I Hide Behind My Hair by Erin Weston  
There’s a mole on my right cheek. A lot of people call it a “beauty mark” and most days, I guess I do, too. Nonetheless, I grew up thinking it was unattractive, knowing that my left side was better than my right. No one has ever said this to me or done anything for me to think this, yet I intentionally position myself in pictures or when sitting next to people. I place a piece of hair on the right side of my face so it covers the mark. I do it almost subconsciously now.

The act of hiding began a long time ago. I can’t really remember when it started. Maybe during college when I faced a lot of insecurities about myself. All I know is that the idea of someone looking at me for a long time or “capturing me” is somewhat terrifying. This coming from a girl who grew up on the stage and who I consider a free spirit that will sing her heart out in the middle of the street without much care about what people think of her.

Really, though, I am fighting. I am fighting this deep-seeded fear that if you look closely enough and long enough, you will not see beauty anymore. The pictures that I have so strategically placed on social forums will fade and the reality will set in. Even though I calculated angles, flexed on “3”, or maybe tried to hold my arm apart from my side so it doesn’t look too fat, you'll realize the reality that perhaps the real thing is not as good as the picture. Or worse, that you allow me to create an identity that I consider “perfect” without questioning me.

This isn’t limited to physicality. This is the all-encompassing “who am I”. I lived my whole childhood in a myriad of moments full of expression and repression of my true self, or what was true of me at the time. It’s become a comfortable, or at least known, habit of mine. This behavior gets you lost. Or it can. And it has in the past.

I always remember my sweet time at the home in Bolivia. 26 girls doing my hair, giving me hugs, cuddling and praying with me at night, telling me all the time “que linda” or “how beautiful” when I would walk out the door. They wanted my time. They wanted my attention and affection. They craved love, and that’s what I wanted to give. I never felt more beautiful. I never wanted to be seen more because I started to believe them. My 'head' knowledge became 'heart' knowledge and I started to realize that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, in becoming more fully alive in who you are, and pouring that love out onto others.

It’s a work in progress, and I still hide behind my hair.
Story · Added: Nov 21, 2008 · Views: 5725 · People Inspired: 14
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Comments:
Jessica Kuras said: (on Nov 21, 2008)
how true.
Stacey Weston said: (on Nov 21, 2008)
I'm glad I inspired you :) Not sure how though! Love you sis.
Sarah Colby said: (on Nov 21, 2008)
I totally understand. I hide behind just about anything sometimes.
Renee Cole said: (on Dec 2, 2008)
i enjoy your thoughts too, erin. i can relate to this in particular. so much so that i wouldn't dare post something that would leave me truly vulnerable, so in that way i admire your openness.
Megan Miller said: (on Dec 9, 2008)
wow. this is really a great reflection. thanks for sharing!
Hannah Pool said: (on Jan 28, 2009)
you so often put into words things so close to what i feel. it's amazing. don't stop!
Hannah Pool said: (on Jan 29, 2009)
ps. mine is on my left cheek =]
Megan Whyte said: (on Feb 9, 2009)
"if you look closely enough and long enough, you will not see beauty anymore"

Oh, how many times I have thought this...
Ida Vincent said: (on May 4, 2009)
It is the little difference that make each induvidual unique. Our insecurites are infact what other people love about us.
"The question is not what you look at, but what you see." -Henry David Thoreau
Marisa Damele said: (on Jun 20, 2015)
Erin, don't let a mole define you. We are not our container. Our beauty or ugliness is inside us. If you are a good person, develop a strong and charismatic personality and everybody will love you. That is the main reason why I wrote the biography. Read the story of this man: www.mauriciosaravia.com Visit different sections, especially His Photos and Videos. It will mark you for the rest of your life, as he did to so many persons while he was alive. I hope you reply after visiting the site.
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Photos: Prokudin-Gorskii’s Color Photos of Russia, 1907-1915 | Newsweek National News | Newsweek.com

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