Sunday, April 20, 2008

The eyes have it

I've never really loved my eyes.

Oh, I never hated them so much as I viewed them as a physical flaw to work around, like my big feet, wide hips and unbootylicious backside. It used to bother me that I don't have big, doe-eyes--y'know the look that is branded beautiful and ultra-feminine. My eyes are small and squinty--moreso since I am hopelessly nearsighted and really am squinting half the time.

Back when I used to bother to wear eyeshadow, I desperately wanted to do that smoky eye thing where you darken the crease of your eyelid and end up looking all mysterious. But since I have very little crease in my eyelid, I wound up looking like I had been punched or my mascara had run or something. I never got it right.

Then there is the poor eyesight thing. I've worn glasses since the third grade. I got them the same summer that I had to cut all my hair off because of perm damage. That was NOT a good summer. As a looks- obsessed high schooler, I got my first pair of contacts. But as I grow lazier, less concerned with what other folks think I look like, and more bothered by allergies, I find myself in my glasses most of the time.

So, my eyes are small, squinty and near-sighted.

And you know what? Just like I recently found a picture of me with my third-grade TWA (teenie-weenie-afro) and realized that I was really quite cute, despite how self-conscious I felt, I have developed a new appreciation for my peepers.

Yeah, they are smaller than "normal," but that makes them unique. I like unique. And my eyes are pretty powerful when I bat them. They helped me spot Mr. What Tami Said and reel him in (tee hee). Plus, I have a saucy beauty mark just under my right eye that I think is kind of cool.

And my eyes aren't just my eyes, they are my mother's eyes, my grandmother's eyes, some of my cousins' eyes. I come from a long line of small-eyed folks.

On a practical level, my eyes help me do some of my favorite things, like read. Where would my books' obsession be without my eyes? My eyes have also been a part of my life's most rewarding experiences; they have seen the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert and oceans.

I've learned to love my eyes just as they are. And that makes me happy.

But the ethos of the day seems to be "don't learn to love it; fix it." Conform. Look like everyone else. Thus all the Botox, nipping, tucking, straightening and dyeing. There is even a new book set to release on Mother's Day, called My Beautiful Mommy. It is about plastic surgery and presumably explains why once-natural-looking Mom now looks like The Joker. This is why I get positively giddy when I see women embracing their eyes, thighs, hair and feet--their natural beauty.

Check out this video. (Hat tip to SuperSistas)

And visit Blogher's A Letter To My Body series.

And tell me, what do you love about your body?


Ferocious Kitty said...

I love my big ol' eyes.

And my big ol' lips.

And my curves!

PioneerValleyWoman said...

I love my body's strength and tone...the muscles I can feel and see, because of my dedication to exercise.

AJ Plaid said...

-My bald head (a post unto itself).
-My eyes (small and almond-shaped)
-My voice (quiet-storm sexy and a great back-up to Cassandra Wilson...OK, when I'm singing back-up in the safety of my home:-D).
-My boobs (a lush pair of 38Cs)
-My butt (pretty damn bootylicious)
-My legs (bow-legged and curvy--I can still rawk a mini at 39)
-My vagina (I feel empowered looking at it and connected to my foremothers and women worldwide, including Mother Earth)

Anonymiss said...

Very nice.

I was told that a coworker of mine is arrogant for saying that she loves the skin she's in and knows that she's beautiful. I was happy to hear about that cuz we live in a day and age where we hate ourselves on the regular. I love refreshing attitudes toward one's body.

Regina said...

I love my eyes also! I tried the smokey/smudge look, Ha that was a hot mess!
but I love the skin I am in, because this is what God gave me.

NOLA radfem said...

My eyelids are like yours. They kind of bag down so that you can't see any crease. The eyeshadow in the crease thing doesn't work on me either.

Catherine Zeta-Jones was the first Hollywood actress I have ever seen who had eyelids like ours, but I could swear that in the last few years she has had some surgery to lift her lids. Too bad!


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