Through one of my friends, I came across this YouTube video of Katie Makkai, poetry slammer.
A few years ago at my (now former) school where I taught, they had a “Beauty and the Geek” dress-up day. I chose to dress up as a geek, seeing more comic potential for a teacher in that label. I got my high school Music Tour sweatshirt out of storage, put it with a skirt and knee-highs, a collared shirt under the sweatshirt, and my glasses. I think I even busted out my college Mary Jane Doc Martens. And I went to work, and proceeded to have a horrible day. I realized at the end of the day that I wear clothes and makeup as armor. Being dressed in such unfortunate clothes made me feel insecure. And when you stand up in front of teenagers all day, that’s not tenable.
However, at the core, I know that my real strength is not in my “beauty”. It is not my clothes or my makeup or my nail polish that defines me. It is my intellect. It is my sense of humor. It is my teaching. It is my eye for beauty. Everything else is just bonus.
I hope, when I write this blog, that my readers understand that I think you’re beautiful already. This isn’t important; this is for fun. If I can suggest something that delights you or makes you feel more confident in your skin, I am happy. But I’m not here to change you, or to break you down. Because, as this poet says, you are pretty amazing, pretty creative, pretty intelligent, but never just merely “pretty”.