“I just do art because I’m ugly and there’s nothing else for me to do.”
― Andy Warhol
I think i am ugly and i mention it a lot, and i understand that's a form of self harming. Suffering from depression and ingraining constant negativity doesn't ease the pressure of sadness. The anxiety of being in large groups of people and wondering have they noticed your ugly yet or do they think your ugly. Its the first thought that forms in my mind. At the age that i am now, nobody else can tell me differently. For all of my pre-teenage life and teenage life i have been called ugly, or treated like i am. By the people that shape the way you end up seeing yourself. Your peers are paramount to your development as a person, your relationships formed and communications learnt are what you take with you your whole adult life. Whether good or bad. I want people to understand this properly. I tell my friends i am ugly all the time, and they get annoyed with me. And it frustrates me that they don't understand where i am coming from. Which in turn makes me not want to share certain parts of me.
But in the past 5 years i have heard differently, but it makes no difference to me. I don't see it as an insecurity. I see it as my reality.
When i was in primary school, there was a boy that everybody fancied, including me. And he made it a thing to go around and say i would go out with every single girl. Apart from Jackie, because she is ugly. Now imagine being maybe 9 years of age, and not really understanding what ugly is. But knowing that everyone else that liked the boy, he liked all of them back, apart from me. Because i was UGLY? That was the spark that lit the fuse..
Then i moved on to a new primary school. And i walked home everyday by myself, and this boy runs up to me everyday and pulls my hair out of my head, my hair strands in his hands and tells me i'm ugly and that my hair is ugly. And laughs.
My Mum and Dad have worked hard my whole life. So when i returned home from school, i didn't find them home as they were at work. My older Sister busy living her teenage life alongside my two older brothers, With their own trials and issues and pressures. I don't remember being able to seek the validation that maybe i would have benefited from at that time. And it isn't their fault. That's just the way the cookie crumbles. But these unfortunate events happened and i didn't share them with anyone at the time they were happening. So who was to know my suffering.
I move onto secondary school, and two of my classmates punch me in the back weekly, but don't do the same to my two best mates Naz and Kathy because they are 'pretty'. Trying to situate myself at the back of every class, so that my back wasn't open for being punched. Which didn't help, just made it more exciting for them to wonder around pretending to look for a pen or pencil or sharpener, and end up behind me.
If you are reading this and you are from my secondary school, do you remember me wearing two hooded jumpers everyday even in the summer? ( I made my Dad buy me a new one every term) I hated the teachers that made me take them off because they were not school uniform. It might make sense to you now. I wasn't trying to be a tom boy. I just didn't want the punches to hurt! But the tom boy comments hurt just as much!
Does anyone remember the excersize text books you used to be given to write in for class. With your name and form class on the front. Well girls use to take my book when no one was looking, and write across it 'ugly'. and 'Your a man.' And rip the pictures that i had stuck on the front of the book of Destinys child and Spice girls and Mario and Usher to deter them to from writing on it. But they would just rip them off, just to write 'your ugly'
I wrote an earlier blog post, where i mentioned a girl older than me used to call me Man Jackie, and up till this day if i see her she will shout it out for the whole world to hear her. I used to wear a hooded top to hide my hair, to soften the blows. To be comfortable. I couldn't be seen as a girl, on top of that one who is weak.
I convinced my Mum to let me relax my hair in year 8. Worst decision of my life, i came to school Monday morning happy. I left school with patches of my hair gone. And a million and one cusses i had to endure all week from them whispering it to me so no one else could hear them.
Being with my friend at her house, and a boy who i thought was my friend and that liked me, calls her without knowledge of me being there, and tells her how he doesn't like me and throws in there that i am ugly (she cringes at this memory every time and sometimes even denies it because it upsets her, but can you imagine how much it upset me?) I rarely showed anybody that i could cry, but i have cried a lot. That day i cried till i vomited when i got home. Little did they both know.
Imagine, having your first boyfriend tell you, you are not good looking. And all you can do is agree. As he goes on to tell you he is better looking than you. And all i could do was agree.
I have had some of the most facially beautiful best friends in my life, Kalraj Kaneza Kerrie Kellisha Rosie Fesina Lina Amandeep Yazmin Nazmin, Ayeesha Fontaine, Stephanie, Charlotte, Samantha, Dilean, Nichola, Abigail, Phillipa.. the list goes on. And when i go out with them, or have been out with each of them. Someone approaches them and says.. 'omg your so beautiful'. And i stand there, knowing a compliment isn't coming my way. And never will do. At a point it starts to grate on you. And you cry of embarrassment inside, because its always awkward for you. And i contemplate if this pain is worth having these friends or any at all. But you also want your friends to be flattered and appreciated for their beauty. Because why not, they are beautiful.
I don't think these things because other people have said it. I know it, because i never really heard any differently. At a point you start to believe what you hear continuously, its strange because i am very confident, i'm somewhat outgoing, and i don't see that part of me as a downfall, i just see it as my truth. I do not need everyone to find me good looking. That would be stupid. But understand, that how i see myself now is indented into me. My most impressionable years have taken its toll on me. Even if i don't say it, that is what i see in myself. It is so deep into me i don't know how to think any differently. I do not try to change myself, or enhance myself in any way. But for me it is my truth, it is my reality. And i mean it from the bottom of my heart. My impressionable years have passed and this is my permanent impression of me. And that is my ugliest trait.
I will continue to try and instil positivity and self love in the young females that i work with. And try to make sure that they understand they don't need validation from others for them to realise their beauty. I want the young girls and boys to not only love them self from the outside, but to work on their insides, their hearts, their souls there spirits, their humour, their manners, their education. If you have children, or younger siblings. Let them know they are strong, they are powerful, they are gorgeous, they are clever all the time. The doubt that i have, i wish no young person grows with those same doubts. But you can make a difference in that.
Today, tomorrow, this week, please let your partner , your siblings, your coworker whoever, know they are beautiful. They are handsome, they are cute. It's important, in a world where there is so much pressure empathised on looks, and material goods.
I thought about this post from a conversation i keep having with my friends. But it came to light a lot when i was in Croatia last week for Fresh Island Festival, where i had an amazing time, with my two beautiful friends. But here are a few snaps id like to share! :) Enjoy! To bring some light-heartedness to a deep post.