A few weeks ago my fellow blogger, Kathryn, posted about participating in the annual Beauty of a Woman (BoaW) BlogFest. I thought it sounded interesting, so I committed to participating. One of my goals this year is to commit to trying new things and challenge myself. So, participating in the BoaW Blogfest seemed like the perfect opportunity.
But then I woke up this morning feeling less than beautiful and wondered how on earth I was qualified to write a post about being beautiful. Being chronically ill isn’t exactly conducive to feeling pretty. Beautiful women are graceful. Thin. Quick-witted. They have a beautiful glow. They radiate.
From the ever-present fatigue, I usually have bags under my eyes and dark circles from my allergies and sinus issues. I’m pale in the face, flushed in the chest and bright purple in the legs, thanks to poor circulation. My hair is four inches too long because a slight turn of my head by a stylist while getting a cut can produce an awful migraine. It’s usually not fully styled, either, because I can’t stand long enough to use a hair dryer, and after a while the heat becomes too much.
“If this is what a woman is supposed to look like, then I must not be one.” – Margaret Cho
Due to pain and/or imbalance, chronically ill folks may stumble and fall. We won’t win any awards for our grace, nor are we known for our speed. We’re overweight, or underweight. We might have difficulty forming thoughts from the cognitive impairment, and we’re not often first with a joke. Sometimes our painful grimaces are masked by smiles. We’re covered in bruises or hives or rash. And we have scars.
And we have scars.
“I think scars are like battle wounds – beautiful, in a way. They show what you’ve been through and how strong you are for coming out of it.” – Demi Lovato
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”
― Anne Frank