Recently I opened my instagram to find the comment on one of my videos “Stick to photoshop and make up, you have to be in your late 40’s”. (For the record I wasn’t wearing makeup and my hair was not fixed but pulled back instead…. And I’m 35)
Normally comments like this would never offend me, at this point in my life and career I have grown accustom to criticisms. However this one rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn’t the fact that she was calling me old that got me heated, what upset me was that instead of congratulating me for showing my natural side on a page where I have only posted made up and altered modeling photos, she instead felt women are better when they are altered in some form or fashion enough to voice an opinion about it.
Is this really where our society has gone? Where we only think that a woman is beautiful if she is modified in some way? Have we become so accustom to the mask that people wear that when someone is natural it’s alien to us?
We are hard enough on ourselves and now there is access for so many others to be judgmental and critical to us as well. Exposing yourself online is a lot of pressure. Everyday we are judged and compared to others. Sadly most people post actually looking for acceptance, or to get an opinion on how they should dress, wear their hair, makeup, etc. Do we ever stop to wonder whom it is judging us and giving an opinion? It’s as if we don’t know how to live our lives without enough likes on Instagram and FB or how many times our tweets got favored. We doubt our worth if others don’t deem us socially worthy to follow. We look at the post of others and compare our lives to theirs, feeling like we don’t stack up or that we are some how better.
"Social Media has infected the world with a sickening virus called vanity"
I posted the video wanting to share a piece of my personal life and prove that I am a real person, not just a model with a lot of professional photos and selfies. I want people to know who I actually am and maybe inspire others to be the same, to realize that beauty really does lie within and not just on the skin and that you don’t always have to be flawless. It’s okay to want to look your best and be proud of it enough to show it but it’s equally okay to be someone others can identify with and you can only achieve that by simply being real.
None of us are perfect; in fact even the most beautiful feel they have more flaws then most. True story and I’ve seen it first hand.
I have sunspots and freckles; laugh lines, crows’ feet, scars and uneven skin tone. But I would never trade those marks for the world. It means I have lived. I earned every imperfection. Summer days playing in the sprinklers with my sister; late night chats laughing at my hysterical friends; squinting at a Caribbean sunset, swimming in deep ocean waters, falling in and out of love and simply just being born. These are just a few of the moments that I wear on my face, kind of like a cover to a book and if more people took the time to get past the cover they would discover the beautiful story that lies within. We all have these stories. We all have these imperfections and to me, that is what makes us beautiful. Embrace them all. Congratulate and not criticize others on their stories.
So next time you meet a stranger, talk to them, ask where they got that scar. I promise you, what may have seemed ugly at first glance will become intriguing and enduring because you can’t Photoshop real life or mask inner ugliness.
To me, I don’t want to end this life in a perfectly put together flawless body but instead bruised, scared, worn and tattered. It may not be the most glamorous of endings but I can promise you my story will be better then yours. Why? Because beauty by definition is a combination of qualities present in a thing or person that pleases the senses or brings about deep satisfaction; and my satisfaction is life and all the perfect imperfections that are within it. True beauty is seen with the heart and not with the eyes. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matter’s is what you see.