Retouching Our Reality

I’m too short. My nose is too big. I have to suck my “pouch” in. I’ve got wide, flat feet. Sometimes when we look in the mirror, we aren’t happy with what we see and that is for a variety of reasons. Institutional Racism has done a number on our collective psyches, and we’ve certainly internalized the “if it’s white, it’s alright” and “if it’s black get back” mentality. We further internalize these ideals when we flip through the pages of our favorite magazines and gaze at the images of “beauty” going across our screen. Without even knowing it, we are making mental comparisons that eventually weigh on our spirits.

The media doesn’t take certain things into account and we have to balance both our own and our children’s media consumption with “real world” examples. Our daughters have to see us embracing our stretch marks and our broad lips. Our sons have to see our husbands and our boyfriends tell us how beautiful we are. Our older children need to understand how retouching and airbrushing works so that they can understand that the images that they see are often not in their original state.

We have to understand that God didn’t make any mistakes. Every hair on our head is accounted for. We have to start reaffirming our beauty. We have to stop comparing ourselves to digitized impossible images. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the average woman is a size 12. We have to be realistic about our definition of beauty.

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