In 2008, I saw the governor of Michigan at the time, Jennifer Granholm, sign the bill that I was blessed to be a part of, dedicating February, Craniofacial Awareness Month. This was the start of my journey to defying society’s definition of beauty. I wasn’t just advocating for a random group of people. I was advocating for myself. I was a part of a population that was not understood, and virtually ignored, you know besides the constant staring and whispers, because we just did not fit. Our eyes were not perfect. Our teeth were not perfectly straight. We each have a distinct look that only God could create but society doesn’t see it that way. To them, we remind them of the villains in movies that have facial deformities or scars, or the Hunchback of Notre Dame; something that needs to be destroyed or something that no one wants to attribute themselves with. I personally would like to see the hero with the facial disfigurement. The damsel in distress gets saved by her prince charming with a unique look. Unfortunately, that just wouldn’t sell would it? Another example would be the Barbie, people are trying to advocate for a plus size Barbie, but still, that Barbie is going to have a perfect face. Perfect hair. That still is not attainable for people like myself.
After I saw that bill signed into law, I had big plans. I was going to be a better advocate for people like myself. Give us a voice. Unfortunately, I too started to allow society’s view of beauty to get into my head and became insecure with myself. I allowed myself to be ignored. I allowed myself to get to a place that I never want to return to. No one should feel as judged and ignored as I felt in school. Trying to fit into the mold of someone I just couldn’t be. Beauty went far beyond ones physical attractiveness but how they portrayed themselves, how they fit into society. And you cannot exactly fit that mold when you are constantly missing school for doctors’ appointments, and are so shy that you choose not to speak.
Fortunately, I was able to get out of that place. Or I guess I am in the process. Once I graduated from high school and started my first year of college, something changed. I started to feel more confident in myself. I started to realize my potential, who I was and who I wanted to be. I started to think for myself and with being surrounded by a diverse group of people; I was able to realize how my difference is a good thing. How boring would it be if everyone looked like Barbie or Ken; or if everyone looked the same? Society’s definition of beauty is NOT attainable. That doesn’t stop people from trying. And it doesn’t stop people from making others aware that they do not fit that mold.
I want to start this blog to start a movement. Allowing people to have a place to realize that society’s definition of beauty is not what is cut out to be; that being who they are is okay. Once I saw that bill become law, I stopped there. I was too scared to be a voice for the voiceless. I am starting now. But I am taking it a step further. I am not just being a voice for my population. But for all of the people who are trying to fit into society’s definition of beauty. I’ve been there. In this blog you will learn my story and the stories of people around me. You will learn how I dealt with insecurities, and the struggles I see in everyday people.
During the month of February, in honor of that bill that I helped get passed, I am excited to go on this journey. Together we can defy society’s definition of beauty. I am starting this movement in February, and hope you will join me in continuing it.
Let’s get started 🙂