As I was driving to work today, I had the strangest train of thought. Something I've never thought before, like an "ah ha!" moment.
I was picturing my face in a photograph that I recently posted. And in my mind thought, "Will people think I'm pretty?" I'm sorry if this sounds vain, but everyone thinks it right? And then I thought to myself that I am pretty. And I thought how lucky I am because I really do love all my features (well most of them!) and think they are "pretty". But then I thought, what if I looked like something else? Would I still love myself? And I couldn't help but think the answer would be yes. Because it would be me. And that's the only thing I can be.
I was given these features by my mother and father, they are a labor of love. And I love them because really, they are a gift. I think I'm beautiful (most of the time) but do others? And then I had a realization:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This is so true. I can think I'm pretty but someone else might think I'm ugly. But no matter what, there's nothing I can do about it... unless I get plastic surgery. Which I'm not going to do. So other people thinking I'm beautiful is completely up to them. (Or what society has chosen to be "beautiful"). People can choose to look at me and find me beautiful. Or they can look at me negatively and think I'm ugly. It's up to them and there's not a whole lot I can do to change their mind. So then I thought about how I view other people and how I would feel if someone thought I was ugly. And it made me sad because it would hurt my feelings if someone thought I was ugly. And if I thought someone else was ugly, it would hurt their feelings. And to know that I could cause that kind of pain, causes me pain.
It's not fair to think people are "ugly" because their features (which can not change) are different or labeled as "ugly". It's not fair to judge other people based on their looks because this is something they are given. You can't choose the way you look. But also, people are more than the skin they wear. Our body is really just a vehicle of transportation for our soul, the thing we can control and is truly us.
It's just inconceivable that we've come to this, that looks are everything these days. It's just so... unfair and uncontrollable.
I guess my point is that I want to restructure my thoughts of what "pretty" is. What I've been learning the past year is how to think independently from society, kind of start from the beginning because most of what I've learned is crap. I can't stand the consumerism, the obsession with things, looks, money. It's absolutely ridiculous. It's way too often that I have thoughts like this. Realizing how fucked up things are. Excuse my language but shit.
This is not the world I want my child to grow up in. I don't want her to have to grow up thinking that she needs to look a certain way to be beautiful or that she need "things" to fit in or be "cool" or to be rich to have a good life. The two things I tell Eliza everyday (more like a hundred times a day) are that I love her and that she is beautiful. And I will continue to do that for the rest of her life because that is the most important thing I can give her now. I can only hope that she will grow up truly thinking those things. I gave her life, I gave her a beautiful body to live it in, I hope that she will take it for what it is and not be restrained or suppressed by the ideals of our society. I hope that someday she will think of herself as beautiful.