Three years ago, while trying to coerce a favor from a friend, she set the price of the favor at receiving a compliment she had never heard before. Because I am so extra, I went ahead and wrote a whole damn song, and in a couple of weeks, that song is gonna be available on all platforms where music can be heard.
Yes, yes, I know; it was a little over the top, but a little over the top is what I am all about. The best part is the journey to the song allowed me to explore different views on beauty, and also to reinforce the ones that I had, even of myself. Of course, I view myself as a specimen now, but it hasn’t always been so. Far from it, actually. When I was growing up, I was a weird kid (you know this by now), and I was insecure about the things that made me different. I had a huge head and a really long neck. I was too skinny, then I was chubby, and then I was too skinny again. I had big eyes which were almost always shuttered. Some of my teeth slanted inwards. I had a widow’s peak that barber’s didn’t know what to do with and my hair was the stubbornest thing ever. Because of all this, when I started getting attention from the other gender in the eighth grade, I was sure they were blind. And even then, I still wanted to have braces in, gain some weight and ‘fix’ all the other things that I thought were wrong with myself.
It’s kinda stupid, but it was only years later when I noticed that someone who would soon become my favorite musician, Brooke Fraser, had teeth that looked like mine, and for the first time ever, I began to accept that my smile was fine just the way it was. And over the years that followed, rather than try to change them, I began to accept the other things that made me different and own them. And work them. And all those things are now the favorite things about myself. Beauty is found in the things that make us unique, and the fact that among seven billion people, there are no replica fingerprints, eyes, genetic codes; everything about you is exclusive only to you, and that is incredible.
Now, I’m not trying to tell anyone how to feel, but human beings are nothing else if not diverse and I feel like that’s one of the things that need to be celebrated the most. Everybody has got that one thing that sets them apart, and whether they know it or not, that thing is what’s making someone look twice. And in the pursuit of happiness, it’s okay if you want to change anything about yourself, but it shouldn’t be because of what other people think or say. How you feel about yourself always has to come from within you and no one else.
Above all, remember that beauty isn’t only about how you look. You’re more than that: you are the way you treat other people, you are your story and what you’ve come through to get to where you are, and the story that you will leave behind. Your story is what makes you special, and when you look in the mirror, see a conqueror and an overcomer. And I just have to send a shout-out to my friends Meschack and Portia for helping me see things this way.
I’m hoping that by the time we get to the 20th of next month, the song will be available for you to hear; it’s come a very long way and I hope my future projects don’t take this long to be completed, but I had a great time on it, especially working through the visuals because they incorporate the point I am trying to hit across and when everything comes together, I know that it will be more than beautiful.