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Oh to be beautiful.
To be able to walk in a room and have everyone immediately pay attention.
To smile and have all around you smile back at you.
To ask for help and have a thousand offers of assistance.
To speak and have an audience immediately captivated by your every word.
But what happens when you no longer are as fresh faced as you were.
When you realise that every word, smile, compliment and praise was based on your aesthetic than your beliefs?
When you see your star fade, only to be replaced by someone younger, cuter, funnier and more charming?
Of course I will never experience this because I’m 43 … I’ve always looked 43 and have a face only a mother could love.
The reason I’m writing all this is that many, many, many years ago, I watched a documentary called ‘Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes’.
In it, Jane Eliott – a schoolteacher – highlighted the ridiculousness of racism by getting people to imagine how we’d feel if we were judged by the colour of our eyes.
It certainly was an interesting experiment, but there was one scene in the documentary that really made an impression on me.
In the audience was a pretty young lady who responded to a question by acting in a coquettish, girly, charming way.
In an instant, Jane Eliott turned on this woman and told her to stop acting cute because all she was doing was destroying her self respect, self worth and potential for being taken seriously in the future.
Watching how this innocent young woman reacted was fascinating because while she was deeply hurt and upset, you could see that she understood what Jane was saying and that it was out of care, not malice.
And that’s the thing … as much as we all want to be liked, the older you get, the more you realise respect trumps likability which is why this clip is a good reminder to not let others define us, but to always be our own champion.
It helps you look in the mirror at night and like what you see staring back at you.
At least in terms of self respect.
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