“Everything hasitsbeauty, but not everyone sees it.” -Confucius.
What value does being pretty really have? Is it financially gainful?In somecases, yes. Is it morally upright?Does it validate your existence?It would appear that in many societies it does. Especially if you’re of the female persuasion. There was a time, when I felt validated only by my pretty face. Coming to the conclusion that if nothing else, at least I was pretty. However, I’d much rather have a functioning left arm thanbig pretty eyes! Another important question, “What reallymatters?” I found myself resigned to awheelchair, a cane,bulky(heavy)braces, and at one point the ugliest shoes I have ever seen in my life. Where there was oncefreedom of movement, cute littleshoes, and fashionable clothes I found myself stuck with the opposite at the time.Being in these unwanted and unfavorable circumstances made me question my self worth and evensexuality as aWoman. Ino longer felt attractive. In turn this effected how I felt and perceived the world around me. It brought with it the questionof, for many other Women who are(or have become) disabled, how do they feel? Because, until certain aspects of your “normal,”life experiencechange, there are so many nuances you don’t realize or perceive. Sure, it’s quite nice to be told how pretty you are. But really, in the big scheme of things, what does it matter? I remember one comment I receivedin particular(though funny at the time) was quite telling of ourgeneral attitude towards physical appearance. “Well, at least it didn’t mess up your face!” In regards to the stroke, although I’ll readily admit I’m thankful it didn’t. However, what if it did!?Would I find myself relegated to the forgottenintheworld’s population?What a sadtruth this is for oursociety. We place valueon things where there isn’t a whole lot and no value on things where there is much. In fact for some time I had to be stopped from giving away all mybelongings, because after what I went through, the valueof them dropped!At one point in time where I would spendfrivilously, I now carefully(and delibrately) saved. We all know beauty is only skin deep, but how often do we act on that truth? If we actually did, the cosmetics industry would plummet, bank accountbalances would rise, and eating disorders would be arcane. Therefore, take care of your physicalhealth and appreciate the body you have. Especially since it’s on loan and you can’t take it with you!
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein.
How oftendo you feel the unexpected gaze or stare ofa stranger? Well, I do quite a bit. So much in fact that my usually non-violentcute little cousin spouted off frustrated comments about one such incident. I believe the statement, “ I would kick Her in Her big dumb face,” wasactually used. As mean as that sounds it was very sweet because She was upset about the gawking of one particular Woman. I, on the other hand didn’t even notice it. I’m sure people wonder what in theheckhappened to me, which is fine. It took a good while to feel okay about going out into public after the hospital due to the potential(andactual) gawking. However,I was told to hold my head high no matter what, and haven’t looked back since. Whether you feel particularly goodor awfully different that makes no difference. Because, either way you should carry yourself with esteem.Your story is unknown to a stranger and certainly not their story.This is where unknowingly the Ray Bans tagline of “Never Hide,” is actually brilliant. At some point I decided people were staring because I’m so damn pretty, so there. This allowed any rude gawkers or gawking to quickly fade to black inmygrand play of life. Understandably, my cousin is thirteen years old and has yet to learn this. Yet, people of every age could benefit from such an attitude! You don’t have to resemble a piece of beef jerky and wear stretch band waisted pants, and “special shoes,” before you stop caring what other people think. You can start doing thatright now and it isfreedom!Just imagine it like when kids pick their noses in public, “ We just don’t care people.” Tohave that feelingof freedom is pretty awesome. It means you can focus more on the important things and less on other people. Because, it is extremely likely the rest of the population is far too self absorbed to pay so much attention to you anyway. In those odd moments when they do, whether it’s for something spectacular(I do have Prada on, thanks!) Orsomething a bit embarrassing, it’s totally okay just breathe and move on. Granted, we’d rather be thought of as mostly spectacular the latter happens sometimes too. It is in those moments, whether occasionally or perpetual, we learn to just get back up. Besides, whatsomebody else eats does not give you a stomach ache unless you let it.Therefore, focus on what’s on your own plate. This isn’t to say you should be self absorbed,certainly not. Except, that sometimes what’s on your plate is more important than what they have on theirs. After all, they’re not living your life for you that’s in your hands.
Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older(NO!) or maybe it’s because of circumstances.
I have observed in women of all ages and in myself the detrimental effects a low self esteem can have.There are numerous studies done on how low self esteem not only effects you personally but society as a whole.Because little girls are not fed more self esteem boosting material were losing out on future doctors,lawyers,scientists,and leaders.This not only effects people personally but all of us as a whole too.
If We could just love ourselves rightly and realize our value and potentials it would start a social revolution! We would likely see a major decrease in things like anorexia, a spike in grade levels in education regarding girls, and overall society would be better for it.
After being discharged from the hospital to my parents home,I had a huge wheelchair that I got around in.Being in it affected how I felt about myself and was a great social experiment too.
I discovered that people either stared at you,paid no attention, or were super nice.
At the time I felt unwanted,unlovable,and uncomfortable about being in it.I also hardly felt as if I could be sexy! A large part of what I felt made me attractive was seemingly taken away.
I suspect other women that are wheelchair bound(I’m not any longer) may feel that way.
However, to the credit of my Mother in particular, one day She told me “Just hold your head up and be proud of who you are.” She is absolutely right! I felt uncomfortable because of the stares but not after I took that to heart.As we all know, our culture puts a heavy value on physical appearance.The emphasis on outward looks is causing a large neglect on our inner health.Women aren’t the only ones effected by the obsession over youth and beauty. After sometime I no longer cared or felt bad about being in a wheelchair.In fact I later had fun zipping around in it and dancing even!
I decided to choose life and not care so much about what other people thought.In fact as a joke I used to believe that noone would pay any mind to someone in a wheelchair blatantly shoplifting, because they ignored you! Thus I even pretended to steal things sometimes and behold I was never suspected or caught.
Through all of this I now feel more open to being myself then I ever have.
Life is simply too short to limit yourself based on what others think.
Do yourself a favor and once you change your attitude there is no limit to how high your altitude will go!
tell yourself as well as the women in your life that they’re beautiful.We should be applauding accomplishments rather than a lovely appearance in everyone not only young girls.Society and you personally will only benefit from us all holding each other up.