i feel pretty!

i feel pretty!!

anyone who knows me well knows that this is not my default feeling. like many women i know, i process the feedback i receive from the world through the many filters of my own socialization. as a thick woman, as a woman of color, as a woman who doesn’t often wear make-up or heels, as a queer woman, as a woman who feels most at home with super short hair, as a woman who wears glasses, etc – i am an acquired taste.

i don’t generally feel ugly, but i don’t expect to stop people on the street.

but the other night my friend tunde had me get all made up and dressed up in a gorgeous costume – his team was SaRyne on make-up/hair and Christine on costume – for his sci-fi fantasy film. he’s the lead singer of stereoluxx so over-the-top awesome is his daily wear.

sweet SaRyne worked on my make-up for an hour and a half, creating a work of art of my face, especially my eyes. she was so intent as she added a layer, tweaked and tweezed and painted. i was calm through it, just trusting the process to work out well, no expectations other than having fun.

well maybe i expected to look dramatic.

but when she was done, and i looked in a mirror, i immediately heard the song start in my head, from west side story…”see that pretty girl in that mirror there! who could that attractive girl be?”

i was overcome by this foreign, interesting emotion. a love for my face, my eyes, my lips, my physical embodiment on this earth. i saw myself in a way that i have not seen myself in years – maybe ever. not perfect, not like a movie star, but just me. and pretty, at the same time! she didn’t turn my face into something else, or hide me – she turned up the volume on my face.

and i have to smile, because it’s been such a long journey to this place. and it may or may not stay. and because people take for granted that thick sisters with big laughs have confidence that we may or may not have, forgetting that everyone deserves to feel pretty sometimes – not just smart, or funny, or “awesome”.

and it wasn’t the make-up, ultimately, because i am still feeling it, in sweatpants and just waking up, days later.

pretty. like this: