Where are you? Why haven’t you found me? What was I doing while other little girls played Barbies that made you stay away? It is not my fault their pale skin and blonde hair was so unappealing. I would have played with a doll that looked like me. I don’t know when you left me or if you were ever there at all. Did I ever feel pretty? Maybe you’ve been replaced by a different definition. My vanity has turned into a lack of self-worth. An emptiness. Worthless attempts to be pretty. I buy pretty things to make me look pretty. They collect dust. It is ill to compare to others, but is this not vain, the path to you? How else do I find you? Do you hide or did I bury you? Is fear the reason I bottle you up? Fear of what I may unleash? Fear that I may take things too far? Or fear that all my effort could be for naught? But I know I could be a badass bitch.4/8/20
Looking back, I feel like this was a random ramble when I was feeling particularly low. I was probably full of hormones and feeling un-pretty. But the words are authentic. I can remember, as a kid, an older cousin joking, “You were such a pretty baby. What happened?” Even adult family members would laugh at this. Being the only dark-skinned girl of the four female cousins in my generation (on my mother’s side anyway), I never saw myself as pretty. With a crooked smile, an uneven complexion, skin darker than a brown paper bag, and thick hair, I considered myself ugly. It was never reinforced more than when hearing, “You’d be so pretty if you could fix your smile.” Childhood and adolescence are hard enough. Being deemed the smart one or the nerd didn’t feel like acceptance. I never learned to feel pretty because I was never taught that I was pretty. It was my best friends, much later in life, who helped me realize my beauty, my sexy. I was already married with children the first time I realized just how gorgeous I am. Am I everyone’s cup of tea? No. Am I ok with that? Absolutely. If that sounds vain, it’s because it is. Now, self-worth starts with self-care for me. It doesn’t mean a made-up face or an OOTD post. It can mean doing something for myself that makes me feel good inside or out. Some days that means you’ll see me dolled up and some days it means lazing on my office chaise like the Goddess I am.
If you have emotional letters you’d like to have featured, please feel free to share to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for continuing this journey with me.