Hushed by Beauty
In the article “Born with a Birthmark and Nowhere to Hide; One Woman's Journey to Accepting the Purplish Stain on her Face” an undisclosed women tells her story about her identity while she was growing up with a birthmark extending from her chin, cheek, ear, and neck. Growing up at home she did not feel self-conscious about her birthmark not until she started school. Classmates would say rude and hurtful remarks towards her. Due to this she tried any way to hide her birthmark or make herself unknown in order to not draw any attention towards her birthmark. Once she started using make-up she found a new identity. “After years of loneliness and teasing, I couldn’t risk being vulnerable. So I became the master of my own blissful masquerade.” She acknowledged that the make-up was not only covering her birthmark but was covering a part of her. She was also self-conscious of this new identity because she knew that in some way she was tricking people into believing that she looked like this. When she was around boys or un-friendly make-up weather she felt uncomfortable. After being married and an adult she decided to expose her true identity. Even though she is older she still receives negative remarks but she was better able to deal with them.
“Yet I couldn’t contemplate being invisible again or, worse, ugly.” This is a common remark many girls and women share around the world. They would rather go to extremes in order to feel known and even better beautiful. Plastic surgery, Botox, Liposuction, excessive use of make-up and many other methods have been used by many girls in order to “shield” their ugliness. This article is an example of the effects many women face in order to fit societies ideal beauty. Mental and emotional damage are just as harmful as physical damage they face when they want to and strive to look beautiful. These methods used by these women at some point do not feel satisfying. Just like the woman in the article felt about make-up “Makeup had shielded me during adolescence, but now I felt as if half of me was trapped beneath a shellacked surface.” The make-up was a false identity which could not personally please her. At some point in her life her self-consciousness about her birthmark intervened with career opportunities. Her experience overall is an example of how powerful the beauty ideal is and how persistent it is over the entire society not just women. Just like the cable guy in the article expects women as much she expected herself to be the beautiful woman society expects.