Essay

What Society Has Told Me Handsome Is Versus What I Am

What matters most regardless of where society casts me is that I appreciate myself.

I don’t consider myself handsome. Maybe I might be, but I don’t consider it or think about it much. In the list of adjectives I use to describe myself I’ve always aspired to wit, compassion, patience, and other qualities to be the more justifiably claimed.

Part of that is knowing that as a simple fact of life looks are fleeting. Father time is undefeated. The other part of it is that I am not conventionally handsome. I have curly black hair. I have dark brown eyes. I have brown skin and an average physique.

In a society where blonde/red/brown hair and blue/green/hazel eyes are the romanticized, I do not fit any of the “takes your breath away” characteristics. I grew up seeing the brown guy that looks like me as the comic relief in movies and on TV, if there even was brown guy like me on the screen.

No, I’m not Chris Hemsworth/Evans/Pine handsome. I grew up hearing people swoon for those types. I grew up knowing I was objectively not born one of those types. I grew up not worrying that I wasn’t that type, or prioritizing looking like/being one of those types.

However, I am not ugly. I refuse to accept any implication from society or those around me that I am.

My eyes are dark, and betray the depth of thoughts and emotion behind them without giving them away. My hair is dark and curly, a unique rolling sweep of curls which looks to me like a roiling, inky ocean when I’ve coifed it well. My skin is the color of sweet creamed coffee, and I’m grateful that it tans easily to a richer brown rather than burning under LA sun.

I don’t consider whether or not this means I am handsome. Maybe in this day and age where the brown man is largely kept in the supporting cast, I might be, but what matters most regardless of where society casts me is that I appreciate myself. What should matter most is that we all appreciate who and what we are, and the beauty of the person, mind, and soul behind those features that will all be subject to the maturation and erosion of time alike.

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s