“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.”~Confusious
“She is going to knock them dead when she grows up. You’re going to have to keep the boys away from her. She is beautiful. She should be a model.” These are all phrases I heard people telling my parents when I was a little girl. In my eyes, beauty was something to be praised and admired. Being creative or book smart was not, so hearing those words was always music to my ears.
As a child, I fantasized about being a model, but never spoke it out loud. I wasn’t confident enough to voice my big dreams. I feared being viewed as self-absorbed by others or being told how unappealing and unworthy I was. I didn’t believe in myself during my adolescence. I needed to be reassured of the things I could not see.
While the outside world praised my looks as a child, I didn’t grow up in a household where my beauty was adored. I wasn’t treated like a princess and chores weren’t divided by gender roles among me and my brothers.
Being surrounded by men most of my life, I never looked at the playing field as uneven. I accepted that it was a man’s world, and I am grateful that my parents never told me I couldn’t have a place there. Because of them, I learned to hold my own, and along the way, I realized that, although beauty might get a foot in the door, it was brains and elbow grease that would keep a person there. But, I still dreamed of beauty and wished I could be one of those success stories I’d read about in Teen magazine, discovered at a mall, and flung into a world of high fashion.
A Beautiful Girl
It was tough growing up in the shadow of supermodels. I believed I was not tall enough, skinny enough, my hair wasn’t straight enough, and I wasn’t pretty enough, and wanting to be like the woman that graced the pages of my favorite magazines was not something I thought girls like me could aspire to be. Who was I to have the audacity to dream big in small-town Louisiana?
Because of my toxic mindset, when the stage was set for me to shine, I fell short instead. Every runway show, every photoshoot, every time I found myself in “the right rooms” with the “right people,” were opportunities squandered. I didn’t seize those moments to work on my dream. I was blind to the opportunities in front of me, lost in active addiction. I overlooked that I was living out things I secretly dreamed of.
Once I started working with Glow Stream TV, I began understanding representation’s importance. The women I idolized in magazines didn’t look like me; retrospectively, that was a problem. Girls who looked like me weren’t portrayed as boss babes, scientists, or in positions of power. The majority were typecasted as hired help, daughters of struggling immigrants, gang members, etcetera. If they had a curvy and busty body, they were the sex kitten. Scantly clad or in a uniform was the status quo.
I needed to see women doing more than just being a pretty face. I needed to see educated women winning. Instead of idols I needed role models. Boriquas 🇵🇷 needed representation and so did my body type.
The Glow Up
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I always yearned for beauty, but never thought I possessed it. Although I still struggle with body image issues, I have a superabundance of confidence in other areas. Because of all the glow girls out there repping and sharing their stories, I carry this confidence that I can be much more and don’t have to dumb it down. Embracing all parts of ourselves is where the real glow-up is and that’s beautiful girl.
PAST FAVES ❤️