Beauty is Not Constant

Victoria Juarez, Editorial Editor

Last night my skin was clear, my hair was clean, my prom nails were still hanging on. Today I woke up with a pimple on my chin and the early stages of a cold sore. I had a missing nail on each hand, and my hair could not be tamed. 

Beauty is not constant, but there are many things in life that are. 

Beauty is not constant, but the way the sun rises every morning is a round-the-clock occurrence. Beauty is not constant but the rising and falling of your chest as you breathe is persistent. Beauty is not constant but the color of my skin is never changing and it never aligns with society’s perception of beauty. 

Every winter without fail, I am told how beautiful my skin looks. When I was a kid, I thought this was a compliment, I thought it meant I was beautiful. It was not until I got older that the backhandedness of this comment registered in my mind. 

They were not truly calling me beautiful, they were simply observing how my skin gets a few shades lighter in the winter. I was not beautiful in their eyes. If anything they viewed me as ugly. So I grew up with the idea that light skin is beautiful and dark skin is not. 

In school I watched as brown kids got in trouble over mistakes that light skinned kids made. It was the same people making the mistakes that made me believe I could not wear certain colors like pink or yellow. They said it made me look darker implying that I should aim to look lighter. To this day, I still hate the color pink. Not because it “makes me look darker,” but because the hatredness of those comments still linger in the fibers of the pink clothes I own.  

But children are a product of their environment. However a parent or sibling views beauty is often what the child will reflect in their own behavior. 

I am not mad at the children who said this. After all, they were not older than seven years old. I am, however, upset with the grown men and women that felt they could express these feelings of hatred to a child.