Thursday, 1 October 2009

Smiling?

I am confused by anyone who is enthusiastic about me, or tells me I am beautiful, or tells me I 'can have anyone I want'. How can I respect someone who holds these thoughts? I cannot believe them to be true, I struggle to respect someone whose opinions are so strange. So I seek out, unknowingly, men whose feelings reflect my own. Any man who feels the way I do about myself can never love me. I sabotage my connections with those whose spirits otherwise could make me sing.

I have a photograph of myself aged about six or so. I am untidy. Someone has tried to sort my hair out, straighten my school tie, make me acceptable. I am trying to smile whilst covering my squint brown first teeth, they have no enamel. I cannot close my mouth properly. I cannot smile properly. It is a sort of awkward grimace instead. This picture makes me weep. I pity the little girl who cannot smile like everyone else. She is not beautiful, or cute. She is loved. And lost. She knows she is not the same as the rest. We are none of us the same though. I hate the lie of our society that celebrates sameness, and punishes those of whose faces do not fit.

My father, when he could still speak, would tell me I was beautiful. I never believed him, but appreciated the gesture.

Logic dictates that I am not fat, nor ugly, nor unacceptable. That I am fine, perhaps even attractive in some ways. My personality is built on rising above the bullying and shame. Have I become externally invincible, impenetrable? Whilst all the while still trying to hide my fear and ugliness. The person I have grown into is capable and independent and worth knowing, but inside I am still the little girl staring back through the years.

Some days I accept myself, even have moments of pride. Today is not one of them.

3 comments:

  1. You should read this poem.

    klassy.vox.com/library/post/i-have-had-to-learn-to-live-with-my-face.html

    You will like it, I think.

    Charles Bivona

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  2. Sorry:

    http://klassy.vox.com/library/post/i-have-had-to-learn-to-live-with-my-face.html

    that's better.

    ReplyDelete