yourself, because you want to and not because society tells you that you need to, then go for it. It is your beautiful body and you are allowed to cake as much make-up on it as you’d like. The aim for perfection is what I have a problem with because my favorite kind of people are the ones that are unapologetically imperfect.
I dream of the day my niece finds my website and reads my words; I hope that she’s proud of the world I tried to prepare for her.