Colors of Compassion

mardi gras outfit

The photo above was taken at a poetry event.

I had thought the theme was Mardi Gras so dressed in carnival colors. The night’s theme turned out to be homelessness.

Green is for faith. Gold or yellow signifies power. Purple denotes justice.

The symbolism of the colors is beside the point. The picture points to another story.

This is the photo of a woman living in menopause.

I’ve learned a lesson viewing this picture: it’s time to halt obsessing over things that don’t matter in the scheme of things.

Like a lot of woman, I critically assessed my features. I wasn’t happy with my skin showing through my foundation. I envied women with creamy smooth skin that looks flawless without makeup.

In the photo I’m wearing MAC Pro Long Wear foundation, Sephora brown eyeliner and NARS Shrinagar lipstick–a sheer raspberry.

And I look perfectly fine in the photo. Which proves my point that all of us are going to live too long on earth to continue obsessing that parts of ourselves need fixing.

I’m rolling halfway to 60. I used to be 50. As a feminist who is attracted to men I can attest to the idea that maybe I’ve gotten folded up over this.

I might have despaired because I’ve yet to find Mr. Right. And I haven’t found Mr. Almost Right either. Nor have I found Mr. Not Right Yet I’ll Take Him Anyway.

Acting kinder to ourselves is the way to go as we get older.

To take the stance: “And what is it to you if I don’t measure up to society’s–or a man’s–impossible standard for how a woman should look, act, dress, and live?”

All hail those of us who DV8 from norms. Praise be the sisters among us who dare to rock our natural faces. Who don’t care what others think about us.

I say: it’s time for a global uprising of women asserting our power to act true to ourselves.

In a world where the focus has been on women’s bodies and how we look, let’s not buy into this myth that we are nothing without Botox.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we should be beholding our own beauty.

I think everyone living on earth is beautiful. If you do too, I urge you to consider that you are beautiful just the way you are.

God doesn’t make junk.

 

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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