“The play is done – the curtain drops,
Slow falling to the prompter’s bell;
A moment yet the actor stops,
And looks around, to say farewell.
It is an irksome word and task;
And, when he’s laughed, and had his say,
He shows, as he removes his mask,
A face that’s anything but gay.”
~ William Makepeace Thackeray
I’m having trouble with my face.
It started quite a while ago, perhaps fifteen years, and was so trifling that only my mother noticed. “Oh,” she said as I was going off to have some professional photographs taken for a work assignment. “You know you have a funny eye? You look uneven when you smile. Don’t put that side of your face toward the camera.”
Thanks for the heads-up, Mum. As it was, when the pictures came back she remarked that I was squinty.
When I smile, only one side of my face responds.
I tell myself it makes me look whimsical. And the upside is that one side of my face is quite free of smiley eye-wrinkles and laugh lines. Which side of my face should I put to the camera now, Ma? The smiley side? The smooth and ageless side?
Actually, I think it’s time to face the world head on.
I’ve decided that I’m beautiful just the way I am. If I get droopier, at least I know I’m smiling on the inside. It’s almost like a botox experiment without the botox!
If I let fashion magazines and our society’s obsession with youth and perfection define me, I’d be out with the trash. But I have something much more powerful that that – I’m grateful for my body, and I love that it has hung in here with me. I’m comfortable in my skin and I hope that in my self-acceptance I can encourage you to begin to feel the same.
Just in case you are uncertain as to my smiley status, here’s another pic, modified with the help of my index finger to get that pesky under-performing cheek into position.
Beauty begins in the heart. Beauty is kindness and compassion in action. It’s wearing your passion and living your values. It’s being authentic and REAL. Beauty is YOU just as you are, being yourself and accepting that Self with love.
Quit judging yourself. Don’t hide from the world, wanting to be something other than who you are. Know that you are perfect in your imperfection, that your body and your life will continue to evolve and change, and all of that will be reflected on your face, but more importantly in your heart.
In the end, when we remember someone, it’s the time we spent together and the way they made us feel that is important. So dress up in your best smile, share your love, practice kindness and do all you can to embrace your life with joy.
I love you! Bless ♥ xx