As someone who doesn’t find themselves particularly beautiful. I must say that the idea of beauty has always alluded me. And felt like something I would never be able to attain. One quick look through the latest magazines, or instagram, and my long standing belief that I am not beautiful is cemented. I also grew up in a home where beauty wasn’t celebrated. No one ever stopped and looked at me to say “Wow, you are beautiful”. In fact it was quite the opposite. From the time I was a toddler, my aunts and uncles would always tease my sisters, cousins and I by highlighting our ‘imperfections’.
Which is how I became well aware that I had a big head and forehead. My big head, or ‘spongo’ as my aunts and uncles used to call it. Was the subject of many jokes between my family members. That amongst my many other imperfections that were deemed funny. Which luckily didn’t become heart sores that needed healing. Nor did they feel like things I could or would want to fix. To this day, my husband, and my sisters still call me nicknames. Which for some might seem cruel, but for me has taught me to find joy in the obscure.
Which is why it is always interesting to see peoples faces when they hear my family or husband call me by these names. Because to them, they could be considered harmful. And in fact, were I taught not to celebrate them and wear them like a crown. And very often laugh at them. It would be hurtful. But instead, I have learnt to find joy and happiness in my differences. To look at my big forehead and outward pointing feet as signs that I am human. And most importantly, that I am different.
This idea of celebrating what would be seen as ‘ugly’ or ‘imperfect’ was further cemented when my high school best friend who is now a well know actress was asked if she would remove the scar on her upper lip. To which she immediately answered “no”. Because whilst other people saw an imperfection. She saw a story. A history and something different. It is for this reason, and many others that I hope to keep celebrating imperfection. And finding joy in being different.