about my face

Formalities: happy new year! (It felt strange not to capitalise that.) I hope your holiday season was lovely! I hope some people got over their irrational anger over the phrase, “happy holidays”! Congrats on living to today! This is a little mess of what I think will become a little collection of essays about my insecurities on the internet. Yes, that is dangerous if some day someone finds a way to use these all against me in some super saiyan attack. Yes, I am posting it anyway.

Hello, gang.

It’s 3:57 AM and I have a day full of adulting that includes seeing other people (some of which include people from church and a 10th grade weeklong boyfriend), talking to university management, sort out this ear infection from hell, do my laundry and go to the pharmacy.

It’s not the busy that bothers me, really. Nor is it the lack of car, the ineffective public transportation system, or the lack of sleep I’d have gotten by the time I need to be up. It’s the fact that I have to see people. It’s also not the people that are the problem. It’s my face.

This isn’t a pity post. Even if it was, that’d be fine because this is my corner on the internet. This is a sort of…organising my thoughts about my face and my dislike of it post.

Growing up is hard to do. Growing up as a cis female in a somewhat accepting society has been a lot easier than it could have been, but it’s still been hard. I can’t say really when it started, but I think as I got older and became more aware of myself (and in turn, my face) in society, I really really didn’t like it. I just didn’t like my face.

For a while, it was anti-blackness. Oh my GOODNESS did I want to be white. It was a messy, messy stage, and I’m glad to be past it, but I understand where I was coming from. I was in the middle of primary school, and I wanted to be pretty. It was that simple! I was already smart, but every book I read told me that being just the smart girl was not enough to be liked by anyone; that the pretty girl always won; that the smart girl gets bullied, and that the smart girl only wins if she becomes pretty. So I wanted to be pretty. Pretty in 2008 was a petite white girl with blonde or brown hair in a pony tail some days and in two another. I wanted pretty, and I couldn’t attain it. It made me sad, because I didn’t really understand why I couldn’t be pretty. I had never done anything to make myself particularly ugly, except that one scar on the bottom of my chin. Why couldn’t I just be white?

When I got to high school, my sister told me that I didn’t like my face because I didn’t take care of my skin. A plausible reason, I took it seriously and started a face care routine. I also started watching Glee and did almost exactly what Rachel Berry did because she was a star and goddammit if I wasn’t going to be a star! My skin was pretty good, and I never really went through any bad hormonal changes in terms of it. I hated the fact that I had this baby moustache that I couldn’t get rid of, no matter how hard I tried to pull every hair out, and three or four random hairs near my chin stitches’ scar. I used to think they were the scar’s fault.

I learned the magic of threading and how a little less hair on my face could make me feel so much better – and I never really understood why that was so – and really wanted to feel better. And some days, I do! Some days, I think that my face isn’t too bad a face. Most days, I talk about how I want a head transplant but want to keep my brain.

I don’t like my face. I don’t like that it looks smooth but really isn’t. I don’t like how it makes me the go-to less conventionally attractive friend (cue society denying its very, very loud anti-blackness). I don’t like how, before, when I liked my body, I felt as though I could achieve much more if I did a trade-off and got a face that matched the body of a lean, strong, smart dancer and athlete. I don’t like how make-up brands think that black people darker than the preset brown on MS Paint don’t exist. I don’t like that for a year I decided to pull ridiculous faces in every photograph, because I figured I’d rather look bad on purpose. I don’t like that my hair made such a difference on how I felt about my face, and how I only felt pretty when I had enough hair to put into one long, flowy pony tail, or sometimes two. I don’t like how people answer, and will answer, “but you’re pretty, Shalom”, because it does nothing but make me feel bad for having convinced them to speak with that pitiful lilt in their voice. I don’t like how I’m fighting back tears while I write this because I don’t like how much I don’t like my face.

