Beauty Marks and Battle Scars.

Who is the boy with the millipede on the head? She said.

There was no boy and there surely was no millipede. My English teacher was referring to me and the said Millipede was the birthmark on the side of my head. I never forgot that day.

For the first twelve years of my life, I was never conscious of my birth mark or the fact that I hated its appearance. To me, it was just a mark and I paid it no special attention.

My mum had told me that it might have been an injury during my birth because it seemed too big of a scar to belong on my baby head. It didn’t really matter if I had the mark while in her belly or got it on the way out. All that mattered was that it had always been a part of me from birth.

As puberty crept in, self awareness and the idea of perfection were at the fore front of my mind and it was in adolescence that I first battled with self esteem based on physical appearance.

Back then in highschool, we began to notice who was pretty or ugly, tall or short slim or fat. We also awaited the promise by our science teachers that for the guys, shoulders would get broad and that the girls would have slimmer waists and wider hips.

Lol, I wonder how much this affected the self worth of many of my class mates and I who waited earnestly for the broad shoulders and wider hips and still continue to wait.

For many of us, appearance has been a large part of how we define and accept ourselves. We have an image of what we ought to look like influenced either by what we learnt at school or what we saw on TV. Instead of accepting ourselves, we fawn at images of people we believe have the template body or appearance.

Like I said, I never forgot my teacher’s description of me. What made it worse was that in my boarding school, the girls were not allowed to grow their hair, so I had to walk around school with my birth mark sticking out like a sore thumb.

When I would have conversations with people, they stared straight at my head like my eyes were at the side of my head. And so, as soon as I finished highschool, all my hair styles were ‘protective’ hairstyles. Lol, it wasn’t my hair getting protected though; it was my birth mark and what was left of my self confidence.

I had to shield my birthmark because I was tired of the undue attention. For you, it could be a mole, a crooked eye, or something else that just makes you feel less than perfect. With all the self love messages that abound today, we are all gradually working out some of the self-worth issues we have struggled with.

It was only two years ago that I decided to start wearing my natural hair and although I still care about the mark, I no longer feel compelled to explain it when people stare at it.

Recently, I was talking with my 6 year old niece and she was surprised to see the mark on my head because I was wearing my natural hair. What’s that on your head she said? I replied saying that it was my birthmark to which she said ‘eww, I hope you’ll cover it for your wedding’. I laughed and asked her why? And then she giggled and said ‘cos it’s disgusting’. Oh dear, it was really hilarious but also showed that she had already began learning what ‘pretty’ or ‘perfection’ should be.

I occasionally still consider removing it surgically but when I think of other things I could spend my money on, I have to encourage myself from within. I still think it gives my hair line an awkward shape but who cares? Just kidding, I actually do. Just not as much as before. And when I take pictures, I have to take it showing my ‘good’ side which is the other side of my face.

Our identities should not be tied so much to blemishes or scars and even when they are, they tell a story of the life we’ve lived and we should not feel less because of them.

How did we decide that one body or face shape was the ideal one? Can we go back to that place of childhood innocence where everyone just had a face and none was judged prettier than the other.

I understand that we are all at different stages in our journey to self acceptance but I hope we all get there some day. Your scar makes you YOU. I have yet to see anyone with the same birth mark as me and even though sometimes I hate it, I have to embrace it.

Remember, we are all made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) and all things He created are beautiful

Heart to Heart: What appearance issue have you struggled with and overcome or are still struggling with?

22 thoughts on “Beauty Marks and Battle Scars.”

  1. I’ve always struggled with my height and voice ( I’m soft spoken), I’ve been told that no one likes a short gurl…lol😂😂 and i still suffer this till date, during interviews despite my qualifications, the interviewer would first of all size me up when I get into the room, I’ve also heard one of them say that my appearance doesn’t match the role and with my soft voice I wouldn’t be able to take on any leadership role. I’ve been asked questions like “why are you short, can people ever take you seriously?”etc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, I feel you. Lol, it’s crazy how we form all these ideas of what a leader should look like or when you hear things like the ‘ideal height for a girl or guy’. There really is no ideal and we should all be allowed to live comfortably in the bodies God created us in.

