Saturday, June 26, 2010

"What is Good About Me?"


"Seeing is believing.  Right, Bella?"  I said.

"Wrong," she said.


"There are lots of things I can't see.  But I believe they are there." 

She is my thoughtful genius.

"You are my thoughtful genius," I said.

I was surrounded by little girls.  My daughters and my nieces.  Coral's kids.

"What is good about ME, Mama?"  Serena asked.

"You are FUN and FUNNY and SMART and LOVING," I said.

Then they all clamored.  WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT ME?

TRUE BEAUTY exists and is often not seen.

I carefully expressed the inner beauty I saw in each of them.

"Maya is STRONG and SASSY and  A BORN LEADER. When Maya hugs me my heart melts away."

"Joey is SWEET and AFFECTIONATE and SENSITIVE.  Joey's smile is like a kiss from the sun."

"Toby is SINCERE and INDEPENDENT.   Toby will always be TRUE and LOYAL to herself and those she loves. "

I took great pains to not mention their positive PHYSICAL attributes.  They glowed and grinned and lit up like brilliant angels as I told them what I saw in each of them.


"I'm the skinniest," said Maya.

She is not the skinniest.

Her words hurt my heart.  Lightening bolt.

"Baby, you are not the skinniest and it doesn't matter.  It just doesn't matter!  You are all so beautiful, my love." 

They stared at me.

"I don't ever want you to compare yourself to anyone else!  You girls are perfect as you are.  You are important and special no matter WHO is skinniest."

I felt a tightening in my chest and throat.  I wanted to cry.

I am in Las Vegas.  A city that prides itself on SEXY GIRLS.  A city that boasts SEX SEX SEX.  Here women are valued for their bodies and their willingness to strip on and off The Strip.

What Happens In Vegas Stays in Vegas... except, of course, HERPES.

It's a daunting task as a mother and aunt to convince these little girls that physical beauty is not important.

It's daunting because I don't believe it myself.  In my heart I know inner beauty is the Essence of Who We Are.  But BEAUTY gets noticed, doesn't it?  Beauty opens doors.  Beautiful people are successful people.

How can I convince THEM that it doesn't matter what you look like when I can't convince MYSELF?

How can I tell them I don't care about how I look when it's CLEARLY a LIE?

I can't seem to come to terms with my own hypocrisy today.

This is my internal struggle.

I put the three littlest girls on a raft and yelled, "BEEP! BEEP!  DIVAS IN TRAINING!  LET THEM THROUGH!"

We all laughed.

I played with them and then settled back and read a fashion mag.

I am only human.