Day 126: The Face You Deserve
Today I want to stop and think about how beauty is perceived. Late last night before WFM closed for the day I had a customer who left quite the impact on me. She was looking for foundation (right up my alley!) but was unable to find her colour because she had fairly dark black skin.
Before I continue, I want to take a moment right now to say that political correctness dictates that I use terminology like African-Canadian, but I don’t know if she was African, and so for ease of use I’m going to use the word black. I would just like to specify that by no means am I a racist, and in fact I embrace all cultures openly and in an integrative approach, I’m just tired of having to use “proper” terminology that makes zero historical reference to a persons actual upbringing or ethnic persuasion. Colours are just easier and if you take issue with that, comment!
What I believe left such an impact on me was how frustrated she was. She was mad. And outwardly so. Mad at the injustice of there not being a colour dark enough to match her skin tone, mad at the embarrassment of not being able to find one, ever, and mad almost it seemed at herself.
This literally broke my heart.
And so, because it was later in the night and there was no one else in the department, I engaged her in real conversation and told her about Urban Minerals. I heard many things that I had suspected, heard her talk about how she was unhappy about this body part and that one, didn’t feel sexy, didn’t feel girly, hadn’t been doing the beauty thing lately, and just didn’t feel beautiful in general.
And it made me think of all the things I had previously held about myself .Things I was unhappy with, my body, my skin tone, myself in general. It also reminded me of how harsh a critic our parents and community can be, especially in my experience, in cultures that prize lighter skin as synonymous with beauty. It is a difficult thing to digest growing up, to be judged by your own family as having or not having beauty based off of something that will never change - your skin.
I wish we had been in a more intimate setting, where I could ask her how she thinks about herself, challenge her engrained ideas of beauty and eventually come to some kind of consensus on how beautiful she is. No games, no bullshit, just honesty.
I think that believing that you are beautiful is something every woman needs to embrace within themselves, and yet it is one of the hardest things to do when there are so many forces in our society that dictate otherwise. I wish everyone had someone in their life to reinforce the real facts. That while beauty is externally perceived, what counts is on the inside and you should treat that part of yourself with love and respect.
Beauty on the exterior is one thing, but eventually your body will mimic what you believe about yourself. If you continually look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself your not beautiful, your’re too fat, too skinny, too this, too that, you will eventually see that in reality. It only begins to change when you can recognize and focus on what you love about yourself and eventually that becomes the most plentiful.
So with one last thought I want to quote Coco Chanel, a style icon and very, very smart woman.
Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; life shapes the face you have at thirty; but at fifty, you get the face you deserve.
So start with telling yourself you’re beautiful and that you love yourself, everyday, every time you look in the mirror. Or you’ll end up with the face you deserve.