Image to the left: This is How I Wanted to Dress in the 80s.
Image to the right: But, This is How I Really Dressed in the 80s
acrylic on canvas 24″x36″ (2 panel) ©2011- Not for Sale
In the beginning, I thought I was a typical child. I was full of hopes and dreams and I truly felt invincible. And then life happened…
Come to find out, I was an awkward child to say the least. I was taller & skinnier than the average bear for most of my younger years and my thick glasses did not help my cause either. Buying clothes and shoes was always an adventure and it required much compromise on my part & I often had to resort to wearing boys clothing & boys shoes. I had lots of trouble trying to convince adults that I was not older than I appeared and I would often hear comments like “They shouldn’t let her do this Easter egg hunt with the little ones, it’s just not fair to the other children.” or “Aren’t you too old to be trick or treating?” And who can forget the kids who felt the need to constantly be pointing out what they thought were my “flaws” with colorful imagery & loving phrases like “hey Olive Oil!” “Nice coke bottle glasses!” “Long Legged Grasshopper!” “Where did you get your clown shoes!?” etc., etc., etc.
I experienced a lot of unsolicited ridicule for stuff I had no control over. It definitely took it’s toll. It caused low self esteem issues, I felt undervalued & that I would never be “good enough”, whatever that meant? This teasing led me to avoid eye contact, I developed a serious problem with slouching so I wouldn’t appear taller than what I was, and I preferred to be a wallflower than be recognized or pointed out along with many, many, many, other repercussions…
But, somewhere along the way I realized, there wasn’t anything wrong with me, I started to embrace my quirks, feel blessed that I could reach stuff on the top shelf without a ladder or chair; grateful that with the advancement of technology I was able to wear comfortable contact lenses; overjoyed with the fact that I could walk long distances with my larger than normal feet; content in knowing that my happiness & self worth belonged to me because regardless of what anyone thought: I was, I am, and I will always be “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and so is everyone else on this planet. We all have value and worth and it breaks my heart when I hear someone devaluing or dismissing someone else because they are not “hot” or physically “attractive.” It’s amazing that so much more value is put on the beauty of the superficial as opposed to the beauty of the inner heart. A dark heart full of much judgement, ridicule, and hate is way less attractive to me than a few extra pounds, a blemish, crooked tooth, birthmark, or whatever.
When I completed the painting above, it was done with a desire to show that regardless of which type of child I was, a high fashioned trendsetter or a tall quirky kid, that both versions of me should of been acceptable and not met with unrelenting ridicule by some of my peers. Beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes, but more importantly, it comes from within. Our differences should be embraced and celebrated so that we can be allowed to grow up in a world that empowers us all to be the best person we can be. So smile, life is good, you are beautiful, and never forget to take a deep breath and remember that you are all fearfully & wonderfully made 🙂
NOTE: in Sept. 2019, I got diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. Looking back at many of my childhood stories and paintings, I realize how this genetic disorder personally impacted the narrative of my life. I’m now hoping to raise awareness of this disorder through my art, stories, and through my #MoosieContemplations instagram campaign.
If you feel inclined, please share theses stories and/or donate to my fundraising page for the upcoming #WalkForVictory on 12/7/2019 with the Marfan Foundation.