      Just keep knocking down those doors and one day, you’ll be employing and leading all the people with the ‘leadership height and voice’ lol

      Like

  2. I have struggled myself with weight, my double chinned Face, and so on and I think women have this more than men. Men don’t really struggle with this. This is mostly because of society. What is important is to love yourself regardless of what you look like. Work on what you can and embrace what you can’t change. Start seeing the beauty in you… I have to stare at a picture of me ten times to find the beauty but I must find the beauty. When we start seeing ourselves as beauty, we carry ourselves that way and others begin to see the same beauty.
    Also see yourself from the eyes of God who created you!!!
    We are fiiiiinnnnnnneeee women

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joy. I totally agree that women struggle with this more and it just hurts us more than it helps. This post today has shown me all the things women struggle with from their face to lips, weight, height, arms etc.

      We need to start appreciating the beauty in us and the perfection that God created us to be. We are enough and like you said, we are FIIIINNNNEEEEE women.

      Like

  3. You are a strong woman and regardless of the mark, you are beautiful. For me, it’s always been my lips or my height/weight. I remember in primary school a boy said my lips looked like pomo(cow skin)… and another time, someone said I looked like a giant among my friends.

    I felt bad for the longest time, but just like you said, God created us beautifully and wonderfully. My sister always says “don’t mind them jo, you have full lips that others are paying for”(botox). We just have to be careful not to let the negative things that people say about us get to us too much/define us. Thanks for sharing. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Deborah for sharing. Lol, I can’t believe that even at that young age, we start picking up on some of these things that we think make us less perfect.

      And then they set us up for a lifetime of wondering if we will ever be perfect. Like you said, the same lips you were teased for is what people pay to get because now, some people have decided that full lips are cool. I hope we all just appreciate that we are created in God’s likeness and image. We are all beautiful.

      Like

  4. I enjoyed this post so much. It is so relatable and written honestly. I love how you stayed true saying you still care but not as much. Its how I feel everytime I look at my arms(aka Christain mother arm) and think when is it even going to reduce. I can’t wear sleeveless dresses because of this arm. Even when I loose some weight the arm is still there, but not too long ago I began to care less. I acknowledged that i am not thin or slim and i cannot expect my arm to be thin in fact I like being ‘thick’ like they call it and my arms goe hand in hand with me being thick so although I am aware of it .. i am not nearly as conscious of it as I was before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer for sharing this. We all are trying to work through various insecurities and I am so glad you are gradually caring less. What’s funny about the things that make us insecure is that tomorrow, it could become fashionable and then everyone wants it. It just shows that these are man-made pictures and ideals and we should not judge ourselves too harshly using them.

      Like

  5. I felt every message that came with this write up!
    Thank you for sharing and honestly I didn’t even notice nor pay attention back then in secondary school to that feature that is to tell you that you were and are still beautiful with it.
    I am not saying this to hype you but for real, in Sbc we would practically go on skin cut and if you could still look great then (I did admire you as a senior, your personality was cool and you were that cute new senior that I couldn’t talk with) believe me when I say u even look better now.
    You leave it or you remove it, people will still have something to say…what matters is what you say!
    Nice message dear.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Mazuru for the kind words. And you are so right that people would talk either way. You really cannot please everyone and you have to accept that who you are or what you look like is your perfect and not what someone else looks like.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This post is so relatable. I have struggled and still struggle with the size of my belly which was brought to my attention in high school. During undergrad my self confidence probably went from 5 to -15 with my perception of what/who the perfect lady should be. Now people say “its not so bad” and it probably really isn’t but the damage from the past runs so deep that the “compliment” is barely acknowledged. I am now making the conscious effort to break free from the shackles of over consciousness and just be comfortable with my belly and with me generally. It is a struggle mentally, no doubt. But I’ve definitely come a long way from were I started. Thank you for sharing this

    Like

    1. Thanks Alice for sharing this.

      You hit the nail on the head!! ‘The damage from the past runs so deep that the compliment is barely acknowledged’ So much truth in that sentence.

