I went to an upmarket mall today and I encountered a skincare product salesman. He is ordinarily quite charming and he convinced me to sit down for the sales pitch. We had a bit of back and forth, and then he told me that for nearly the price of a small country I could be the proud owner of certain skin care products that would make me feel absolutely amazing and look absolutely stunning.
At the moment, I am satisfied with how I look. My complexion is far from perfect and I am carrying a little bit of extra weight, but these are not on my list of things to deal with right now. Especially since part of the reason I am carrying a little bit more weight is the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications I am taking at the moment. Life is about choosing your battles, and this is not a battle that I am in the mood to enter at the moment. (Kind of like the Americans in the second world war, I am biding my time, or waiting for the bombs to drop.)
Anyway, eventually when I said that I was not interested in even one of the products (a rather pleasant exfoliating gel) this sales person lowered his voice and conspiratorially said that he would give me the product at his fifty percent off discount. Needless to say he was rather surprised when I still declined his offer, and after a little bit of back and forth, he insisted that I look in the mirror while he pointed out my flaws. But, thankfully, I had gotten my mind right before that, and when he pointed to the acne scars on my face, I saw battle scars of teenage hell (let’s be honest here, being a teenager is not fun) not as something to be ashamed of, but rather to be celebrated. Evidence of the fact that I am survivor, and I’ve come through. The rosacea on my cheeks as evidence of moments spent under a warm sun. This salesperson was very confused when I told him that I don’t need any products to make my face beautiful, it already is. He did not understand that, as Jessica Macbeth says in the Faeries’ Oracle, my face is not my truth nor is my truth my face. And my truth, just like my soul, is beautiful.
When I found myself beginning to waver I had another Amanda Palmer moment and my subconscious very loudly started singing at me that I am the person that I want to be. The last time I had such an Amanda Palmer moment was at the beginning of 2010 when I was looking for a dress to wear to my sister’s wedding, and I was being rather negative towards myself in the change room, and then I remembered how confident Amanda had been in her own body at the Golden Globes wearing a dress that generated a level of internet condemnation, especially coupled with the fact that she dared to not shave her armpits.
At this point, the salesperson finally clicked that this was a lost cause, and that I was clearly lying to myself because I needed his products. We then wished each other well, and I went away happy that this battle of the beauty had been won by the truly beautiful soul inside of me, rather than the insecure me. And wanting to remember this victory for a long, long time.
Love and beauty,
P.S. My state of mind was probably influenced by this video reminding me that I am beautiful, just like you!
You Are Beautiful by Karen Walrond (http://www.chookooloonks.com/)