Lindsey Brenner

Physical Beauty?

“There is no definition of being physically beautiful,” my mom would spit at me. When I was young those were the words I cherished the most because I believed them to be true. When I was young, anything that I was told from someone as beautiful as my mother would seem… almost sinful to not believe, yet something inside me took that away.

As I grew into the current version of my beastly self, I realized her words were nothing. I realized that ever since I’ve known how to comprehend the cruelty of mankind, the message “you are beautiful” seemed to disappear in the whispers of society. How can words make up for all the “you can’t’s” accompanied by sour laughter that seems to stick to innocent ears like hot glue. Oh, and how about those needles attached to arms making a small insignificant line on a monitor move up and down, to show worrisome parents that their child is barely seeing, barely thinking, barely breathing…but alive.

I remember when I was just over fourteen, running up to my room throwing on an oversized sweatshirt and burying my knees in my chest until the clock struck twelve midnight, pictures of my past being slowly erased from my overloaded brain of lies. Trying to think of a way to escape the seemingly ceaseless society that focuses on nothing more than the external features of my youth is like trying to swallow your own exhales because you know it could be your last breath. Impossible.

I remember when I was just over fifteen, waking up to a new pimple on my forehead, a new scratch on my cheek, my arms a little longer, my legs a little wider, my vision completely trashed.

Since when did internal happiness become a sin? Tell me. Since when did loving ourselves become overshadowed by the temporaries, the morons, the plastic, the fake? Entertain me.

As I stare into the mirror reflecting nothing but a hopeless heart, a spark shakes my veins. Not sparks of fire, not sparks you receive by other people filled with static, but the internal spark of hope and motivation. How can I stand here and let the reflections of other people control me?

I am my own prediction of success and sometimes, just sometimes,  it’s okay to listen. “There is definition of being physically beautiful” my mom would spit at me almost daily. I smile. A simple start.

The words I thought were permanently exiled from my vocabulary spilled out:

“I am beautiful.”