      After battling with self consciousness and sometimes self hate for years, it’s not so easy to just unpack all of that because of a compliment.

      I am glad you have come along way in breaking free and we will all get there some day.

      Like

  7. This was lovely to read.

    Can we count? 😂 From the thing under my neck like a mole (I really don’t know what it is), to my head shape, then my shoe size…

    I have definitely had different phases, but I think I’ve come to a point where I genuinely believe every single part of me was uniquely designed for me.

    Like

    1. Thanks Idara for sharing.

      Lol it’s so funny how there are so many things we don’t like but we rarely spend time appreciating the things we really like.

      And it’s awesome when you get to that place where you are at to recognize that every part of you was made for you. It’s so special.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks Esther for this piece. It takes boldness to write an article like this. However it is the antidote to actually accept the status quo and maximize it. Unfortunately we live in a world where people are judged by their outward appearance and as such people spend lots to time and resources fixing that while leaving the main thing ( the real you, your inner worth and value) thereby pursuing the shadow and leaving the substance. We should not let people define our lives, our standard should not be based on the acceptance of Men but the acceptance of God and how we see ourselves. I know that if we remain real and work on our value people will learn to accept us irrespective thereby giving expression to our value. Someone mentioned to me many years ago ” let the whole world dislike but never loose your worth to God and if i may add never loose your worth to yourself”. Good job with your write up. Keep it up and i pray that the ultimate purpose of Hadassahsheart.ca would be achieved. Amen.

    Like

    1. Thanks Ay. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and you are right that our worth should come from God.

      It just gets tough sometimes when you feel like you don’t measure up to that perfect picture that you think people would appreciate more.

      I hope we can all break free from these man made ideals and live the lives we have.

      Like

  9. A beautifully written piece. I bet I know the said niece 😂, she is talkative one for sure.
    As to what I struggle with, as many women do, is my weight 😭😭. Why can’t I just eat pizza and all the juices in the world and be slim like my husband. Seriously though, our appearances shape our self esteem because it’s the first thing people see when they first meet us. Someone will see me after a few years and be like “ you gained weight” in my head I’m like “thanks for bringing that to my attention, I had NO IDEA woowww!!” (Can you tell sarcasm is my third language😂) But my response in real life is a grin and get it going. I have decided I will rock my body “fat” or “slim”

    Like

    1. Hahaha thanks Cornelia. You sure do know the niece.

      And it’s so strange how people think it’s okay to comment on people’s weight (Slim or fat). It’s unfortunate that we cannot hide our appearance so at some point, you just have to find the courage to accept who you are and live unapologetically like you have decided.

      Like

  10. Nice write up, you just reminded me when I was growing up I had a birthmarks in one of my eye and people keep asking me if I can see with the eye .

    A lot of people are still struggling with this issue of self acceptance; is time for us to love everything about us because if we don’t nobody will do that for us. People are always looking for opportunity to talk down on other.

    Thank God my mum settled the issue of self acceptance as a child, she keep reminding me how beautiful I am regardless of the birthmark

    I grow up loving the body God gave me.

    Like

    1. Thanks Gloria,

      Self acceptance is really a gradual journey but at the end of the day, people will only accept us as much as we accept ourselves.

      Thank God for parents who encouraged our self worth right from childhood.

      Like

  11. Great piece girl! now i know about the birthmark lol but that your teacher chai! nawa for her o! #rudemuch

    insecurities? girl where do i start lol but in all things we thank God

    Like

Leave a Reply to Joy Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s