Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
(Prompt Author: Karen Walrond)
I do not like this prompt. In fact, I posted a response to it earlier that was a tad cynical and defensive. Then I decided to check Karen Walrond out, to see where she was coming from, and I felt sheepish about my first post (which I originally deleted but have decided to add to the bottom of this post.) Because she seems genuine and I'm grown up enough to admit that the defensiveness is possibly because thinking in the way that the prompt asks brings up all kinds of difficulty for me. Things I could probably fill a book with. So I'm going to sit with this difficulty for a while and see what it has to say to me.
I don't know if I will necessarily find or try to find what Karen asks us to. I'd prefer it to find me. Who can say what makes a person beautiful anyway. Eye of the beholder and all that. Also, I like not knowing what it is that "lights people up". Knowing might alter it somehow, or make it disappear. And I'm inclined to believe that the not knowing is the magic of it, the best part of it.
Also, some things that light some people up can make others scowl. Friends have told me they love my laugh (raucous) but my mother hates it. Some people like my twisted sense of humour, others not so much.
In the meantime, in an attempt to get into the spirit intended by the prompt, I leave you with this photo of me as a buck-toothed 10 year old with my cheeky 7 year old brother.
On second thought, I've decided to add my previously deleted post to this one. Whatever it is, it's what I felt at the time and do still feel. Here it is:
Here are my reactions to this prompt, as they occurred:
1: Oh Puke. Fingers down my throat GAG. Sphincter muscles working overtime in extreme ARSE TWITCHERY, second only to hearing James Blunt croaking out THAT friggin “tune”.
2: Seriously? Even my therapist wouldn’t ask me to do this.
3: Paul’s just gonna LOVE this one.
4: What else have they got in store? Surely there can't be much more of this. Are all the prompt authors going to be people with books to sell?
5: Ok, cynicism aside…what do I really think?
a) This feels just like an exercise to make unconventional / sidelined / overlooked people feel accepted.
b) As one of those people, my urge is to stick two fingers up and say Bog off, please don't patronise me.
c) I’m not fond of blowing my own trumpet. Doesn't mean I don't have one. So there.
d) What makes a person beautiful really. Eye of the beholder and all that. Sometimes, it’s something you’re not even aware of that “lights people up”. I'm inclined to believe that the not knowing is the magic of it, the best part of it.
e) If you look hard enough, you will find whatever it is you’re looking for, whether it’s there or not.
f) Maybe I’ll post a photo of myself as a bright and sparkly child. I had a most unique overbite.
g) True beauty speaks for itself. It doesn’t need an ad campaign or a PR consultant.
At heart, this prompt seems to be about self-esteem. But self-esteem comes from a place of unconditional acceptance and love, not from a list of things you can name that make you beautiful. To me, making such a list only serves to solidify superficial social prejudices. No matter who you are, whether you are or feel unique or different or ordinary or plain, you deserve happiness and you deserve love. Okay. Enough now. If I don’t stop, I shall disintegrate shrieking like the much maligned and terribly misunderstood Wicked Witch of The West.