I have clear memories of being self-conscious, not feeling beautiful or fitting in with society’s beauty ideals presented to me through social and cultural media.
My mid to late teenage years I found myself so self-conscious and upset with the physical appearance of my nose, it was faulty in my opinion then, there were no references of women with a jagged edge bump in the middle of their nose in any of the beauty or fashion magazines I would sweep through.
I got speaking with a young woman of 17 years, the same age as me, of a different High School, studying the same Modern Greek course as me – I admired her physical beauty she had blonde hair, brown eyes, a STRAIGHT nose, with hindsight it was predominantly her character that imprinted the beauty on me, she was kind, gentle, clear speaking and appeared confident. When I shared that I hated my nose, she told me that she had hated hers too, it was too large so she had a nose job, cosmetic surgery to straighten her nose and now she loved it. With supportive intentions, she recommended I get one too if I hated my nose.
My mum lived in Greece at the time, I had multiple conversations with her about my nose, telling her how much I hated it and wanted to get it fixed.
When I went to stay with my mum after high school, she took me to the clinic of a friend of hers, a cosmetic surgeon to discuss the possibility of having my nose straightened.
This man talked to me straight, he told me it would be a very painful procedure, we were in the middle of winter there so the cold would add to the pain I would experience as my nose healed from the surgery, and it would take time to heal. He shared a folder of photographs with me, of many women who had had surgery to straighten their nose, there was a before surgery photo and an after surgery photo – AND every single woman I looked at in that folder I thought they looked so much more beautiful in their before photos, than their after photos. Wow.
We left there and I took time to process the experience with the surgeon and that folder full of photos and women, nothing wrong with them to start with. Those photos changed everything, I decided I preferred the women before their surgery and would wait.
I am SO appreciative of meeting with a surgeon who clearly has integrity, and was not motivated by money only, he had no hidden agenda, talked to me straight to help me understand the severity of the surgery that I thought would be simple and solve my problem of not seeing my own beauty (yet), he helped me understand more and supported me in making an informed decision by not selling the end result only.
To this day I am now in love with the uniqueness of my nose, it suits the structure of my face, and my elven ears – those who are meant for me will perceive my true beauty too, which comes not only through the eyes but also, and predominantly through our essence, beauty is not just seen, it is very much felt, in a way it is experienced.
My advice to my 15 year old self (the age where I really remember criticising and being unsure about my body) is, wait my love, you need time to first grow into your body before you can truly understand and see the magnificence and beauty that you innately are! This journey of woman continues to unfold and bloom in the most incredible ways, your uniqueness is your gift – wait to meet it, to understand it, before you try to change it, Nature gets nothing wrong, your body and your being is perfect – free of any flaw that you may think you perceive through comparing yourself to others, wait my love and you will see that imperfect is perfection, the uniqueness that we are is a thread of colour and form that exists within no other, it adds to the magnificent beauty of this Earth.