“Clothes Pins on My Nose”
I remember when I would put clothes pin on my nose to try to make my nose less ‘African’. I’d steal one from the clothes line and after I said my prayers, I’d put it on my nose to try to sleep with it on through the night.
Almost made it through the night
I tossed and turned under sheets trying to console myself through the discomfort, and of course I never actually made it through the night: My record for the longest time spent with that forking clothes pin on my nose was whopping two hours though.
I know it you know…
That feeling like you wish you born another way, as someone else. I would look at my mother and secretly be angry with her for mating with my dad because if she picked a lighter man, then I would have turned out prettier instead of this black and ugly that my peers called me everyday.
I thought I was Ugly
Now, my father was a handsome man. Hands down ‘Sagga Boy‘ as they say in Trinidad. I loved my father dearly, I was a ‘daddy’s girl’ through and through.
- But I was tall like him,
- But I had big lips like him,
- But I had his nose
- But I was dark like him,
so I thought I looked ugly because I looked like him and to like him meant I looked like a boy. And to top of that notion,( in my child mind) I also thought that boys should be dark and girls should be light-skin cause that’s all I saw in the media, my community etc.
It took years to get over my suppositions about beauty; It took years of allowing myself to be used, believing the biases of society and being played by the people I loved and respected for me to realize the lies.
You have to ‘decide’ to have self esteem. And in your decision to value yourself comes the responsibility of how you ‘act’ and what you do to support that. People are more concerned with themselves than you, so the approval you are seeking from others is never going to come. And They can’t give you approval because are in search of it for themselves too!
Your notions of yourself, if based solely on the reaction or response from other people, will be false and that’s whether they give you a compliment or a dis! Be careful with kind words too. You could become a slave to ‘positive reinforcement’ also. I’ve met gorgeous women who are used to hearing that they are gorgeous, and still get in a panic attack if the ‘aggrandizing’ from others is nonexistent or comes in a little slow.
And those early thoughts of myself is a major reason behind my artistry. I see the power of imagery.
You either Create who you want to be, or let others tell you what you are.
Which will you choose?
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