Yes and I mean that literally. I am not my hair. All my life, my hair has been one part of my body I’m not proud of. Growing up, I realized that my hair was not as long as my friends’ or as shiny, silky or smooth. That brown unusual colour of it didn’t help matters. It made me so self-conscious .You can still see me in my childhood pictures touching my hair self-consciously (I still do it till this day). The weird texture of it didn’t help matters. My hair is that type of hair that gets hair stylists curious. It’s as soft as cotton wool and sometimes as hard as cement. No relaxer ever fully relaxes it. It’s as full as a thick forest yet refuses to grow long.
All my hair needs for a handful of it to come off , is just a simple comb. Few of my friends or family members have seen my real hair. It has always been drowned in weaves, attachments, dye…you name it. Just like my hair, most of us have this part of our body that we are self-conscious about. It may be your face, your ‘assets’, your height, your weight, your arms or legs. The media doesn’t even help matters. They have filled our minds with their own idea of what beauty should be. The media even dictates what you should weigh. You know that size zero, stick-thin model image they have fed us with, those abs like all the sexy guys on TV.
Most human beings, including you and I ,have some of our self-esteem hung on up how we look. We forget that we actually didn’t create ourselves and we need not burden ourselves with worry, about what we can’t change. After all , who’ll remember if you were beautiful when you lie in your coffin ? You’ll be free the day you realize that your body is just a cloak you’ve donned to complete your earthly assignment. Once you cross the veil between life and death, it loses its usefulness, so you discard it. Now it is true that people , the world over love beauty, especially men. We would even readily carry a cute baby, before the not-so-cute one. The singer, Adele comes to mind. When she was told to lose weight, she said, “I don’t make music for eyes, I make music for ears”. Her reply was that of someone who knew what they had to offer, and didn’t let the world’s view of their body interfere with that.
What can you do when a part of your body does not conform to the world’s rigid standards ? First play to your strengths. Realize what you do have and know for a fact that someone out there will love you for it. After all not all of us can be Beyonce and not all of us can be tall, dark and handsome. For instance, I am personally not crazy about tall men. Secondly, if you still feel self-conscious about that not-so-good part, do something about it , if you can. Go on that diet, start exercising, use skin products, to make it better.
When the world realizes you have something to offer, they forget how you look. I love Adele till tomorrow and I’ll continue to listen to her music even if she grows fatter. If you have something the world desperately needs, how you look doesn’t factor into the equation anymore, except you’re a model. The gymnast who shined for America at the just concluded Olympics, Gabby Douglas , isn’t the prettiest of girls; but she has what America needs. I can say for a fact that if Beyonce wasn’t as beautiful or as sexy, she’ll still be one of the best performers in the world. It’s simple, she knows her art and has polished it to perfection.
Next time someone tries to bring you down because of that not-so-good part of your physical appearance, tell them “I am not my hair” (Fill in your own).Yeah , that’s right. You are more than your face, your height, your lack of ‘assets’ or your weight. You’re a spirit being, a higher power. The very essence of greatness. You are here for a reason and that purpose is more than your physical appearance. Go touch your world .
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This is a weekly column that runs every Friday. It is called #opesays. Join me to talk about issues that matter from motivation to love to politics to religion to life itself.
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