Sunday, January 13, 2013

This is Not About Fashion

Like the title says. I've decided to take a break from talking about fashion for today, and talk about.. Well, beauty. No, I don't mean make up. I'm no make up expert. In fact, my make up skills need a lot of work. I'm talking about beauty in general. You know, physical looks.

Why? Simply because it's something I feel very strongly about.

To be completely honest, I believe every girl is beautiful. No matter what shape or size or how we look, we're all beautiful in some way. I get very annoyed whenever a person calls a girl ugly (with the exception of the fact that if, and only IF, she is ugly in character, then by all means).

Because I know how it feels like to feel ugly.

I used to have huge self esteem issues. I mean, I would literally dread looking at myself in the mirror because I thought myself unbearably ugly. I had a huge acne problem. I used to have people making remarks about how my face looked like a "baboon's butt".

Yeap. Me, back in 2010.
Ixnay on the glasses and the dorky hair.
I was dressed up for a play.
Thankfully, that cleared up.

Nowadays, I would say that I love looking at myself in the mirror. Not to the point of unbearable narcissism. Because when I do look into the mirror, it's not always to check out the occasional zit. When I see my reflection, I think, "Hey, I love how that girl looks." I'd like to think of it as.. Self-confidence. There is a difference.

I can point out the number of things that make me, un-beautiful.

1. My right side of my face is smaller than my left.
2. My complexion isn't as smooth as silk.
3. My nose is about as sharp and aristocratic as a plastic bowl.
4. My eyes are neither big, nor do I have the long lusted after (among Asians) double eyelids, and my lashes could be longer and more curled.
5. My lips is neither rose-pink nor ruby red. Thankfully, that is the only form of dissatisfaction that I can see from it. I actually quite like the shape of my lips.
6. My teeth are far from straight. I need braces, something I cannot afford. And they aren't exactly white, either.
7. My hair isn't thick, long and silky, or as wavy as I'd like it to be. It's flat, fine and thin. I've had to blow it everyday so it'd look thicker.

My relatives used to say, "You should've taken after your mother!" My mum had all the features that were perceived beautiful. Somewhere along my transformation from the fertilised ovum to the foetus in her womb, something must have gone wrong. I thought.

All of this, used to matter. It used to hurt. I used to think "No one would think of me as beautiful. No one could love me."

But boy, was I wrong.

It took a boy, once upon a time, and the immense support of my faithful friends to make me see past all of that. You have no idea how happy I was to hear someone tell me, "Hey, you're perfect, you know."

However, it wasn't long after that I realised, I cannot depend on people to make me feel good about myself. Sure, it's a nice ego-boost, but I wouldn't be content. How many validations would I have to go through to accept myself for how I look, be at peace and happy with it all?

Me, 2013
Taken via my clunky camera phone.
I assure you, no zits were edited in this shot. 

It had to come from within.

So I tried this instead. I turned all my imperfections into something I loved about/am grateful for.

I do not have large, beautiful eyes.
But my eyes are the defining features of my heritage (I am Chinese). Which I am very proud of.
I also love that if you look closely enough, you'll see that my eyes aren't really black.
They're a deep, dark brown.
And hey, monolids can be very sexy.

I do not have a sharp, aristocratic nose,
But at least it's not crooked.

I do not have soft, silky and porcelain white complexion (nor soft pink cheeks).
But I'd rather have a slight imperfection, than patches of zits on both cheeks.
Even then, zits can be gotten rid of.
And over the years, I've actually grown to like the tanned colour of my skin.
With it, I feel unique.

My hair cannot be long, thick, and luxuriant (or nice, thick and wavy),
But it's almost always in place, and it's pretty manageable.

And so what if the right side of my face is smaller than my left?
No one is born with perfectly balanced features.
Those that have them are either extremely lucky, or they had surgery.

I do not have the body of a supermodel, I have a tummy, and I am relatively small and short.
But I actually like the way my body is, except the tummy. Which, I am working on.
And I like being called petite. I've always thought petite people were cute anyway.

My teeth may not be straight and white, but hey, I'm not buck toothed, and I can still smile properly.
My lips? I'm happy with the shape.

And last but not least, I am imperfect.
But I am perfectly unique.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I did all of that, then I started dressing better. Taking better care of my complexion. I hated putting on make up, so I learned a light bit of it, so at least I did the bare minimal - my normal make up would be, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, concealer and mascara.

And hey, I feel good about myself now.

If anyone were to call me ugly, well, I can only assume that that person is deeply insecure about his/her looks and is only doing that to make himself/herself feel happy. Doesn't matter what you say about me, I'm content. I'm confident.

I have nothing against people who wish to go under the knife. Hey, it's your body. If you really want to change it, go ahead, I respect you. But I do wish that people, especially girls, could be happy with how they look. Beauty is only a product of what the media tells us. Take that away, and we are all equal.

We can't all look like Angelina Jolie, Hyuna, or Jessica Alba. But we can look like ourselves. And that, in itself is what makes us all special.

I end my entry with a quote from a dear friend of mine:

"The sexiest thing you can ever find in a woman is confidence, and the best accessory she can wear is her smile."

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