I laugh because you are different. Not at you, but because you strive to be different. Even as a youth, you know you are not ‘A Beauty’. You realize you won’t ever be the idyll of men’s dreams, a rose to be placed on our cultural pedestal. But still, you yearn to stand out, to gain admiration. So, you rebel against the norm. That knowledge, that drive, that defiance is what makes me smile. For in you, I see myself.
You show signs of strength, Little One. But secretly we know it partners with a sadness, a longing to be honored for who we are deep inside. We tell ourselves the external illusion is not important.
You attempt to shine in other ways when compared to your Venus-like, talented older sister. My heart and soul call to you. I cry out, “Don’t give up. Keep fighting for yourself. You are stronger, you are smarter and you will win at the end of the day when we grow old and beauty no longer matters.”
You are funny, insightful, and obsessed with sweets. You are unwittingly armoring yourself with the thick outer skin that is required to shield yourself from the arrows of disdain, the looks of half-acceptance which fall short of the proclamations of love which you desire.
I love you, Little One. Your road ahead will be very long and hard, indeed. Partly because you will make it hard for yourself by fighting this battle against society’s biases that you cannot win. It is through the act of fighting that you win, because it will make you stronger and smarter.
So trust me when I tell you that it never gets easier. Even if you acquire many admirers, you will always wonder whether they adore you for whom you really are – a chubby little girl who yearns to be cherished as the delightful person who resides deep within.
I see you, and yes, you are resourceful, tenacious and gorgeous.
I love you.