I am not beautiful, and that’s okay!

It was a decision I made, in 2008. I’m not beautiful. I stopped wearing earrings, stopped spending lots of money on clothes, gradually stopped spending lots of money on my hair. Most importantly, though not immediately, I stopped caring whether people thought I was pretty or not. How did I come to that point? I guess things had been building up for a while. From going through puberty in JSS where girls in my school would get ranked by the boys in terms of beauty, leaving a trail of bruised egos and battered self esteem… …To going through SSS and watching girls struggle to work makeup magic with Vaseline and talcum powder. Seeing girls cry pitifully because their breasts were too small or because their stomachs were too big. Oh, how many girls lost their virginity to the first guy that said to them: “You’re beautiful”!?… …Then being in university, watching girls spend up to 2 hours getting dressed and made up for lectures. Watching girls buy butt and breast enlargement pills, do stomach flattening exercises everyday, cry because some guy said they were ugly… Juxtapose that with having a male best friend and a squad of male friends who were virtually untouched by these “troubles”. And of course, add my laziness (waking up 2 extra hours early to get dressed is not easy for me), my desire to be first in my class, my inability to wear high heels or breathe in tight clothing, my reluctance to spend Cedis and hours in a salon, sitting under a hair dryer… Now there are women that are (almost) universally accepted as beautiful. Off the top of my head, BeyoncΓ©, my friend Gyamfua, Genevieve Nnaji, etc. Now take your mirror, look at yourself. Are you really there? Ok, now put away the mirror and ask 5 strangers. I see too many girls fuss unnecessarily about their appearances, when frankly, there’s not much improvement in the befores and afters, and they really shouldn’t waste their time and money. And as my Anji and I say, pick your things in life and go be excellent at them. This is why I don’t play piano; I love music, but I sucked at it and it never “clicked” with me, so I pushed it aside to concentrate on other things… Some things can be bought, including beauty, but until you’re rich enough for that, stop wasting your time and with a joyful shrug, repeat after me…. I AM NOT BEAUTIFUL, AND THAT IS OKAY. Instead, work on things you actually + foreseeably have a shot at, such as a career, or a business or an education – you know, those things where it has been proven that time + effort = success. When you’re successful, you can buy a new face, breasts, buttocks etcetera. You don’t believe me? Just ask Nicki Minaj and Kim K! Also, my new catch phrase.. “Nowhere cool”. Kelly Rowland, who I thought was perfection, got breast implants. Charley even her, she wasn’t happy with herself. I wonder if she’s okay now. I mean, there will always be a prettier face, hotter body, bigger rack… So where does it end? At some point in 2008, I said to myself “who the hell (that I actually care about) cares anyway?” I certainly didn’t! It isn’t all rosy self-acceptance, mind you. I’ve had tough moments where a cheating boyfriend caused me to want to care more about my looks… Occasionally I relapse into vanityliosis, but thankfully these have been less frequent as I’ve grown older πŸ™‚ About guys, I guess I’ve been lucky enough to fall for guys that aren’t really into looks (MOST OF THE TIME), and thankfully everyone I’ve liked has liked me back. πŸ˜” Well, not everyone, Johnny Depp… *sigh*

I want to be a successful architect, and help people and improve lives with my talent. I decided early on that I didn’t need to be beautiful to achieve this, and that’s okay with me. I am not beautiful, and that’s okay.

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27 thoughts on “I am not beautiful, and that’s okay!

  1. I wanted to stop in and say that I loved reading your blog. I also wanted to say that my heart goes out to you because you said that you are not beautiful. I wanted to tell you that society has very skewed views on what beauty is. I myself as a brown skinned girl with natural hair has also looked in the mirror and question my level of “beauty”. I realized that in my own way I am beautiful. I am one of a kind and there is no one else like me. I totally agree when you say that you don’t have the money or the time to keep up with the worlds standards. Developing your own style and doing what makes you feel pretty is the key. Don’t allow the world to set your standard of beauty. You are beautiful and uniquely made. If you don’t believe it look in the mirror everyday and tell yourself out loud” I am beautiful, I love my eyes, my lips, I Love me!!!”

    • Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚
      Well, truth is, I don’t feel the need to be beautiful according to anybody’s standards, and that includes myself.
      I have other things I’m brilliant at, which mean much more to be than beauty. I’m uniquely made, I’m not interested in changing my face or body, not because I think I’m beautiful, but because it doesn’t matter.

    • You see dat tin?? I really don’t know how Kuukuwa came to this. Perhaps I need to have another look at my own notions of how people form a self image.

  2. hahahaha… beautiful write-up. I enjoyed every bit of it. Kuukuwa you write so well [maybe quite understating especially coming from a fairly new to this blogging business like myself]… your thoughts are so cogently expressed with fairly reasonable doses of humor. mehn! I will like to be like Kuukuwa when I grow up. LOL… and yes! try as you may to sound ‘unreasonably’ modest, I won’t fall for it. YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL!!!!! [@Mrjim_my on twitter]

  3. Beautiful write up. And if it’s true that we are what we write, then you are beautiful…cos you write beautifully.

  4. For a long while a cared about how people said i looked and that made me a very unhappy person. It was a long journey to get to the point where i stopped caring about how others said i looked to how comfortable and confident i felt about the way i looked.
    I have not changed much physically from the way i was all those years ago but people treat me differently than they did before. My confidence stemmed from the fact that i was consistently at the top or within the top 5% of most of my classes. It changed my outlook in life.
    I more than agree with you that if only women, younger women especially, would invest more in their education, careers, businesses and other like things, we would stop caring so much about how other people (usually men) think we look, and that will bring about the confidence to feel beautiful all the time regardless of what they say.

    BTW… i thought you were beautiful the first day i met you!

  5. I don’t know what to make of this, coming from you, because you’re naturally beautiful. I’m norr downplaying your struggle but I have a feeling that you will never know how some people who work hard for beauty feel.

  6. Chale, I’m making this piece must-read literature for my children(not just daughter(s)) if I ever have some… Chale, tno human should have the need to be/feel beautiful, I also believe being a proper human being and being useful to the earth makes one more beautiful than anything that’s applied to any body part.. medaase paaa for this piece..

  7. J Cole (one of my fav rappers said) Image is everything, it got a lot to do with what people believe or perceive. And No, this image he is singing about isn’t beauty but personality. When you have a great personality and a solid career , no matter how ugly (a word i don’t like to use) you are, people call you beautiful (Nicki Minaj for one). I studied in UGBS; a school where the most people value their looks and gadgets than their personality and future. I wasn’t one of the good looking guys but I sure didn’t make that my headache. I said to myself “This is something you cannot change. That’s how you were created, so you should rather focus on developing your self to become great, after all Forbes doesn’t do rankings based on beauty”.

    I agree with whatever you have said here but one: “I stopped wearing earrings, stopped spending lots of money on clothes, gradually stopped spending lots of money on my hair.”. You can stop caring about what others think of your beauty, but you sure don’t have to let this attitude stop you from looking great not just good. Part of creating a good personality is by looking great and this helps build up confidence too.

    • My confidence never depends on how I look. As long as I’m neat. I’m okay. Spending little money on clothes mostly means buying second-hand whenever I can. By spending less on my hair, I mean I wash and style my own hair most of the time. Not into being overdressed or fashionable now.
      In my chosen field, people tend to look more closely at what you do and what you say and not what designer clothes you wear or how fancy your hairdo is.

      • uhm! I wasn’t talking of being overdressed or fashionable. Looking presentable doesn’t mean you should buy a $600 outfit. You have chosen your style and that’s great. All i want to say is that, I would admit that I am not beautiful, but I wont let the naysaying of others stop me from doing what I do; the thoughts you have about yourself and what you’re doing are most important. You are what you do, and so if you change what you do, you change what you are.

  8. Can i just say, that i think i just fell in love (not the romantic kind mind you)? Reading this piece, i felt like I’d encountered a kindred spirit. Our society places a lot of importance on looking beautiful. Especially when you’re female. It’s just an immutable fact. So growing up, one needs to consciously build their mind and heart brick by boring brick, or will get sucked into the whole notion and feel miserable for their trouble. Thanks for this post.

  9. Ditto. I have grown up being told I was not beautiful and watching all the beautiful girls get all the attention, while I sat on the sidelines, watching. It is only since my husband that I came to feel pretty. But not beautiful. But I am not sure that really matters, as there is so much more to me than my physical appearance!
    http://obibinibruni.org/

  10. How am I now seeing this? Thanks so much for this. I think it might be naturally my personality to not care much about how I look, plus having to go through body phases because of my health and having the very bad habit of pushing everyone out of my space and shutting down occasionally(in the not so distant past). But this is truth right there, and making genuine friends, falling in love and being loved back, has taught me a lot about what really matters.

    Honestly, it wasn’t till I made friends in my final year (undergrad) that i got to know my mates were actually intimidated by me (who is this scarf-wearing fragile-looking girl who isalways first in class n last to leave, smart and antisocial?) They had no idea I talked even, until they got to know me (by accident actually – we happened to be on the same exchange prog team). It is comforting to find someone say what you feel and say it so well.

    Thanks again.

    And oh, you’re beautiful!

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