I grew up with very little affirmative remarks pertaining to my physical features that were positive. I was teased for years, in my home, at school, and yes, even at church. I was told that I was fat, ugly, black ( as if that was a bad thing) and much more. I grew up with very low self- esteem. I think that as I get older, I am led to understand that God loves me regardless. Last night, I had a vulnerable moment when I asked my friend if she thought I was pretty. She went in.
She flipped down the passenger side mirror where I was sitting, and told me to name five features on my face alone that I loved. I stared hard and decided to close the mirror and shake my head. “Nothing”, she asked? “Nothing”, I said, tearing up. “Well I’ll tell u what I like”, she said.
“This is a real gay moment right now and I’m a vulnerable, non- practicing lesbian”, I joked.
“I’m serious Carmen”, she said, adding ” I love your smile. You have a beautiful smile. I love your high cheekbones and your eyes. I think you have the most beautiful, long lashes, but that’s apart of the eyes.”
“Really? I asked, needing validation in that still moment.
“Heck yeah! You’re so pretty. I wish you could see what I see, what the rest of the world sees. You’re beautiful girl.”
I started crying at this point. I had been through so much and I had never had anyone, man nor woman, point out so many things about me that they loved, with just my face alone. Then she admitted a secret she uses each day. She said she amps herself up by telling herself positive, affirmitive words or phrases to re-instill the way she should feel about herself. I always assumed that she was just very conceited, but she said she struggled as well to get to the place she was at now. I was shocked. She told me to try the exercises and look in the mirror and affirm myself with good thoughts. She also told me to talk about myself in good ways so that I can start feeling great about myself. I asked her a crucial question.
“Do you think the reason I have issues with men is because of my lack of confidence and low self- esteem”?
“Yes”, she responded, solemnly. The softness in her answer told me it was true.
I’m not sure when I’ll get over this, but I am making a concerted effort to change. Will keep y’all posted.