What comes to mind?
A face? A soul? A lipstick?
When I envision beauty, I see gold. The element’s natural, malleable properties make it easy to transform into a strong metal, adapt a new color, and be carved into a new shape. The results of many types of gold jewelry differ from the starting point but each is beautiful in their own way. Beauty comes from the same starting point inside a human being, but it is projected in many different and diverse ways, much like the different types of gold jewelry.
My beauty story starts off when I was in middle school. Back then my beautiful gold was tarnished, or so I thought.
Beauty to me was based solely on physical appearance.
In my 6th grade mind, the beauty of others who possessed lighter, softer, and brighter features than me shone brightly in my eyes as the ideal beauty. The school I went to was a predominately white school, and kids who looked like me, or had any other features vastly different from the average white child, were teased and taunted for being different. I desperately wanted to shine as bright as those who I held up on the highest pedestal of beauty. Most of my free time was spent on YouTube looking up ways to lighten my skin and straighten my curls. I spent so much time trying to alter those two physical aspects of myself that to be frank, I was exhausted.
However, the same social platform that lit my self-hate from within was also the same platform that helped me extinguish that destructive flame. My hair was so damaged from straightening it 24/7 that I was now searching for ways to save my curls. I fell upon YouTube channels that were created by women with curly hair like mine. Through these YouTube channels, I was exposed to a multitude of curls, waves, and kinks, all of which were beautiful to me. Being exposed to this much diversity, and seeing it celebrated by others warmed my heart, even though it was via the internet through people I’d never met in my life.
High school was a great time of growth and acceptance. I was surrounded by a community of diverse students and am very blessed to have been in such an environment. Becoming more active on social media has also exposed me to the beauty of different ethnicities, and has taught me ways to respect the beauty of other cultures besides mine. My once tarnished gold was being polished to reveal its shine. The friends I made in high school and online were and still are supportive and nurturing of my beauty.
I could finally talk to others like me but also others different from me, about vast topics that fed my mind and soul.
My beauty from within was budding and I began to grow a deep respect for others and myself. I previously felt vengeful towards people that fit the ideal beauty that haunted my middle school years. Mainly I was vengeful because I felt that their beauty was the same beauty that oppressed me to a dark space in my life. Befriending those people helped me realize that such features like pale skin and blonde hair are beautiful, but they are not my beauty, and that is perfectly fine.
In my first year of college, I am in a less diverse environment. I see much more segregation among the groups of people here than in high school. However, I can see how such segregation can be interpreted as a coping method.
Being a minority in a seemingly homogenous space takes a toll on the self. It’s a big adjustment, but the help and experiences of others make it easier and more comfortable to simply exist.
Since college usually promotes the individual to take upon their freedoms to discover their true self, being among others like yourself that share a common trait can ignite self-love and appreciation for such traits.
Now more than ever, in my mind, body, and spirit, I feel the golden aura of my beauty shining.
When I discover a similar aura in others, I praise it. Still, beauty is a shape shifter changing over time. Through positive interactions with others and with ourselves, we add to our beauty. When we learn and have meaningful conversations, our beauty forms a new shape and is welded into a changing piece of jewelry. A piece of gold we should proudly show off and admire.
Now for a few of my favourite beauty products!
My go-to makeup look is quite minimal. I use a cream highlight on my cheekbones, lengthening mascara, and sheer lip gloss.
If you couldn’t tell already I love gold! Josie Maran’s Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand can be used as a highlighter and it gives off the most beautiful champagne gold reflections on the high points of the face. The tone of the highlighter will also look fabulous on a variety of skin tones.
My absolute favourite mascara is No. 7 Dramatic Lift Mascara. It gives my lashes a plush, long, fluttery look that I adore.
Live and love fearlessly!