I was bullied as a young child. I grew up in Jersey and attended a school where I was the only LEBANESE-CUBAN girl around. Being Middle Eastern and Hispanic gave me a tanned complexion, but that's not the only reason I was teased. I had and still faintly have a red splotch between my eyebrows. As a child, the kids would call me "dot head" as a derogatory term for being Indian. It's ironic because I believe that Indian women are some of the most stunning I've ever seen; I should've taken it as a compliment. But why would it matter if I were Indian anyhow? Who cares about a facial birthmark, it didn't effect my intelligence? Why was "lighter skin" without a red mark on it so appealing at the time and what was wrong with being naturally tan? The answer is this: Society determines what is visually appealing and perception begins at a very young age. I was always acutely aware of image, particularly after having others point my "imperfections" out to me so young (kids are truly mean). I quickly learned how my face was wired. I have been using the same winged-eyeliner technique since 8th grade as I learned how to manipulate my facial features with the use of makeup. I taught myself how to shape my brow, I mastered the art of evening out my skin tone, how to care for my skin, how to emphasize my cheek bones...all with the use of makeup. What I learned was how to become the BEST version of myself. I recently heard an interview on the radio about self image and how (this notion of) "INNER BEAUTY" supersedes the physical exterior. That's very poetic, but I disagree. Indeed, one needs to be kind & considerate & gracious. HOWEVER, we are judged, we are considered & we are INITIALLY valued by our appearance. The key to self empowerment (I believe) is through the art of "mastering ones self image". We live in a time that is so fantastic for women and men alike. Treatments & procedures & makeup & beauty-resources are available to us for the sake of tweaking those imperfections that cause us agony. Controversial topic? Indeed it is, but no less realistic. Just ask this Middle Eastern-Hispanic girl with the splotch on her forehead and I'll tell you image means everything.
CIAO for now xo