Dear readers, once again you are in for a treat- someone else has done the writing!! The following is an essay by Sue. For more of her other work click here. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I never imagined I had become depressed from my looks. It might sound silly but it broke my spirit. The last few years have been torturous.
My troubles started at the age of 15. I began to see myself as ugly after someone told me straight to my face “You are ugly’’.
I put up a brave front. ‘’I don’t mind.’’ I replied smiling.
That night I cried myself to sleep.
I could switch from wearing glasses to wearing contact lenses. I could change my wardrobe and my hairstyle but I couldn’t do a damn thing about my features. I soon grew disillusioned. I began to hate myself. Why couldn’t they see the inner me? That is what I had control over, not how I looked.
I would try to walk the streets with my head held up high but I was forever fearful of how people would see me.
I even tried to define beauty. I eventually concluded that beauty meant having straight hair, a small nose, big eyes, a small mouth and a skinny body. Well, I had big eyes and a skinny body but my nose! My hair!
I spent hours looking at my face, wishing I had a different nose and different hair. If I could change them, I could be beautiful! I was obsessed.What made things worse was that my parents never once told me I was beautiful. Was what I had been told true?
Then I came across a comforting concept “Beauty is relative”. It meant that while some might not think of you as beautiful, others might.This meant there wasn’t a unanimous definition of beauty. I was free! My nose might be pretty to someone else! I began to think positively. I started to pull myself away from the ugliness of despair. I felt more confident. I smiled more. I started to take better care of myself.
But it wasn’t enough. I still needed to hear that phrase. “You are beautiful.”
Well, I heard it one day. Although it might have been a lie, I chose to believe it as I was dying to hear it! That phrase was truly music to my ears.
I realize no one is perfect. I can’t make everyone like my looks but I shouldn’t care what people think. I allowed others to define me. I gave them authority by believing their words. I like to think that I have a unique look, a look that is mine alone. No one else has my eyes and my nose. I may have some flaws but I’M BEAUTIFUL.
Dear readers, this week you are in for a treat- someone else has done the writing!! The following is an essay by Sue. For more of her other work click here.
In the world l am from, freedom isn’t a word that means much…
Sometimes I feel I am free. I can drive. I can vote. I can wear the clothes I want but nothing too revealing. I can walk down the street with my girl friends laughing and giggling but not with guy friends. These all are a kind of freedom but not the ultimate kind; which a friend says doesn’t exist. That friend may be right.
But what if I told that friend, such freedom does exist in my world but only for an élite group of people. A group I could never be a part of even- if I wanted. For me, freedom means many things. Freedom is when you’re treated not as a woman or a man but as a human being. Freedom is when you can achieve all your dreams to feel happiness, fulfilment and satisfaction. Freedom is to think whatever you want and say it out loud without fear of how you will be perceived. You may view freedom in other ways but for me it’s also when you can achieve all your dreams without someone watching over you and telling you what you can and cannot do.
I find myself thinking about issues others don’t think about and if they do, they don’t talk about. Perhaps a reason why they don’t think about such things is because discovering the truth can be unsettling and frightening. Sometimes when you see injustice, you are helpless to do anything about it. Eventually you just accept things as they are…
Sometimes I look at my window and feel trapped. I can open that window and look outside anytime but I get the impression of being trapped inside. I look at my house and feel confined because of the fence surrounding it. I am free to move about anytime but the feeling of being trapped haunts me.
In my world, the ultimate freedom is only possible if you have money and if you were born a man.
What if I had been born a man?
I have wished to be a man at certain points of my life but it’s silly to think like that. I am a woman and I ought to be happy about what I am. But the world can be an unfair place. No woman should feel this way. I cry and get angry for allowing the world to make me feel this way. I should be proud of who I am but sometimes I feel inadequate.
Even today there are families that feel sad when a girl is born in their house. They have this notion that a girl is a liability who could someday bring shame to the family. Boys too, can bring shame but considering the ultimate freedom they are born with, society adopts a different standard for them. If a boy brings shame, at worst their families get angry but if a girl is the cause for shame, the consequences for her could be fatal.
But thankfully this is more the exception than the rule.
I have yet to gain true freedom but I shall one day.
For now though, I’m a woman with limited freedom.
For more info on women’s rights and what you can do to help, please click the following link