So this is me when I was about 21. I loved my cute outfit (still do) and took my figure for granted BUT I really disliked my natural looks. So I made myself look like this instead. 🥺
From bullying which started in nursery (nursery!) I was asked ‘What are you?!’ (meaning what mixture of races) and later told as a teen ‘You people aren’t welcome here’ by groups of adults on the street and teens quoting their parents.
THE MAKEOVER/OTHER So I straightened my natural dark, curly hair (and eventually put terrible yellow-blonde streaks in it); made my narrow mono-lid eyes look bigger by exaggerating my expression and clever makeup (which I’d reapply every hour); plucked my thick, dark eyebrows to nothing; contoured the crap out of my nose (obsessively checking it) and did this, frankly weird arse ‘smile’ so my lips looked thinner.
THE SAD THING IS, IT ACTUALLY WORKED! I got attention from white guys who only wanted one thing, often because they’d ‘never had a girl who’s exotic’ 😒🤮 African and Caribbean men said things like they were ‘proud’ to be with me as I had ‘lighter skin’ but they still thought I would be ‘acceptable’ to their family. 🙃🤯
AFTER QUITE A FEW YEARS several guys had asked why I wasn’t being my natural self and asked if I was ashamed of my heritage (still don’t know what it is to this day btw). I realised I was making myself MORE miserable by altering my natural appearance and I started questioning why I was doing this to myself?!
FINALLY I REALISED I’D RATHER BE LIKED BY FEW, FOR MY TRUE SELF, THAN LIKED (ONLY ON THE SURFACE) BY MANY.
TO EVERYONE READING THIS I promise you, you will find people who really appreciate you. More importantly, YOU need to appreciate you. 🤗
BUT if you have something that troubles you because it doesn’t seem to fit or doesn’t work well, I totally understand why you might want that particular thing altered a little. No judgment 💞
JUST PLEASE DON’T LOOSE YOUR WONDERFUL, INDIVIDUAL SELF.
It’s so easy to get carried away adjusting our appearance, so we look prettier and more desirable. But by who’s standards? Our friends? The medias? Our countries? Our partners? It’s also easy to make a massive change to the way we look by using makeup, hair extensions, hair dye, clothes, heels, false nails ect. It’s all available to us after a quick journey to our local high street.
There’s no doubt it gives us masses of confidence looking like the best version of our selves and it is healthy to maintain a certain standard of personal care obviously, ha! But what if we are trying to make everything look so ‘perfect‘ that we end up looking completely altered? Where does it end!
Remind you of any ‘remodelled’ celebrities?
Actually relying on this sort of ‘fake beauty’ can possibly bring up all sorts of issues because it’s like saying “I don’t look good enough”, which is a very short step to “I’m not good enough” or even “If I look perfect, I will be more valued.” This way of thinking is seriously toxic because we are undermining our confidence every time we look in the mirror. Using products that make us look different for a change can be a lot of fun of course. However, when we get to the point of thinking “I need these extensions, lip plumpers, heels etc to look ok.” we are automatically devaluing ourself on a daily basis. If we meet someone new, how long before we drop the fakery and are brave enough to show our real (and truly hideous) selves? Then what, hope they don’t run away screaming? There is also the question of upkeep and funding endless treatments every 4-6 weeks that we convince ourselves we can’t do without any more. It’s at these moments we need to ask ourselves ‘Is this still enjoyable, really?’
There are so many diverse examples of beautiful women around the world, the fact that a ‘Westernised’ look has quickly become the template for beauty in many countries is really sad. We should never underestimate how good it feels to express our individuality – rather than feeling we have to look a standardised version of pretty. It’s so obvious when someone feels relaxed and happy in their self and that will always be attractive.
Me age 13 looking Au Naturale, if a tad moody
Age 21 looking like some C list celebrity, with straightened hair, a load of fake tan and masses of makeup, complete with a fake smile