Why It is Difficult For Me to Call Myself Beautiful…

black woman


Beauty is a woman’s pride, so why is it hard for me to call myself beautiful. The images I see don’t look like me.  I see shades of white, brown, and tan but none like me. I see structures so tall and so thin but none like me.  You see, I have chocolate skin not too light not too dark. I have a wide nose which I think fits my face, but some find it big.  I have small eyes and specks of details which flow through my face as if I was hand crafted. Details place thoroughly throughout my body, little moles, freckles, and birth marks which identify me as unique. I’m one of a kind consider me a rare gem, so why is it hard for me to call myself beautiful.

 Don’t tell me I have low esteem because I do. Don’t tell me I’m insecure because I am. Why shouldn’t I. Don’t point out the obvious instead dig deeper?  I wasn’t told I was beautiful, so how would I know what beauty truly is. From a young age, I was taught that to be beautiful I must have European features, so this means the straight hair, narrow nose, and most importantly fair skin. So I rush to bleach my skin, perm my kinky Nubian hair and I try to fix everything they considered imperfect. The creator’s perfection turned flawed. But still what is beauty? 

You see, was taught to question everything about me, from my face down to my beliefs. I was taught to only doubt never to love; to be dependent rather than to free. I am enslaved to my insecurities and trapped in a nonexistent reality where my kind isn’t beautiful.

Yet they say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but who is my beholder? I pondered on this question, and then I realized that you must learn to be your own beholder and create your own definition of beauty. One must identify what features they love about themselves and in the society around them in order to define such a word as beauty.  Lupita Nyong’o stated, “You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What does sustain us… what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.” Despite society and media perceptions, beauty does not consist only of physical appearance; an individual can be beautiful in so many ways. Everyone possesses a form of beauty, but not everyone may see it.

Beauty is universal, but in society beauty has become a quest. This is a quest to become something that we are not, a quest to exemplify something foreign to us. As a individuals, we need to acknowledge what is beautiful about us and embrace it to the fullest.

“Consider yourself a rare work of art because there’s none like you.”

Submitted by: Edna Odae


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