We are all beautiful, but the way our society is constructed only a chosen few are represented and allowed to be considered as such. The needle is beginning to slowly move, but it’s painfully slow.
Growing up as a woman of color, I did not always see myself, and when you don’t see yourself represented in the world at large, it’s easy to get lost. It’s also easy to feel like an other, like you don’t matter and like you’re not beautiful.
I’ve learned to celebrate my own individual beauty by looking in the mirror every day and liking what I see and reminding myself that what is reflected back to me is beautiful. But it can be a struggle to feel this way in a world that is slow to change its beauty standards.
I can’t express how it feels to be in my skin, but Lupita Nyong’o did it perfectly. Here’s her speech on black beauty from a few years ago, which characterizes how that felt for me growing up and how it’s changed for me now:
I am forever grateful for her speech and the reminder. It reminded me that I feel beautiful and that I am, in fact, beautiful.