This is Me
"Did you ever look in the mirror so long that your face didn't make sense anymore? It just becomes all these shapes. Just shapes. Not good or bad." (Noelle, TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS)
It happens more and more often lately. I look at a picture of myself and I say, that can't possibly be me. I see the graying hair, the added laugh lines, the marks of gravity, the sagging eyes which look more and more like my dad who always had hang dog eyes, the discolorations, the weight . . . I see it all and wonder when I became this person.
I know that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes. I was reminded about this today when I stumbled upon the wonderful and powerful work of photographer Rick Guidotti, and his non-profit organization called Positive Exposure. Looking at the incredibly beautiful images of people with genetic, physical, and behavioral differences made me think about how often I still allow a nebulous definition of beauty to make me feel inferior somehow.
This happens every summer, as I am surrounded by young actors and actresses who are just at the beginning of their careers. I'm always amazed by these women who have so much confidence in themselves, their bodies, and their goals in life. It seems to me that those people who are more confident in their dreams are able to show confidence in their own physicality which then reinforces their confidence in themselves.
[caption id="attachment_6875" align="aligncenter" width="584"] The beauties gather for a company Fourth of July parade.[/caption]
I have NEVER had that confidence. Even when I was younger, firmer, lighter . . . I never had the confidence to walk out in the world and say look at me, I'm here and I matter.
I know that we shouldn't be judged by our appearance but by who we are, what we do, what we offer the world. But let's face it, that's not how our world works. No matter how much we want it to be different, we are still too often judged by our appearance. But, at the same time, it's the people who wear their identities with confidence, flaws and all, who seem to have the ability to pursue dreams without anything stopping them.
So maybe the lesson isn't how we look, but what we believe about ourselves.
It's past time for me to claim my beauty, inner and outer. It's time for me to stop hiding behind the definitions of a world gone mad and become everything I've always wanted to be.
Time may be passing, but my future lies ahead and it will be full of confidence if I have any say about it. I just wish I hadn't forgotten my sassy heels.