What Having Haters Taught Me About Feeling Beautiful

I could never fathom how someone would go out of their way to be nasty to another human being. What sort of satisfaction does it serve? Is it a rush, perhaps? An outlet?

When I wrote “What Having a Big Nose Taught Me About Feeling Beautiful”, I knew I was putting myself out there a little bit. For most of my life I figured that as long as I don’t publicly acknowledge that I have a “unique” nose, other people wouldn’t either.

I was right. Once I acknowledged it, other people couldn’t help themselves in having a say either.

Having exposed this insecurity and my relationship with it, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I got messages and comments telling me that my confidence (such as it were) had inspired them to take some steps towards accepting themselves as well. I got messages saying that the uniqueness of my nose was beautiful and nothing to be ashamed about. Hell, someone even told me that my post had made them see their gender dysphoria in a new light, looking for their inner self rather than what they looked like to affirm their new gender identity. It was inspiring for me, and made that insecurity pretty much shrink to nothing. 

Then some teenager on my Instagram called my nose ugly in Swedish and, what’s more, tagged a friend to affirm it. 

I’ll say that, for the record, I wasn’t at all effected by the ensuing comments that included multiple barf emojis from these adolescents hailing from across the world. Standing in Canada, far away Sweden was non-existent in my breadth of understanding. What’s more, my ever-lasting compassion, a quality that even I acknowledge is quite a landmark in my personality, extended even to these poor girls.

The picture in question, which I honestly am kind of proud of – like I said in the caption – “This is an incredibly personal post for me

What’s funny is that whenever you see anyone on the internet acknowledge negativity, there is always a mention of how one should feel sorry for haters and trolls on the internet. I didn’t think much of it until I had a brush with this negativity myself. I felt bad for them –  actually, first I thought it was funny, then I felt sympathy. I had tagged the photo showing off my nose #bignose and #rhinoplasty, which I have no doubt is what landed these girls on my page in the first place. Self-esteem is hard to come by these days, even for these girls who are, admittedly, quite pretty themselves. They were most likely looking for someone that they could call uglier than themselves. Commenting on my picture that I have an ugly nose probably made them feel better about themselves, because they could proudly say that they don’t have my ugly nose, so there’s that. They might feel crippling despair when they look in the mirror, but in their heads, they are making me feel even worse than them. That is a comfort. I’m not assuming they knew what they were doing. That kind of mean-spirited insecurity is very subconscious.

If they were to read this right now, they would probably comment that that’s not at all what it is – “you just have an ugly nose” they would say. They’re right, perhaps I do have an ugly nose. But at least I don’t feel a need to put others down, for whatever reason.

In the end, who is more beautiful? The person who spreads negativity and puts down others for the parts they cannot change, or the person who tries to spread positivity and minds their own business? 

Someone who has true self-love will not feel the need to point out flaws in other people. I don’t want anyone to feel that way, because I know what it feels like to feel worthless… but at least I didn’t cope by putting other people down too. That I can proudly say. 

In the end, they deleted their comments. It was a losing battle, after all. While I didn’t engage with them, people who cared for me did. It’s not something I wanted, but I got messages from people I’ve never met before telling me that I am beautiful. I never doubted that I am beautiful –  if anything, I feel more beautiful, not just because of the whole “rising above the bullshit” stuff, but also literally just out of spite. I don’t have a unique nose after all. I have a big ugly one. But hell, it’s my nose. Only I can put my nose down, not some silly broken teenager on the internet – my insecurity belongs to me. I will fiercely protect it. 

I’m no online personality, but in a strange twist of events having one or two haters definitely elevated my self confidence. Who’d have thought?

Definitely not those girls. 

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What Having a Big Nose Taught Me About Feeling Beautiful

Do I have to love my nose? No. Do I have the right to hate it? Also a no. (ClickToTweet!)

When I tell people I want a nose job, the answer is almost always, “but why?! I love your nose, it’s so unique!”

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This was the first time I was purposely trying to capture my nose in a picture

I have wanted to scream that I don’t want a unique nose. I hated that word. I always wanted to yell: “I just want a normal nose! I just want it to be remarkably unremarkable!”

I don’t necessarily hate my nose anymore, but I still want to go under the knife. Am I a terrible person for promoting self-love in the same breath as expressing my desire to have cosmetic surgery? Am I a hypocrite? Absolutely not.

It is possible to love yourself and still feel insecure about some bits and pieces.

This is my body, and it’s my freaking story.
Continue reading “What Having a Big Nose Taught Me About Feeling Beautiful”

Paradise

When I left, I was given the task of deciding what my heaven should look like.

I would walk into heaven and decide it was green. Heaven would be lush with the creations that had fallen from His fingers. Paradise would be blooming, juices dripping from petals that sparkled when they caught the white sunlight. Heaven would be buzzing, whizzing through time and space. Golden hour brings silver showers, so that I am immersed in the natural artistry that He has created for His children.

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Artwork by Maria Uve

I would immerse myself in heaven and decide it was blue. The dance of the water would write messages in the shadows of the ripply sand, so that I can capture it, place it in a bottle, and set it adrift to the shores of the space I used to occupy when I was mortal. Schools of fish would scurry past, tokens of color amongst the coral reef that sways to the strong current enrapturing my heart. The weight of the ocean would feel like nothing on my shoulders, renewed through judgement, guided to the next world. A gigantic green turtle lets me rest my palm on her shell, a tiger shark pokes his head around the corner and swims through the schools of fish so that they part to reveal infinity, and I am pulled in as if I were flying.

I set my pencil down onto the pages of time, wishing to turn space into something beautiful. Now was the time to decide, once and for all, what my heaven would look like. [Click to Tweet!]

