Dear Face

You are made up of two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Of skin, and lips, and hair.

All in all, let’s call you nothing special.

You are not symmetrical, not even close. Your skin is not flawless, far from it. It isn’t even as smooth as it maybe should be at the tender age of twenty six. Some of your pores are visible. There is hair in some undesirable places.

You are covered in spots. Patches of freckles. Many moles. Some are small and cute. But some are large with hair growing out of them. Sometimes, you even have pimples and zits. Maybe along the jaw-line. Every once in a while, smack dab in the middle of your forehead for all the world to see. Like a unicorn horn.

Have I mentioned how bumpy you are? Passing my hand over you, oh face, feels like passing my hand over the face of the moon might.

Your eyebrows are thick and, surprisingly, curly. But, weirdly, have patches of baldness here and there. They grow uncontrolled when you don’t tame them regularly. Hairs appearing outside of the ideal eyebrow outlines. More on the sides. The dreaded uni-brow is not your problem.

The first time your got them threaded, the Yemeni woman who did them requested that you never try to shrink your eyebrows. That you keep them clean but never change them. They suit you, she said, with some authority and anger in her voice. And you have listened. Even before bold eyebrows were back in style, you quietly allowed yours to do their own thing. Much as you wanted an elegant, sexy arch in your eyebrow, you vowed to never shrink them, and you stuck to that vow. Now, they are not thick enough. You draw them in. Add more oomph. Hope your stroked look like little hairs. Like nature. And not like you filled in the lines with a pencil.

Your eyes, dear dear eyes, aren’t the large doe eyes that you always dreamt of. Sure, maybe compared to your small size overall, your eyes appear large, but you have been assured they are, in fact, not. One of your eyes is actually even smaller than the other. Or maybe your eyelid is just bigger, who knows.

You are blessed, you’ve been told, with relatively thick, long eyelashes that curl just so. They frame the mostly brown irises that are so common in this world. You tell yourself that there is some green in there, that maybe your eyes are hazel, but really they are brown. “Not shit brown,” you have been assured, but brown all the same. And still, you proudly point to a single freckle in one of your irises. Not a freckle, because it’s permanent. A mole. You stare at it longingly sometimes. It reminds you of a girl you once knew who had beautiful eyes: green with gold speckles throughout. That one spot, darker than the rest of your iris, that one spot is your very own gold speckle. It reminds you of the lyrics of a love song.

Your nose, prominent, is displayed smack dab in the middle of your face. Though the more you stare at it, the more it seems to lean to one side. It is, unmistakably, a Jewish nose, with a bump on the bridge and a somewhat turned down tip. You proudly announce that you have a big nose, only to be told it’s really not so big. There are bigger. People don’t hear the pride I guess. Or they hear it, but don’t understand how you could be proud.

The lips. By far your least symmetrical feature. Your lips, weirdly round and plump on one side, are mirrored by tight thin lips on the other. You assume people see only the thin side, so you’ve succumbed to having a small mouth. You’ve tried to even this out with lip-stick. Giving your lips accentuated, pointy tops and a full, round bottom. But you’ve never been able to last too long with lip stick. You feel like a clown. You think people can tell you’re trying to change the way your lips look. You assume they are mocking your obviously failed attempts.

You have round, red cheeks. Especially when you smile. They remind you of a picture of your younger, much younger self. Before all these ideals were drilled into your head. You are smiling in the arms of your grandmother. Chubby cheeks pronounced. Happy. When you were young people loved your cheeks. They pinched them. They kissed them. They told you how cute they were.

You never hear about those cheeks any more. You try to make them more pronounced with blush, hoping to get one of those adoring looks again, only to wonder if you somehow made yourself look like a doll. You wipe that make up off. Quick. Before anyone notices.

But face, dear dear face, your whole is so so much more than the sum of its parts. Your flaws, they tells stories. Moles of days in the sun hiking, swimming, jumping, exploring. Your wrinkles speak of laughter and joy and sure, there is some worry in there. But you have been worried. Why hide that? Your nose speaks to your family and your history. And your cheeks, to your inevitable cuteness, try as you might to be hot or sexy. Embrace yourself, face. Tell your story proudly. Love each and every feature. Each and every flaw. Know that they are what make you uniquely you.

 

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