I’m unsure if I’m someone who actually blames society and the patriarchal construct for my distorted beliefs about my body. It’s not society’s fault. That’s my viewpoint. A lot of how the western world works, is male dependent and constructed by men, historically. I accept that. And I believe this to be true. I accept that too many women in particular, get their cues about personality, behaviours and sadly distorted thinking from many men and women. I believe this to be true.
Artist: crazy precious
Growing as someone Māori has never been an easy thing for me to do. The media, the dominant culture here in NZ and admittedly my own people have done a lot of damage in the way that I see myself as someone Māori.
I grew up with ideas that beauty meant being 1. white 2. blonde 3. thin 4. blue eyed 5. popular. I have never been any of those things and the older I become, the less tolerant I am of crap so I’m generally very unpopular and people do not make friends with me easily.
At the age of 14 I attempted to chisel my nose into something more European looking. I hated my nose. So big. Full of black heads. Huge nostrils compared to the white girls. I have had grey hair since the age of 8. I began colouring my hair around age 13 through to the age of 43 when I decided enough was enough of trying to be something I wasn’t = pretty. I’ve let my grey hair grow. My moko calls it silver. I like her.
I have also needed to be diligent – well, so I believed, about my facial hair problem. Up until last year I was having my face waxed. Chin, upper and lower lips, eyebrows, sideburns, chin and throat. I’m now growing my beard into a length that I can then plait. I will shape it down into a triangle. I’m very tempted to allow my upper lip to continue growing grey/black hair however I’m undecided. I may get it waxed along with my eyebrows and leave the rest.
What’s all this leading to? My definition of beauty. I’m am gorgeous with silver hair – even though everyone around me struggles with it. I am okay with growing a beard that will mostly be
grey silver. I am okay with having a huge nose – take the name I use to author this journal “a nose that is Māori”. I’m okay with being fat too however, I’ve redefined what “fat” looks like to me and I’ve around a further 90kg to lose before I’ll be okay with being fat.