She and I were out in the city together with our kids and I walked away for a moment to grab lunch and while I was gone an unkempt mister approached her and started talking. When I got back he acknowledged me but then turned to her and said, “Check it out.” As he left I asked her what that was about and she said, “He was asking me to be a part of his model in his agency.” We chuckled, because this guy was a mess, dirty clothes and missing teeth, and had no business asking anyone to be in a modeling agency let alone his modeling agency.
But here is the kicker --I’m thinking, well what am I? Too short? Too dark? Too nappy? A short Americano? But then thought, why do I care what this toothless man thinks?!?!
In years past this would have sent me into weeks of depression and extra time of negative self-talk, but not this time! This time I was merely annoyed for a few minutes.
But the truth still remains that our culture is obsessed with the caramel colored, bouncy haired, tall and slim look. Now, don’t throw tomatoes at me and yell ‘hater’ because, honestly I am not. I too agree, that this look is beautiful and I am proud to say that my girls will be one of these exalted women.
But I think we can all give a round of applause to these up and coming models Alek Wek and Ataui Deng for being trailblazers. They are paving rocky pot holed dirt roads for young girls to walk on from all over the world.
On a personal level, I am smiling. I am smiling about the roots of confidence that are growing deep in my soul. The kind of confidence that will not be shaken by someone saying, you are not as pretty as the girl standing next to you. That inner strength is more valuable than any physical attribute. That is the definition of strong self-esteem, secure in your beauty whether a societal standard validates it or not. That kind of security in oneself is priceless. That woman is fearless, confident and unstoppable. And in the end, the exalted one.