My idea of beauty was never the common one. Always drawn to unique qualities and a rebellious attitude that matched. I loved alternative and modified models with stretched ears, different complexions and dope ass haircuts. I liked anarchy, colorful makeup and tattoos. Band shirts that were torn, jorts (jean shorts) and power clashing! If the world didn’t like it, I did.
As a youth I struggled with this separation in opinion. Being told that blonde and skinny was beautiful and anything else was “unique”. For God's sake, I lived in So Cal, land of the bleached buttholes and sewn in extension. As the media spewed propaganda on the “do’s and don'ts” of how to be, act and look beautiful it was hard to not feel like an outsider. Especially when your idea of beauty was anything but what you’d been told it should be.
No offense, but the women I idolized, and still idolize, are far from basic. The mold the world has tried to fit people in is one size, but we are not one size fits all. We are a fucking enigma. We can’t be fit into a mold. The things that make up a beautiful person isn’t flawless skin or long legs (though those help). It’s ownership of self. It’s knowing that your spot in the world is unique and no one can be you. It’s owning one's flaws and turning them into our strengths. It’s speaking on our weakness and constructively criticizing without diminishing our own confidence.
Beauty is rarely exclusively external, at least in 2018. As the rise of models like Ugly Worldwide, Winnie Harlow, Aweng Chuol, Slickwoods, Melanie Gaydos and many more began to popularize, so did self confidence. Finally there were women on the cover of magazines and filling our IG feed that were strong women. Women who refused to be told how they show look, feel and act. Women that stood by their culture and life experiences. That owned all their unique traits and made them their strongest assets.
To me, beauty has always been and always will be in strength, confidence and independence. It is the individuals that speak up and stay true. Who the fuck wants to idolize a person that is product of the media and societal norms?! I can only speak for myself but I sure as hell don’t.