My body is female. I have been fat as my entire life. I have an unfair amount of facial hair. My body is scarred from surgery and abuse. I have moments where I and others will tell me that I am attractive. I was never told that I was “pretty” as a child. I was never told anything in the positive. Nothing was said to me during childhood, adolescence or even as a young woman. Having no audial recognition ie an affirmation right from the word go that I was good enough or even just “enough”, set me up for a life long isolated journey deep into the abyss that is myself. I concluded, in all my worldly knowledge as a very young child, that I must have been ugly.
Add to this, the weight (no pun intended) of also being subjected to some horrendous forms of abuse which continued throughout infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, I’d say that my assessment as a child that resulted in my belief that I was fucking ugly, was well founded. I figured out all on my own, that if I hadn’t been so fuck ugly, none of the trauma and distress I’ve suffered would have occurred. Further to this equation, I figured out that because in my family of origin I was the only person inflicted by such atrocious abuse AND that I consistently heard others praising and affirming how pretty etc my younger sister and other young family members were, you wouldn’t fault me for having arrived at the conclusion I did.
And then on top of that, by the time I hit 13 years of age I was carving into my own body trying to disguise the ugliness – trying to shave off centimeters from my nose because my nose was so big compared to all the pretty girls. I spent literally hours during the weekends pulling out every strand of gray hair upon my head. None of the pretty girls had gray hair at the age of 8 even!
I went hard out to disfigure various parts of my body. I even blamed my poor body for being female and having attracted the men who used this body for sexual gratification throughout my life. And it has been throughout my life. I was not given the opportunity to discover that my body belonged to me. Nor was I given the opportunity to know that I got to call the shots on who I took into my body.
my body has been so violated
So in terms of defining beauty – I don’t know what that is exactly. Some people claim it is about how a person feels about their self. Others claim it’s the fault of the patriarchal system. There are many angles and pathways to defining what beauty is. For me, I have had to turn inwards and journey back to the beginning of many times to firstly find myself and then start from there. Unfortunately, finding myself covered in a heap of shit hasn’t been the most pleasant introduction to self. Nor was discovering 20 something years ago that I was not even aware I was human.
I’m not the sort of person who requires the verbal attention of others. I have no desire to hear how this or how that I am from other people. I can graciously acknowledge someones kind words towards me with a “thank you”. And it’s not so much that I do not believe their words when I can feel the sincerity behind them, it’s more that I no longer require the opinions of others in order for me to be okay with who I am. I do not need or depend on the accolades of people to stroke my bedraggled sense of self esteem.
I’ve become lost in this entry. I have so much I want to share surrounding “defining beauty” – I have so much yet to discover about myself as someone possibly beautiful. I feel I have missed out on so much life – happy life due to the horrendous inheritance or legacy that is abuse, violations and loss.