would tell me : « Your skin is too pale. Reduce that sunscreen, take a some sun, you look sick. »
A sister would tell me : « Why don’t you dye your hair, try something? You would be beautiful with, nothing much, just some highlights. »
An aunt would tell me : « Why don’t you let your hair grow, this time? You look so pretty with long hair. »
A cousin would tell me:
« I really can’t
understand why you stick with nail
enamel. It’s so
You should see it in the magazines, no one wear it anymore. »
A grandmother would tell me: « Please… I was wearing that kind of jewellery the year I got married… Cannot you be interested by up-to-date things like other girls from your age? »
A mother would tell me: « Take the habit of pulling your stomach in, it’s better that way. Anyway, it’s surely good for your abs. »
A lover would tell me: « Why do you dislike the curve of your tummy? I love it! I don’t care it’s round: it is firm. » Then, I would see and accept better my belly from another perspective.
A boss would tell me: « I would kill for your wardrobe! It is so creative! » Then, I would stop worrying that she might judge me every morning for being different and dressing differently.
A friend would tell me: « I noticed you from the crowd by your hair. Short like mine! I felt I shared a little thing, something like a common difference, an acceptation of standing outside. » Then, I would feel happy to meet a new friend in a middle of other gals.
An hairdresser would tell me: « You’re so lucky to have such healthy hair… Not like mine: I definitely died too many times, and it is now so dry and broken. » Then, I would feel proud of keeping saying no to a consumption trap and a vicious circle of continuous desire for beauty differentiation.
I would feel sadness to have been under an unloving examination of myself.
I would feel anger for having been pushed to integrate ideals of beauty that I intuitively evaluated as wrong. I would feel embarrassment for having believed that criticisms are expressions of love.
I had learn before that evaluating others on their looks, judging them on their public image, enumerating their weird choices was a dedication to conscientiousness.
I had believe that accepting and letting people decide for themselves was ignorance or lack of intelligence.
I’ve been repeatedly taught that nothing equalled « good taste », neither acknowledgement of personal preferences or respect of differences.
I tried to fit to be accepted and to be loved. I tried to shut up my impulses of passion, my picks for unconventional beauty.
I went away from my family environment for school.
I made new friends (that they were dissatisfied with).
I dressed like I liked (and they pointed it with distaste when I came back for weekends).
I discovered Tumblr blogs for social justice (I censored it during family dinners).
I started dating a marvellous man & artist (and he wouldn’t play « The Jock » with other brothers-in-law).
I started to love myself, and I heard my own voice. Feminism showed me the way.
I remember an evening of watching tv news with my family. It wasn’t about listening to the news. Commenting the skin of the new anchor. Evaluating the lenght of her skirt. Criticizing the color of her shirt.
The only critical mind I was pushed to develop was on people appearance.
I was part of a jury.
I gave my resignation.
Photography, make-up and retouching credits : CRAN le studio photo (formerly M.No Paper Moustache)