"Images" by Priscilla
What is the image of beauty?
I close my eyes.
Shattered mirrors reflect everything that the windows to my soul see.
I saw buckets of bleach I wanted to bathe in,
Angular faces I wished I was made with,
I seemed to hate every feature about me that was created.
So I stare in that mirror.
They told me to be beautiful, you had to
Buy endless amounts of product that would turn you into a walking imitation of everything you never wanted to be. Conform to your colonizer’s culture. This is everything that you want to be.
Buy it, and you’ll be beautiful.
But it’s okay, because studies show that all of this is absolute bullshit.
Hoping to pick up the pieces, I cut my hands with the image of vanity.
Cut the same hands that painted layers of socialization all over my face,
The same hands that faced endless abuse from irons and fumes.
The same hands that were the tools to life.
But I saw beauty.
And I gripped the shards harder.
I gripped them until the blood from my hands soaked through every fashion magazine that told me I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t pretty enough,
That I was never going to be beautiful.
and I dyed them red.
And with shaking hands I molded the distorted words and made the pages tell me the true story.
The truth is,
Beauty isn’t only what you see.
It sounds simple enough, but it took me nearly an epiphany to figure out that there is no epitome.
Beauty is when you put your soul into a jar and cradle it in your arms.
Beauty is to give, to teach, and to be happy.
To be beautiful, is to fall completely and utterly in love with yourself.
And so for the last time, I looked in my mirror and saw something in myself that I never noticed before.
I was beautiful.