I can remember being self-conscious about my body from as young as 11. I hated my bobbly knees and short legs, and I was constantly comparing myself to other girls the same age who had been blessed with puberty. Meanwhile, I was waiting my turn.
A couple of years later, my turn eventually came and to my dismay, I hadn’t grown into a 6-foot model as I had expected. My puberty fairy godmother had instead granted me with dark hairs…lots of dark hairs that weren’t shy of making home on the most obvious parts of my body, mainly being my face. With my face newly bejazzled, I was often reminded that I was a girl who had a moustache and a monobrow. The main emphasis being that I was a GIRL who had these things. Being the impressionable age of 13, I thought this obviously meant that I had something wrong with me. That I was an alien from planet hairville and all other girls were hairless beings from planet earth.
Disheartened with my puberty luck of the draw, I immediately started to cover up these ‘flaws’ as I had seen them, and how others my age had quite unfairly perceived them too. I plucked my eyebrows, excessively I may add, and bleached my upper lip. With my two pencil lines for eyebrows and bleached moustache, I felt unstoppable and couldn’t wait to go back to school to show my ‘glow up’. That feeling was short-lived as I was now reminded that I had uneven eyebrows and a white moustache.
From then on, the cycle began. Someone points out something they don’t like. I fix it. Someone else points out that they now don’t like it. I fix it. And so on.
It wasn’t until recent years that I realised that trying to please everybody else on my appearance is EXHAUSTING. Somebody is always going to have an opinion and you aren’t always going to fix that and that’s okay. And that’s where the cogs started turning in my brain.
Why are other people so determined to make others live up to their ideal of beauty? More often than not, their unrealistic ideal of beauty at that. Especially when beauty is so personal and subjective. My eyebrows for example, back in 2007 I was laughed at for having a monobrow, fast forward 10 years and some of the top models are posing with monobrows on the cover of magazines. I bet those same people that teased me are now grooming their monobrows completely oblivious to the humiliation they caused those years back to the girl who is now stuck with sparse brows from over plucking.
The point being, if you live your life to please everybody else, to live up to unrealistic beauty norms or to squeeze into the ‘beauty’ mould of the trend of that year, you’ll never rest. And you’ll soon come to realise, it’s actually impossible.
I look back on the day I bleached my moustache and I wish I died that girl pink. To highlight that yes, I have peach fuzz, uneven eyebrows and a now pink moustache, but I am beautiful, because this makes me, me.