About 10 years ago, when I used to sell prints at king of diamonds in Miami, my boss and adopted big brother "dread" said something that forced me to hit my restart button. He said "If I had a face like that I would use it". I was like wtf did you just say??!! As if he was low-key asking me, when was I going to be ready to accept my personal beauty aesthetic? The question made me pause in shock and stopped me in my tracks like I was struck by lightning. It was in that very moment that my life rushed before my eyes and I had to acknowledge that I willingly underwent a process to guard myself by curating a wardrobe full of armor accompanied by a permanent scowl simply for my survival. Moving to Chicago alone at age 19 can do that to a young woman.
That defense shield ensured that the people who I got closest to, and still share a lifelong friendship with, actually saw my light & loved me unconditionally. I still remember that very day I kissed all of my canal street Louis Vuitton goodbye. My signature sneakers, wallet, belt & 2 bags now belonged to the obnoxious neighbor across the hall who loved when I wore them. To her that was the epitome of style & beauty while all I could see them as was a magnet for undesirables.
Dread is the one who reminded me that the aspects of my personality that aided in my survival, the most treacherous battles, the time in the trenches, was over & I was allowed to reclaim my power. Moving away from the perils of 71st & Jeffrey on the Southside of Chicago to Miami was the impetus of my rebirth. The season was ripening for the pure seeds inside my soul to flower. The soil was filled with nutrients & my coffers were replenished.
Now matured & fully in love with my journey thus far, I can openly admit that looking at some random photos of myself from 10 & 20 years ago are evidence of both ugly & beautiful times. In true self-analyzing fashion, I googled both adjectives:
ugly = displeasing to the eye
beautiful = attractive to the eye
Now if we take an anonymous global survey I would bet money that unless you're an extreme narcissist, you also have both ugly & beautiful characteristics. Including all of my model friends and even the top models who wouldn't admit to having surgery done to "fix" these so-called ugly bits.
Moral: We all have countless opportunities to focus on either the displeasing or alluring aspects of ourselves. And more importantly, what you focus on grows so hopefully all of you will be encouraged to explore your personal beauty aesthetics. Learning how to do my makeup has been one of my favorite meditative practices and in reality is a form of alchemy, transforming & reshaping the objectionable features on our faces to our liking sans incision. And what sits next to owning your beauty is it's bestie success, so claim it people & enjoy your journey to thrive and flourish on ways only you truly can.