Tuesday, May 19, 2009
"A Rare Beauty"
I often wonder what life would be like for me if only I had looks like that of some celebrity or the body of a goddess. Would it be easier for me to date among the millions of other single women? Maybe, maybe not. Yet, right now, I'm just as happy being in the skin I'm in when there are thousands of other women with physical struggles that far surpass my occasional bad hair days, or acne parties. But for some women, just being able to get the attention of one,single man is almost as difficult as finding buried treasure. Yet, everyday they continue to try, through internet dating sites, bars, churches, networking events hoping that one day they might find their one true love or at best one date that would last for more than thirty minutes. Society has made it so difficult to look past the physical appearances of men and women that it makes any form of abnormality seem taboo. So when I read the article about a woman who suffered from a rare disease called Klippel-Trenaunary Syndrome, my heart went out to her. Her right leg is longer than her left therefore she walks with a limp. Her back is uneven with a fatty slab and a dense lump above her waist and there's a gigantic port-wine stain that reaches around her broad torso and down toward her right thigh. This woman is not the picture perfect celebrity that I mentioned earlier nor is she the average individual that we cross while walking down the street. She is unique, strange at best but she is, in fact, a woman who just like me has the same desires and needs that I long for. The need to be loved, the need to have the attention of a loved one, the need to be accepted for "who I am" and not what I look like. Her need to have all of these things has driven her to the likes of the Internet to find those things, unfortunately, dreams tend to fade fast and the reality of truth always sets in. She is deformed and there's nothing that she can do about that. No matter how beautiful her face is. No matter how much she enjoys her life. Truth is, most of the time she'll never be accepted for anything other than a woman whose deformed. And so that tiny, little secret becomes something she tries desperately to hide each time she goes on a blind date. And it's also something she must deal with for the rest of her life. As I continued to read her story I realized the shallowness I'd shown toward men at one time in my life by never fully embracing the shell that was within. I also thought of all those men who met her and chose to run the other way. Who never even experienced the joy of her conversation. Or the chance to see bravery at its best. How many of us would want the same if we were the one with the abnormal face, foot or hand. How difficult it seems, to love without restriction. Without judgement. Without fear. Perhaps when dew season comes, her story, like many others, will remind us that beauty really is skin deep.