I am not traditionally beautiful, whatever that means.
At 25 my hair fell out. I have Alopecia Universalis, which is a fancy way of saying I have no hair on my body. I have blogged about this before, but lately I’ve been thinking about beauty in general, and the notion that a certain set of features and checked boxes define beauty.
I am also getting older, so things are happening to my face that are perfectly normal, but society seems to think aging somehow diminishes beauty.
I am ok with being hairless, I am ok with ageing. There was a post a friend put up on FB a while back that I quite liked (thanks Noelle).
I like it because it’s true. I have never felt like the ripest juiciest peach, but just lately I feel blessed and grateful for my alopecia, I feel uniquely beautiful, I don’t know anyone else that looks like me.
When I was younger, before my hair skipped town I was always considered pretty, not a super model, but pretty enough, after I lost my hair I was considered odd, strange looking, the comments I received were filled with condescension, pitty, and hurtful words in the guise of kindness… ” You used to be so pretty, I’m sooooo sorry”. ” You’re so lucky your husband stays with you”. ” You have so many other things going for you, beauty is overrated”. And my personal favorite: ” when your hair started falling out weren’t you worried you had cancer?”. I am guilty myself in stating ” my husband thinks I’m beautiful”. I was never beautiful for him, my job in this world, my value on this planet, isn’t marked with a tag ugly or pretty. I like that he thinks I’m beautiful, but it has no effect on how I perceive myself.
I’m not even sure what beautiful is. I know a couple things about me though. When I wake up and look in the mirror, I have nothing to hide behind, I see my whole face, and I like me. I like how I look, no amount of hair can take away the eyes that look like my mother’s, the cheek bones that were built through Scotland and Ireland, the smile that reminds me that through all of this stressful life I remain happy.
What is beautiful? As cliche as it is it’s who you are on the inside, which radiates outward.
Liking yourself is a hard job. Insecurities run rampant, for both men and women. If you’re secure in how you look, you’re conceited, if you hate your looks you have low self esteem. I think it’s important to not give two fucks about what others think or how others perceive you.
Today I choose not to pick myself apart. Today I choose to love the skin I’m in. Today I am beautiful by my own definition. Today is all we have after all.