I’ve always held my worth in the way I look. Am I desirable? Do people want to look at me? I’ve been effectively trained to think these things.
It has been said that middle aged women are ignored in most situations. I’m dangerously close to this and it’s a shock to the ego. I pride myself in people remembering me. By my face, I think. I remember randomly, I saw someone , had a brief exchange but they recognized me, years later. I thought it was because of my distinct personality, but now I think it wasn’t. Scientists have done studies where babies react positively to symmetrical faces. They’re thought of as “pleasant”. Isn’t pleasant smooth? Youthful? Our narrative would have you believe yes!
Could this be the human want to keep everything compartmentalized? To keep safe mentally? There can be nothing out of place?
When I thought about who was remembering me, I realized I had only met the person once. It might have been that person focused on my symmetrical face. Flattering but also wierd.
I think of my mother. A great physical beauty. Blonde, blue eyed, big tits, small waist. I remember hearing my dad talk about the day they met. On the subway. “She had great legs” is what he remembers.
It wasn’t what made him propose to her, it was the person she was. Smart, passionate, open minded. I should mention this was the mid sixties. She was white, Anglo Saxon, he was a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Not exactly acceptable a match in those times. Both their families disapproved.
Their souls connected. Today, my dad is 80, my mom is 77, they struggle through quarantine but it’s clear. No matter what, no matter political beliefs, they’re there for each other. They’ve supported each other through worse. Leaned on each other. A lot, but at the most crucial time, the loss of their only son weeks after his 19th birthday. My twin.
My point is, I’ve put so much pressure on myself to look young, “beautiful” as if this was the end all be all, but I see now it isn’t. Well, kind of. I go back and forth but forget I said that and read the next paragraph.
It’s who you are, deep inside. You find people throughout your life that appreciate you, and you hold tight. They are your true family. You’ll always be beautiful to them and you should look at yourself through their eyes. Because, if you’re me, your eyes can’t always be trusted. I can get there though.
Wether you choose them or were born with them.
I’m going to recommend something terrible. To me at least. Look closely in the mirror. Closer than you’ve looked since you turned 40. Respect those wrinkles. You’ve earned them. Redefine what “beautiful” is.
You’ll be a better person for it.