𝚄𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚝𝚕𝚎𝚍 – 𝙷𝚊𝚗𝚗𝚊𝚑 𝙶𝚘𝚘𝚍𝚖𝚊𝚗
𝙸’𝚖 𝚋𝚎𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚒𝚏𝚞𝚕, 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝙸 𝚊𝚖 – 𝙶𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚎 𝙰𝚐𝚋𝚊𝚍𝚘𝚞
May 5th, 1992 saw the birth of a beautiful, bouncy baby girl. Her proud parents named her “Princess”. She was the apple of their eyes, their first and only child. It took them 10 years to conceive her. She grew closer and closer to her dad, so much so that she was known in their middle class neighborhood they lived in as “daddy’s little princess.”
Princess was a straight A student all throughout middle school and her sophomore year in high school. But to her parents’ surprise, her grades started to slip in her senior year. She was no longer interested in school and even asked her mother to home-school her. She would stay hours in her room on weekends, refusing to speak with her friends on the phone. She became so isolated that her parents started to worry about her. When asked what was wrong, Princess simply said that she preferred to be left alone. Her parents became so concerned that they decided to take her to the hospital, in fear that she may be hiding something. After all the tests, there was nothing wrong with her medically.
Her parents then took her to their pastor, hoping she would open up to him, but that was of no avail. Finally, in a desperate attempt to help their baby, they took her to a psychologist but Princess said nothing more than: “I’m fine, don’t know why I’m here”. They returned home, still puzzled about the sudden change in their daughter’s behavior. They started to wonder if they had done something wrong.
As questions raced in their minds, one morning, they came across a letter addressed to their daughter. She had misplaced it when she forgot it on the kitchen table.
Her father opened it with much hesitation. He called his wife and together, with eyes wide opened, they couldn’t believe what they were reading.
The letter read as followed:
“Hi baby, you know I love you. Even though we are young, we discussed our future together and our dream to one day become husband and wife. However, since my parents found out that we were planning to spend our future together, they have been pressuring me to leave you. When I asked them why, they said that you were not pretty enough, that you needed to lose weight, and that I can do better. I told them that to me, you are a beautiful person, inside out and you are my best friend, whom I would like to spend the rest of my life with. Upon hearing that, they gave me an ultimatum telling me to leave you or they will disown me.
With that in mind, I’m wondering if you would accept to have some plastic surgeries on your nose (they think it’s too big), your lips (they think they are too thick) and a tummy tuck so you can lose weight (they think you are too heavy).
My parents said that they will cover all the hospital and surgery bills. They know a good doctor. If you love me, say yes to this offer honey, so we can remain together.”
Princess’ parents raced to her room and hugged her tightly. The letter was sent a month ago. Their daughter was so heart- broken that she never wanted to share the content of the letter with anyone. This was her first boyfriend. They attended the same church and both families knew each other. She knew him since the 5th grade. His parents had been so nice to her. Her parents never knew that the people they knew as ” brother” and “sister” from church, were calling their ” Princess”, ” ugly” and in need of plastic surgery. To them, their baby was the most beautiful girl on earth.For the first time, they were faced with the need to convince her that she was indeed beautiful, made in the image of her Maker, and that to them there was nothing wrong with her nose, lips or weight.
Then Princess broke down and started to weep uncontrollably. She was so hurt that words were not enough to express how she felt. She said in a broken voice: “mom, dad, you always tell me I’m beautiful, cute and perfectly made. I always believe you. Now tell me the truth, do I need plastic surgery to correct any parts of my body?”
Her parents were short of words. They couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Never in a million years, had they thought that they would have such a conversation with their baby girl. While they were silently wondering how to answer her, Princess spoke up much to their relief:” mom, dad”, she said, ” don’t worry, I will never have plastic surgery, I love the way I look and whoever does not want me this way, is the one with issues, not me.”
She had just been set free from the emotions she was repressing and was now openly discussing how she felt. By opening up to her parents, she came to the conclusion that her friend and his parents needed help, not her. She was sad because she lost a good friend who she truly loved, but she was now ready to move on and be mentally healed.
She kissed and hugged her parents and life returned to normal in her household. She promised her parents that she would never let anyone make her sad again because of what they thought of her or how they viewed her.
𝙶𝚛𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝙰𝚙𝚙𝚕𝚎 – 𝚂𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚊 𝙺𝚎𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚍𝚢
𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚒𝚐𝚗𝚜 𝙸𝚕𝚕𝚞𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚢 𝙺𝚒 𝙻𝚘𝚙𝚎𝚣
𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚍 – 𝙳𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚌𝚊 𝚂𝚙𝚒𝚝𝚏𝚢𝚎𝚛
I wish you’d never met me
So you would never know me
So I would never know that you could never love me
That someone like you could never ever
That someone like you could not be one with me forever
I’m too loud
I can’t complete a sudoku puzzle so I play connect the dots with the marks on my face, bright red like a stop sign
I always wondered if my acne stopped someone from kissing me
If I’d ever get a kiss on the cheek, more thorn than rose
Or on the nose, mine kind of looks like a mushroom, I think
It is not very pretty
I’m too nervous
I don’t remember who told me that confidence is the most attractive thing about a person but it’s making me insecure in turn
I wish I could crawl into an urn and be sacred and ashy and shy
I have to remember that mental illness is not a personality trait
I am trying to not make my anxiety a cute thing
I want my strength to be the most beautiful thing about me always
If only there was a way for it to show, like muscles
If we’re going with a lame-o metaphor, or whatever, I wanna show my mental guns
I want my strength to be threatening
Bang! I’ve been through shit! Bang! I survived!
I just need to stop pointing the gun at myself
Or maybe I need you to scrape your finger in the gore and tell me it tastes great
I don’t want this to be sexualized
But I’d really feel good if you liked it
If you loved the holes
I really wouldn’t mind if you could see right through me
If you loved me all the same.
𝚆𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝙶𝚒𝚛𝚕𝚜 𝚂𝚕𝚎𝚎𝚙 – 𝙻𝚊𝚛𝚊 𝙱𝚛𝚘𝚠𝚗
My series Where Girls Sleep aims to convey how expatriate kids in the Middle East decorate their bedrooms. These spaces are generally the only spaces which these girls have to themselves and can visually convey aspects of the character’s of the young women in this series. My work was heavily inspired by James Mollison and Adrienne Salinger’s works and this series was a component of my final realisation for my Fine Art A Level with the stimulus ‘Built Environments’. – Lara B