I usually assume I’m the one who is failing a little. Like at wearing those particular gigantic earrings with that particular purple spotted dress. And at conversation. I’m probably the one who isn’t quite quick enough, or is a little too eager; just the slightest bit miscalibrated. In Manhattan, I’m the one who is always missing the trend by a hair (or every single hair). Oh, we’re wearing jumpsuits now. Wait– we aren’t anymore? But I got this purple spotted one for 80% off! It’s true, I always get the cheap version. I’m not willing to commit completely. I don’t have faith in fashion the way so many people seem to.
I read about faces. About the ones that men prefer most. The ones that babies prefer most. The ones that both men and babies rate the highest, while having a beer. There’s all this information about averages. People gravitate towards the generic. Those even, flat features composited from a hundred thousand other sets of features on a computer in a lab where sex scientists stare at screens with faces on them all day (feeling worse and worse about the way they look), those are the ones people on the street choose, when they’re handed the leaflets and asked to identify beauty.
I have a face that refuses to be average. It refuses to be dull. It runs yelling in the opposite direction. It’s yelling, “I’m free! I’m free!” It’s delusional. It doesn’t fit in.
But for most of my life, rather than coveting typical beauty, my gaze has paused on other striking faces. I glance across Megan Fox and Jessica Alba and all of the Playmates and stop on Rosemary Dewitt. Meryl Streep. Queen Latifah. That girl with the awesome nose who turned out to be a cylon in Battlestar Galactica.
(Apparently her name is Rekha Sharma. source)
I like different bodies, too. I’m tired of everyone being so skinny. In college, the photo that stayed on my wall for all four years was a cut-out from a magazine of a full-bodied contemporary dancer. I don’t know her name. I don’t think I ever did. Hollywood would definitely have called her fat. She was rounded, gorgeous, and graceful.
There are all these women who are daringly, elegantly, fabulously different-looking. And those are the ones I admire automatically, instinctively.
But I imagine that I am not like them. I have the striking, strange features, but instead of setting me glamorously apart, they hinder me. I perceive myself as impeded by my own genetic boldness.
And then sometimes it suddenly occurs to me that maybe I am cool. Maybe I’m one of the cool ones. Maybe other people spot me on Amsterdam Ave in the high 80s and think, “That girl really knows how to rock a big nose!” Maybe they like my outfits. Maybe I’m a secret role model. Maybe I’m daring without even knowing it.
Once in a while, I see myself for a split second– unadulterated by 24 years of being me– and I think, “Nice. She is unique.”
Uniqueness is something I value. Something I am attracted to. Something I respect. And I am it. So maybe my cheap purple spotted jumpsuit is just the beginning of a new trend. Not that I have one. But if I got one, maybe it would be.
(This baby is judging your face. source)
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Un-roast: Today I love that my hair is light brown but my eyebrows are almost black.