You look at your face in the mirror and see all the things the magazines tell you not to have. Spots, blemishes, lines, scars…
You can’t help it, Bee, I know – they are genetically engineered to be big and bushy, just like Grandad’s. They are wiry. They are thick. They nearly meet in the middle. They are big brows, in an age when, for you, the fashion is for miniscule, barely-there ones. You pluck them, shape them, ignore them and they still just keep on growing.
But don’t despair Bee. Fast forward a few years (quite a few) and lo and behold, your brows are en vogue. On point. A pair of facial features you can be proud of.
Last week I heard a teenage girl remark, as she looked in the mirror, “My eyebrows just aren’t dark enough!” Bee, I’m sure like me, you would have smiled secretly to yourself, because that is something you would never have to say.
One day, Bee, your eyebrows will be acceptable. But should you even care?
Because fashion is a fickle beast. It takes your time and attention, your money and energy, in order to satisfy its needs. It’s a monster that lurks behind every mirror, magazine, and nowadays, every social media app. It screams your name, telling everyone how unfaithful you are to its demands. It whispers your secret fears, as it compares you to every other girl and finds you wanting. It only loves you when you conform to its beliefs, which change with every fashion season.
Is it worth serving this beast? Is it really worth the pain and self-doubt?
Because there is another way, Bee. You can choose to ignore its demands. You can choose to love and accept yourself, for who you are.
And here is the most powerful thing: you can choose to love and accept others, whether or not they are a slave to the beast. You can choose to be friends with the girl who is a bit oddball in her fashion sense. You can choose not to feel threatened by the girl who is perfectly plucked and manicured.
You can choose to show them that they are valued and loved; that the best of them is on the inside, not the outside. Because that’s true for you too.