Over the weekend a group of amazing people put on a small conference, in Oakland, regarding people being perceived as ugly.
I am still processing all of what I experienced there.
As often happens at this type of event, I felt like an imposter.
All of the privilege that I have makes me feel like I don’t truly belong at a conference where so many have suffered so much.
I admit, I do not perceive myself as ugly. Maybe others do (Hell, I am sure some do), but those people have had little ability to hurt me as I wander through life – and as I get older, that power continues to wane.
I certainly have not experienced physical violence because of anyone’s perception of me.
I am affected by the process of aging.
When I look in the mirror and see the wrinkles, and the broken blood vessels in my cheeks, the thinning white hair, I am not sure how I feel about all that.
But mostly, it’s okay. It’s interesting.
I just don’t know how to present myself to the world now.
I don’t know how I want to present myself to the world.
But imposter or not, I learned so much at this little conference.
There are so many amazing people out there.
They have suffered at the hands of society and at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and cherish them.
Because they don’t conform to what we have all been taught is physical beauty.
I can recognize physical beauty, as society defines it. And I can appreciate it.
But it seldom moves me.
But I have pretty much always found beauty in “the other”.
Society’s ideal of physical beauty is boring to me.
I find more beauty in strength, fierceness, inner struggle, and the triumphant in the face of what is expected.
I am sure I will be posting a lot more on this, as I have pages and pages of notes to work through and so much thinking to do.
I will say the one place I cannot find any beauty is in hatred.
Hatred is always ugly.