What is Pretty

I think about skin.  A lot.  I worry over signs of aging; are my wrinkles getting more prominent, is that an age spot or a freckle, why is that sagging??  I spend beyond my means in order to immerse myself in magic elixirs and dragon’s blood to smear away perceived imperfections.

It’s a mystery to me why I’m so okay with destroying said skin with sharp objects.

I’ve always been told I look like my mother.  It took me many years to realize she is beautiful.  Growing up I never heard her say anything positive about her appearance.  My interpretation?  My mom is not pretty and everyone thinks I look like her therefore I am not pretty.  I’ve never told my mom this.  Hey, I think my self-esteem issues are rooted in your inability to see your own beauty.  Thanks.  Nah.  I take responsibility for my tangled thoughts.

Does it matter what I look like?  I’m a sign-toting feminist who rages at people for judging others on surface value.  Do I have to be pretty to be kind?  Do I have to have an American-approved “hot body” in order to be acknowledged?

Are these reasons why I sometimes want to carve away my skin?  Do I want people to really listen to me, really get to know me, without the distraction of this façade?  If I peel away the skin then people would have to judge me on what is inside – my ideas, my creative drive, and my opinions.  Which are not all sunshine and bunny rabbits despite what my smile may imply.

The flip is I enjoy wearing nice clothes and fabulous high heels.  “Dressing the crazy up” is what I call my ritual.  Maybe if I pretend to be one of the pretty people no one will notice the lattice work of white scars.  Then again, I don’t care if people do see the scars.  They are as much a part of me as are my freckles.

I don’t have to make sense; I’m human.  I’m okay with being a messy human.

I’ve painted the following quote on canvas which hangs in my bedroom:

“You have more to do than be weighed down by pretty or beautiful. You are a fiery heart and a wicked brain. Do not let your soul be defined by its shell.”

-xo 3T


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