Am I even that pretty?
For a long time I thought I was not pretty because I was not a white girl with colored eyes and blonde hair. This dates back to my childhood. Growing up as the only Egyptian girl and one of the few girls of color in my neighborhood was not that easy. There was a point when I thought I was a Mexican girl because those were the only girls in my school that looked similar to me. As you can see my identity crisis started started at a very young age.
To give you a little background I grew up in Clovis, CA. Clovis is one of the least diverse cities in California, or at least back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I was one of the few girls that had dark hair and brown eyes. I was light skinned, but not white. During my childhood the only women that appeared on beauty and fashion commercials were white women. When I watched T.V, I always thought I wasn’t pretty because I would never grow up and look like those women. It was also a confusing time for me because I would look at my mom and would think she was one the pretties women I’ve met, even though she wasn’t white.
My self-esteem used to get worse when my parents took me to visit Egypt in the summer. I remember my aunts and uncles telling me not to stay in the sun too long because I wouldn’t look pretty if I had dark skin. They used to tell me, “Nora, you’re American, you should keep your skin light so you can look like the other girls.” The concept of American beauty to them was white women with blue eyes and blonde hair. I don’t blame them for having that mindset, because that was all the media portrayed back then and didn’t give a fair representation of diverse beauty. It was then I realized that it was a universal concept that women of color were not seen as beautiful. Back then there was no social media or a call for inclusive beauty campaigns. It was the norm to always see a white women on a Maybelline or Levi’s commercial.
As I got older and became more in touch with my identity, I learned that I am just as beautiful as those girls in the commercial. I also learned that the education system has failed to teach young women that no matter what shape, size, or color they are beautiful in every way. It didn’t really help me back then having Mulan, Pocahontas, and Jasmine as the only Disney character I felt I can relate to because they looked different. As the woman I am now, I am confident enough to say,”Yes, I am pretty!”. I hope every little girl out there can be taught that she is beautiful regardless of what her skin, hair, or eye color is because beauty comes in all different shades.
Ok, let’s talk makeup and fashion. I emphasized on showing my dark eyes more with the makeup I applied because it is time I appreciate my dark brown eyes. I chose this teal denim top from Zara, because it does a great job making my skin color pop with the black denim and Timbs. The top has these cute little balls attached which reminded me of some Middle – Eastern designs I saw on clothes. So ladies go find that one shirt that makes your skin color pop because you are beautiful and you need to flaunt it.
Top: Zara $16
Jeans: Zara $25
Timbs: Foot Locker $120