I don’t like my face, and I really wish I did. I wish I felt the slightest bit better about it. I wish my mother and sister didn’t say “but if you just _____” every time I tell them. I wish I could take it seriously when I get called pretty amongst my friends. I wish I could help people to understand that I’m really not being modest, and that I really can’t accept compliments because it feels like fraud on a massive level. Pity fraud. I wish that the lipstick, the eyeliner, the gold eyeshadow, the glasses that used to make me feel better still did. I wish I could work out why I felt like this. I wish I liked it here.

I don’t know if I just need more therapy or if I’m just going to keep on feeling this way for the foreseeable future (I hope the former), but I’d like to not feel this way in a couple of years. Self hatred can be really tiring, you know? It also plain sucks.

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an awful quality webcam photograph courtesy of five a.m.

It’s after 5 AM and I have to be a human now. Now, you know even more about me than you’d thought you would. Do your best to have a good day. Do your best not to put any more hurt in the world when everyone’s doing their best to deal with their own. Congrats to Donald Glover and Tracee Ellis Ross on their Golden Globes!

Good morning.

love and light,
shalom xo

Scoot on ~ where social insecurities go to hide

So today I thought I’d write to you from my IT class. Being one out of the three people in my classroom environment filled with predominantly oestrogen, my class can be defined as territory for the brave. Okay, maybe I’m being a little exaggerative, but you need to hear me out.

As of now, I have science as my last lesson of the day and I’ve done no homework, I’m going to skip public speaking so that I can get a ride to ballet only to be told that I’m pointing my feet the wrong way and “not to worry, it’ll get better in time”, and then I’m going to get home and be swamped with homework and probably sit on the couch closest to the wireless router in my house and browse instagram, tumblr, and Facebook until my cows that I never have had the desire town come home.

But apart from all that, I have to deal with now. Right now, it is 12.29 pm GMT +2, and I am surrounded by 15 people currently (and hopefully for some or other person) equipped with otherwise shaped genitalia and RAGING HORMONES THAT I CANNOT ACTUALLY DEAL WITH.

Let me be enraged for a minute: IT IS NOT EASY TO BE THE FEMALE OBSERVER! I mean, you’re probably thinking, “Come on Scoot, it’s not that bad.” But let me tell you, THAT IT IS.

To be honest, the title of this post wasn’t planned coherently with this post but the more I write, the more it does. My IT class is full of expectation. Seriously: there are 15 boys to whom the perfect girl is fair skinned, thin, fit, fun-loving, smart, athletic and all in all, Christmas morning.

So, what does that have to do with anything? Well, once the guys are done feasting their prying eyes upon the protruding exterior of my incredibly intelligent IT teacher, they tend to look around them. And on several occasions, I’ve been told that Ashlyn and I aren’t Christmas morning. We aren’t up to scratch, not good enough.

But this is where it stops.

There are so many beautiful human beings – ale and female alike- who aren’t Christmas morning. And why would they want to be? Christmas is a capitalist ploy to extort consumers out of anything and everything in the shortest time frame possible. Maybe they’re Independence morning – loud, and over acknowledged, yet looked over at the same time. Maybe some of these people are new years day, because they bring fresh hope, yet always seem the same as the previous. Or maybe, just maybe, some of these people are nights, and don’t fit into the moulds of perfect mornings. 

But how would anybody know. Nobody ever asks.

Now, a class mostly full of penises, (in my opinion the plural of penis is actually peni but hey, whatever the English language says goes), some things are bound to appear. If you’re ashamed of your legs, then these boys will probably reassure you that you should be. It’s the way it goes sometimes.  Or, sometimes, they’ll tell you what I got told mid-2013:

What is actually wrong with you? Because I’m not gonna lie to you and tell you that supermodels have nothing on you or that you’re the hottest girl in the school, but I’ll tell you this: you have got to get over yourself. Because your body is fine and if you keep going about like the world is gonna end if you don’t transform into someone else- it’s probably going to end.”

A 16 year old boy told me this, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

There really are only so many things you can do: live, or die. Both happen, but only one is guaranteed to it’s full potential. (PS IT’S DEATH.) You have insecurities? Get them out. Because not everybody is lucky enough to be dipped into enough testosterone daily to be  reminded of why he or she shouldn’t have them.

All my love,

Scoot xx