Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 02:17 a.m. DST, 22 January 2014
When I came back to the States from Africa in the late 70’s, I was thrown into a school system and culture with which, like many people from different cultures and backgrounds, I was quite unfamiliar.
There was the usual lack of cultural sensitivity that routinely resulted in children asking me if I saw tigers walking down the middle of the street, or if I “put a glass up under all those naked, exposed breast, to get my milk.”
It was offensive, but not necessarily hurtful. What did become painful were the taunts about my physical appearance. All children face ridicule at some point in their school careers. For some, the taunting, the desire to fit into whatever standard of ‘cool’ or ‘beauty’ of the day, and the incessant bullying, causes them to resort to harmful and often tragic measures in search of relief.
I made it through, but not unscathed, as nearly 30-years later, I still recall how hurtful it was when classmates would point out that my lips were ‘liver lips’, ‘big, ugly gorilla lips,’ and that my mouth, like the vacuum cleaning brand Hoover, was a dangerous weapon capable of rearranging the face of any boy foolish enough to kiss me.
So, with the recent trend in the entertainment industry, and in America as a whole, to achieve a mythical standard of beauty that now includes large lips, I bemusedly thought back to my childhood days and wondered if any of the girls who once taunted me, were now through some strange karmic leading, pumping, plumping, and outlining their lips to achieve an industry contrived standard of ‘today’s perfection.’
We all have things that we would like to change about ourselves. I have mine. However, I have come to appreciate my lips, but even more than this, I have come to appreciate my healthy lips, body, mind, and spirit. That said, this post does not pass judgement on those who desire to change something about themselves, but only seeks to encourage due diligence, introspection, and self-awareness before embarking on a journey that can result in Don Quixote’s madness of chasing down enemies that do not exist.
We begin aging the moment we take our first breath, to do so with dignity is the greatest testament to a well-lived life. The video below should serve as a cautionary tale.Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report