I hear them say to me ” hey gorgeous” or “you’re so beautiful” and I stop to question, well, they must have missed these gray hairs?
Do they see what life has done to my crown? It has exposed me. Made me odd and old and riddled me with this self-judgment.
How could they have missed them? There’re so many. Surely when they see them, they’ll reassess my status of beauty, status of presence. I will become invisible once they see that I am not what they thought I was.
Why do I do that?
Even when I was 32 and only one day after I won a body building contest– ripped and leaner than I’d been in my entire life– I pondered whether to wear my cut-off shorts and tomato red heels to the Village for lunch.
You know, because I thought maybe my legs showed cellulite, too much water-weight on the back.
I had just won a bodybuilding show and still thought “they’re gonna find out I WAS fat just 3 months ago.”
Geezo, even with less than 10% bodyfat I felt like an imposter.
And I look at women all around the city; so many gorgeous, luscious women, and I can’t help but hope they realize their pretty is profound. So profound. So unique. Stunning.
The Woman with dark brown skin, pure and unblemished. Glowing gorgeousness. A chocolate face that shines. Does she see how My breath slows when I look at her face? Maybe, she doesn’t know how exquisite she is, just as she is.
The round Woman with hips like ruby rose petals bursting in May . I think they are paintable and sculptable and climbable.
She may not know that she radiates like a maternal goddess, that she reminds me that we’re all mothering someone, even us women without our own child. She is my mirror, and I thank her for letting me see myself that way.
The Lady behind glasses masking the mystery in her knowing eyes; on a face with warrior markings, touched with reds and pinks and greens and black lines of clarity. Reading her library labeled book. A thinker, a lover of words and sounds and silence magnified.
When these women turn and catch my gaze, I let a smile stream between us.
Does she know of her lovely?
I, too, wanna feel beautiful beyond my failed control over the gray that commands my head. I wanna feel beautiful even with the patch of cellulite on the side of my rump, when I am without pink and red powders, while wearing my writing glasses and tapping letters on my iPad, while feeling the flow of tears when I write stuff that really matters to me.
And I wanna let HER know she is– the one I’m smiling at–the lady sitting across from me on the train– the one who keeps staring at me–I want her to know she’s stunning.