Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Beast or Beauty? 

Today I went into school and was told by a friend I am beautiful and should see myself as such. Do I look in the mirror? Not if I can help it. I refuse to see myself as beautiful. After so many years of being told I am ugly or disgusting and fellow students gagging at me; I simply can't see past the words.
Why is it that people feel such a strong need to look good? Or maintain appearance?
I have never felt like I needed to look my best for school, I rarely put my hair up all fancy and use makeup to hide behind. Yet like everyone else I am never happy with just being me, with no make-up, no slim fit top or skinny jeans to try and keep the idea of being thin in my mind.
Why is it when a young girl sees a curve and goes straight to thinking they are FAT? I myself am guilty of this. I know I am not, yet all I see in the mirror is a huge mass. I find that it is exhausting trying to fit into the image the media and society has molded for me.
Thin, Athletic and in proportion.... (Picture a slim model on the front of a magazine) I am nothing like this. Not even the slim model is like that, yet we all try to achieve that so called perfection. Is it true that people who have been bullied are more likely to feel this need to match society demands? I have no idea. I don't ask others how they see themselves.
When I look at myself I am brought straight to my scars, I see them even when others cannot. Then my eyes move to my stomach and how it bulges out of proportion with my hips, dose that make me fat? or blind to what is really there? And so I enter into a time of starving myself as punishment for being me yet again. Then all at once the lumps and bumps come into view and I see just how odd and strange my joints are, how far my legs extend and how swollen my hips are from the constant pain and irritation.
I often tell people they are meant to be the way they are, they are beautiful and should not let people tell them otherwise. I know others also give this same advice, a mum or sister perhaps?  But have you ever stopped to notice that they do not take their own advice?
I am aware of my scars from my HME, and my weight, and everything else I have ever been made to feel is wrong. I know it is daft to dwell of the past yet I do so anyway. Harsh words stay, and often last longer than the knowing of the source. So my point is this, if you do not want to hurt another for the rest of their life then do not tell them they have flaws or should work on something. Instead tell them the good things and maybe one day we will see a day were people can feel good about being the way they were born. One day we shall see the plus size models on every cat walk, we will see someone with crutches smile at a compliment, or a person in a wheel chair think, "I am just as good as a man who can walk" because that's how it ought to be. We talk of equality, now it is time to bring it to life.
I do not want to see children laughing at their elders who have a limp; I do not want to hear the jokes about disability or illness. I am not one to make the jokes, but I hear them almost every day. People will always find a way to criticize another. Have you ever thought of how many jokes are being made of something as simple as having ginger hair? I have. Basically if people are not laughing at one thing they will find another.
I often find myself thinking why society has developed this need to discriminate, and judge? There is nothing good to come from it. Nothing to be gained but a short 2 minutes of laughter, then the person realizes they are in the wrong, and begins to regret what they said.
So you see, it does not matter if you have a condition, or a disability...if someone is going to bring you down then they will find the smallest thing, even if they too are the same. The important thing is, not to let the harsh words or hateful faces sink in and penetrate the way you see yourself. A condition is not you. An illness is not the end. A disability is a wall, not a cage. Learn to love yourself and others will soon know they can love you too.
I have to say, around my friends my scars don't matter. I can wear shorts...without thick black tights. I can wear short sleeves and loose tops because I don't care how they see me. I don't need to hide; I can relax because they don't see imperfection. They see me.
Ask yourself, who sees you...for you?
 
Your Friend
Jordan