I don’t see it. When other people compliment me on my physical beauty I often wonder what they are looking at. What specifically do they think is cute or pretty? And while each time I’m grateful for the compliment and show my appreciation with a smile and a kind “thank you”, what I REALLY wanna do is ask them what about me do they think is attractive. In an attempt to not come off any more weirded than I’m already perceived to be, I once again play things safe, smile and leave on my merry way. Self-esteem issues? Maybe. Attention-seeking? I’m not going to dismiss that possibility. I’m not quite sure what it is so it’s difficult for me to explain. There are mornings when I pass by the hallway mirror on my way to the kitchen to prepare my lemon water and breakfast smoothie and heavily scrutinize my physical appearance. Some days I’m wearing my pajamas and headscarf other days I’m completely naked, wearing nothing at all but weave or my powerfully kinky, tall standing afro. And I look. I may turn sideways so only my profile is visible or move so close to the mirror I can see “my mustache” and nose hairs. I’ll suck in my belly because it’s too large for my frame or I’ll stare at my “love handles” or “back fat” and wonder why the fuck can’t I get rid of these awful, unsightly things. My arms need to be Michelle Obama-rized and my thinning edges are missing so much hair Dr. Miracle’s owes me about $500 for pain and suffering and false advertisement cause I ain’t seen not one strand of new growth. My stretch marks and cellulite are not even up for discussion SON!
And while I SHOULD be politically correct and say real beauty isn’t about how someone looks but how well they outwardly project their inner beauty, I don’t believe that. OK, I mean, a PART of that is true but at the end of the day people respond to what they see and how it is presented. We are an image driven society and I am a product of my environment. We are all mesmerized by beautiful people and things, to a greater or lesser degree. Some of us can simply acknowledge beauty and keep it moving, some of us seek it out and engage it, giving it more time and attention than we do less attractive things and still there are others who are driven by it. I have a burning desire to be found “physically” attractive by the men who date me. And even though I don’t see the beauty that THEY see, it’s still important to me to be seen by them in this way. If I had to guess it would be because I want them to see me as desirable and pleasurable. This is strongly connected to my need to submit to, satisfy and serve the man I am in love with. Now of course I haven’t been in exclusive relationships with all of the men who have taken me to dinner and I’ve only been in love 2.5 times in my young life, but for those with whom I share a mutual interest, the potential to build a relationship exists and if we do it right, love is a kiss and conversation away. But I can’t fall in love freely if he doesn’t think I’m pretty. If I really, really, REALLY, wanna dig deep I think this “wanting to be pretty thing” is connected to what I wanted my father to see in me.
A while back I was talking to this really bright brother for about a month or two. I was attracted to him mentally and physically and during our interaction he unknowingly, and at the urging of Toe and Miyoshi, forced me to confront my “daddy issues.” He and I both realized that we weren’t compatible and having a “sexship” wasn’t in the cards but I gotta tell you he fucked my mind in ways that aroused me more than a romp or two in the bed ever could. I’m admitting to myself what I couldn’t admit to him: he saw right through me. He wasn’t able to protect my vulnerabilities and I was overwhelmed with the fact that he discovered them in the first place, so mind games ensued, pride ruled our interactions and egos got in the way of what could have possibly been a worthwhile relationship. See, he was able to see that by pleasing me I needed him to be emotionally expressive and attentive because that was something my Dad never was with me. And in turn, I figured, one way to please him was to PHYSICALLY become what he wanted me to be – hair, makeup, stilettos, outfit, arched brows etc. And while he did tell me he found me physically attractive, the light bulb went off when I realized my physical beauty wasn’t enough to develop a more meaningful relationship with him or sustain the one we currently had. In a way this experience gives credence to the claim “beauty is only skin deep” but I’m not thoroughly convinced.
Maybe freedom is about feeling confident in your “own skin”. Living your life according to your beliefs and doing things that bring about a renewed spirit and sense of peace. Spending time with those you love and surrounding yourself with people who encourage and inspire you to be better tomorrow than you are today. Maybe real beauty is about not having to change your appearance, attitude, mannerisms or disposition to be pleasing to someone else but wearing your true self with pride and confidence so that those who ain’t supposed to be in your inner circle flee from your space anyway. Maybe true love is self-acceptance and the realization that you’re God’s Child so embrace who you are today and decide who you want to become because that’s the person you’re destined to be. If these are true, I’m not quite free, I don’t possess real beauty and I haven’t yet found true love. But I’m working on it. Until tomorrow youngn’s……..