FRACTURED IMAGE by Tina Hickman

I know this absolutely gorgeous girl personally.  I must say, before I re-blog her post;  I have never seen Tina as anything but beautiful.  She is more than that, she is classy and real.  I could write so much more about how angry I am at the person who made her question her beauty but she says everything perfectly.  Please leave comments telling me how her words make you feel!  Visit her blog and show your support. Definition of Beauty

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Fractured Image

I grew up without a fret of the possibility that my beauty, my image, my self-worth was in fact not beautiful, not acceptable, and worthless. I was raised that way. My mirrors showed me a girl, no deformities. I had heard tales of women looking through a fractured mirror. Broken, only to show each imperfection taking over their image. Or maybe these women had a beautiful mirror like mine but over time the words of the people around them layered on to the reflection like dust; creating a dark image that was not good enough… blocking the light from being seen.

Of course, to say that I have never seen imperfections in myself or had days I didn’t look like a runway model about to take on the catwalk would be lies. I have flaws that’s something we all live with, even the models.  Yet, I was okay with how I appeared. I have never felt the need to cake make-up onto my face, I felt sorry for the ones who do. There are days I try harder and days I just do not care. Usually a wisp of mascara and some eyeliner keep me going.

I have been an Oklahoma City Barons Ice Girl since September of 2012.
Now, most people would say who? what? Barons? Ice girl? So, let me explain. The Barons Ice Girls are an ‘interactive” team for Oklahoma Cities professional hockey league. No, we do not dance. Yes, we do wear clothes. Yes, being called a “cheerleader” is probably an accurate description. Yet we are in no way Thunder Girls. We do not sell that image (something I have always loved and admired), we are there to promote in the community and make game experiences fun for our fans. The standard of looks is not as high as many professional sports cheer teams. The big hair, glitz, and glam were never encourage. In fact, it was discouraged that girls cake on make up and go all out to be “sexy.” So my curled or straightened hair, eyeliner and mascara-sometimes more, was never an issue. I could have fun, support the team I love, as well as be comfortable.

Yesterday after an event I worked, I received an email from what would be considered my “boss” that my appearance was not acceptable and the I needed to better my self when in uniform. When first reading the e-mail I was confused and had to read it again to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreting. My hair was straightened, and I had on my usual mascara. Did I miss something? Had my mirror actually been broken this entire time and I didn’t know it? It hit me hard. Though the word ugly was not once uttered in the e-mail it was the only word rolling through my head. Suddenly my reflection was disgusting. It wasn’t enough. After consulting two of my teammates and my dad I made the decision to quit. In a heartbroken furious rage I informed him that his words were unacceptable and I would no longer be working for that team. For the rest of the day I was in despair. In a flash I was now the girl in the tales, and a fairy tale it was not. I was the one with a mirror producing a fractured image.

Mind swirling, I wanted him gone. Fired from ever working with another woman again. Especially being in charge of a group of 16 young women who should think they are nothing other than beautiful.  WHAT gives anyone- man or woman- the right to tell another human that they arnt their “best self.” The only person who should be correcting my image, and working on my looks is me. I need my approval and that’s final. I’m always down to better myself and if that means taking advice from someone then please, advice I will take. Advice is not what I received. That e-mail was rude and not thought through. Words to describe men who degrade women in such a way are so unholy. I wanted to yell every swear word I could think up. Though words from friends and a comforting visit from my boyfriend we’re soothing to the soul, I still had a distorted image of myself. At the end of the day what was I left with? Frustration. Hurt. And no job. I had lost.

Waking up this morning I thought “new day, positive attitude” and yes, I even woke up singing I’m a boss ass bitch to encourage myself. No matter how hard I try, all I can focus on is the situation. Leaving school I talked myself into a trip to Target to visit the “beauty” isles. Purchasing branded make-up to doll myself up. I left smoldering. Getting home I layered it on. A mask. I could feel its uncomfortable weight on me. It wasn’t me in the mirror. I didn’t like my reflection. Transforming into a covergirl was so unglamourous.

The pressure to pursue a certain image is constantly hammered into the heads of women from every angle. Magazines, commercials, famous stars rocking their photo shopped style, and sadly even the people around us. If that is what a girl wants, if make-up and glam is how she finds her beauty then rock on. That is not me. I can define my beauty without it.

Moving forward I’m still upset. I still hope that actions taken do not go unpunished. But mostly I hope that girls, no matter where or what the circumstances, are able to define their beauty on their own terms. That no matter what degrading words are spoken to them they can stand up for themselves, dust off their mirrors and realize that they are beautiful in their imperfections.

Also read : Beautifully Ugly

7 thoughts on “FRACTURED IMAGE by Tina Hickman

  1. I’m seriously at a loss here. I found this painful to my core and I wasn’t the target. At some point image became everything when it is really nothing at all. Keep up with the Jones’s even when they hate their lives trying to keep up with the Smith’s. Everything we see and hear is “buy your way to happiness and success” when the truth is money really doesn’t buy everything and self worth isn’t found in a box, bottle, or pill.
    I really hope this beautiful, intelligent woman is able to free herself from the trap she finds herself in. No one should have to explain to anyone, least of all themselves why they are wonderful just the way they are.

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  2. The beauty without is most assuredly formed by the beauty within. And though I do not know you, from where I stand you are beautiful on both counts. I am in full agreement with the anger you felt and also impressed that you have enough self belief to take the actions you took. And the fact that you are also a hockey fan only makes ,e appreciate you that much more. Don’t ever let anyone bring you down. Keep being the “YOU” that makes you happy. The only people that matter in your life already love you just as you are I am sure.
    Keep Inspiring

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  3. Very interesting. If this happened to me I would probably have gone off the deep end. What I mean by that is hard to explain I will just leave it as is. When I was in the 9th grade, I was already a professional ballet dancer. I had my wisdom teeth pulled and lost a significant amount if weight due to the inability to open my jaw fully for a few months. Anyway, when I went back to the studio, the director of the ballet company told me that I looked great and that I should get my teeth pulled more often. Needless to say, I had already spiraled into an eating disorder. This comment made it much worse and to the day – I am 48 – I still hate what I see in the mirror I will never be thin enough or pretty enough. It hurts like hell to hear that. This man was serious.

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  4. Such a revelation on how self absorbed society wants all women to be. Too much emphasis on the outer shells instead of the true picture of people, especially women. Held to unattainable and unsustainable so-called standards, it’s a wonder any woman isn’t absolutely driven to their own mental and emotional limits and beyond. I am embarrassed and appalled by the actions and words of a member of my sex. I taught my Daughters to be the best persons they could be, not the prettiest, not the skinniest, but the BEST PERSON, inside and outside. I wanted their hearts to be so true, that they would shine when among others, not be the “dolled-up Barbie dolls” they had played with so fleetingly as children. Even then, they learned, this is a thing, not a person or a role model. I wish her the best. The Dad part of me says, “Let me have a few choice words with your Boss.” But the other side of me says, “You can’t fix Stupid.” Keep true to yourself, Ladies, it’s your life and your decisions. Make them based upon what you want out of life, not someone else’s distorted views on “Beauty.” Make your mark in life for yourself, not others. Simple. Be YOU.

    I only look at mirrors to make sure I’m still here, BTW, can anyone tell that “old fart” in the mirror that I don’t appreciate its “age enhanced” version of me. ))))))))))))

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  5. Wow! It’s amazing how many stories there are out there. I wrote the book The ABCs of Real Beauty out of the small world in which I live, but this issue is so much broader. I applaud the courage to stand up and be you!

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  6. Pingback: LYRICAL GRAFFITI | hastywords

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