My lipstick and earrings are like my masks. Without me wearing these, I couldn`t look people in the eye for the fear that they could see my ugliness. When I gave birth to my daughter, I didn`t tell my friends where we were staying. I refused to receive visitors at the time as I didn`t want them to see how haggard and awful I looked.
In reflection, I grew up with a mother who was very critical with physical appearance. Since I was a tween, she kept on telling me that we`re both ugly when we have no lipstick. And that our faces are `mapanga.`
So whenever I don`t look satisfactorily to my mom, I would hear comments and criticisms here and there. As a tween, her criticisms were painful to hear, thus, I better be sure that I look presentably, lest people would criticize me too.
This issue has somehow affected my confidence in dealing with people. I can`t interact with people without my mask, for the fear that they might criticize my look the way my mom did. And I guess this could be a factor too as to why I`m kind of aloof and distant on the outset. But in truth, I`m really not those things. I`m really warm and friendly when you get to know me.
I slowly began to break my mom`s irrationality when I married Melbert. Whenever he sees my naked face, I never heard any criticism from him, he accepts it and still finds me beautiful in his eyes. To have someone accept my looks as it is, is healing for me.
In defense to my mom, she is a loving mom. I hope I wasn`t painting her as a monster, critical mom. She`s imperfect, but she`s generally loving and accepting. It`s just that she gives high importance to beauty, which inevitably infected me. She also has her own issue. And I guess I know now where her high premium to beauty came from.
I still have that irrational fear embedded in me. I guess a mother`s word which has been instilled to a child`s psyche is difficult to erase completely. But what matters now is that I`m slowly stripping that irrational belief off of me. It also helps a lot that I have a husband who modeled to me that I could appreciate and accept my appearance the way he showed me.