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Artwork by Maria Uve

I would fly into heaven and decide it was black. Shards of light would pierce through my eyelids, so that I open them with the strength to see. I would twirl dust and gas into a ball of light, and watch it explode into a million different pieces. My star would glow white hot, and I would let it swallow me whole. I would be resurrected, my body spread thin across the universe across a plane of existence I can only taste and feel. My star would be a beacon, a fire burning away at my edges until I am clean. My skin hisses, steam begins to rise, and I am placed like a puzzle piece back where I came from. From dust and ash, rocks and bones.

I ascended to heaven and decided it was mine. I took it and twisted it into my weapon of choice – a pencil. I held it poised, infused with the very dust, ash, rocks, and bones that made up my once physical body. I set my pencil down onto the pages of time, wishing to turn space into something beautiful. Now was the time to decide, once and for all, what my heaven would look like.

Without a single doubt I etched your name amongst the stars. Heaven was you all along.

A Jigsaw Puzzle

I struggle to take this apart and put it back together to create a picture that makes more sense for fear of ruining what I have already arranged. Two years ago a hurricane ripped me off the wall, out of my pristine plastic wrapping, and I was left scrambled on the floor. I struggle to understand why I didn’t at least glue my pieces to each other.

Let’s take a better look at me.

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Gif by Audrey DeBruine for North by Northwestern

Here in one hand I hold a puzzle piece. In it, I can see my mothers fingers, outstretched to touch mine, still pink and stringy from being in the womb for too long before I grip hers like my new life depended on it. My eyes open for the first time.

In the other hand, I hold another piece where I can see the corner of his smile, the smile that I came home to after getting fired from a job I hated anyway, the smile I cried to like it was the first day I was born. His smile, however, stayed constant, the only constance I had left.

With wet eyes I let the pieces fall. Everything that fits in between them must be too varied, I fear it’s not all the same puzzle. Did I mix up boxes of different lives together by accident? Is this a trick puzzle, a 3D puzzle of Dracula? Or maybe this is a different game altogether. A game of monopoly, perhaps? Poker? Hungry Hungry Hippos?

I never knew I would be so mismatched. People talk about everything falling together perfectly, like a bubble being blown into existence by accident and flying up to be swallowed by a neon cyan sky. All I seem to have is a toddler’s take on a masterpiece, horrid and painful and juicy and colorful and blurry. None of it fits together, and it certainly cannot be framed – not in its entirety, at least.

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My knees throb from kneeling on the ground for too long, but I let my fingers trail across the mess, the low light making it all heap into a giant dark mass I could never differentiate for its parts.

This is the sort of jigsaw you don’t put together, but rather just appreciate for its individual pieces, good and bad, rough and smooth. Though the idea might be a little avant-garde, I make peace with the pieces nonetheless.

After all, at least I am a mess left over by a puzzle ravaged by a hurricane, and not, say, a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

‘Sunset On A Soft, Peach, Honeyed Sky Against Yellow Pine Needles’ (Or ‘Teeth’)

Obviously, nothing was really significant then. Back then, when the earth was flat and romance was just a pop queen diva flair of the skirt away. Of course things have changed.

I don’t watch sunsets anymore, marveling in its apparent beauty. All I can think about now is how many sunsets I’ll see before I wither away like all those yellow pine needles – once immortal but realistically vulnerable to the tides of change. Sharp, ferocious in protecting a home base that will ultimately die without purpose. What is the difference between one pine needle and another?

But then, there are plenty of things to enjoy before I reach my anticlimax of a pathetic ending. Forearms, for example. The angle of his teeth to the curve of his cushioned lips. The salty taste that lingers on. It lingers, clinging to my skin like biological perfume, lingering, lingering…

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via turcafinweart

He has a girlish tilt to his voice. And he talks from the base of his throat so it crackles like a changing record. Sometimes I can detect traces of a hidden story, kept locked away behind those teeth of his. His teeth, round and straight. Hair like I’m running my hand through an ornate Persian rug aged to the tee, not too light or dark. just right for me, Goldilocks bitch.

It won’t last. It’ll end quick. But then again, what doesn’t? Everything ends. Even the purest kind of love, much less an end of summer fling with the Lord of the Flies. He’s just… one sunset.

That doesn’t take away from the beauty of it, though. Isn’t that right?

Honey?

Satisfy

Beauty is about satisfaction. Its like food – everyone has different tastes, and everyone can only take so much of it before feeling sick to the stomach. Can you compare apples and oranges? Not really, even though it’s now an age old question.

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Photo by alexstoddard on Flickr

The thing about you is that you aren’t quite beautiful, you’re strange. Interesting. Odd. Confusingly – exclusively – intriguing. And because you’re so strange, people don’t know what to make of you. Looking at you, I can never get enough; you’re just one of those people I can look at forever and never be satisfied, not get sick to the stomach. Because what the hell am I looking at? Who are you? Why can’t I stop experiencing you? Why can’t I tear my eyes away from your face without wanting to get one more taste? One more bite? One more, one more, one more.

Beauty is about satisfaction. But you – you are about somethin’ else completely.

You’re about to change me forever.

 

The Moon and the Sun

Once upon a time, the Moon was beautiful. She was flawless and adored by everyone on earth. Her gentle beauty made humans pine, and her humble presence amongst the stars was company for those lost at sea or in their own thoughts.

The Sun was arrogant. he was proud, and vain. He envied the attention the Moon got, though he gave more to the petty humans down below. He gave them light, he gave them food, he gave them rain in a plain of dust. And yet all anyone talked of was the Moon. The Moon and her perfect, watchful eye.

The Sun grew more and more vain and more and more angry that everyone paid so much respect to his dark counterpart.
Continue reading “The Moon and the Sun”