Perception of Perfection
The alarm sounds at 5:00 am, and Violet, played by actress Sanaa Lathan in the Netflix movie Nappily Ever After, slides out of bed and creeps into the bathroom to remove her headwrap. A text message comes through as she brushes her long, straightened hair. Her mother comes in at the front door, simmering with excitement because it is Violet’s birthday, and they assume Violet’s long-term beau will propose. Her mother sits her down at the kitchen counter and begins flat-ironing her hair. After they are both delighted with the sleek look of her mane, her mother leaves, and Violet slides back into bed next to her beau and pretends to be asleep. As he awakens, he sees her looking like perfection.
First of all, the version of this story is very relatable to many women. We go through life aiming for perfection at all times in how we carry ourselves, our work, and our appearance. This high pressure for perfection often causes women to feel they are wearing masks. If you are a woman of color, your mask comes wrapped in society’s racialized beauty standards. Authentic beauty seems to be a thing of the past as we live in a world of injections, filters, and unrealistic expectations.
Are You Accepted?
When pondering your relationship ask yourself, “What does it say about my partner that they can’t appreciate my authentic beauty? In addition, consider, does my partner really love me or do they love my representative. Furthermore, go deeper and ask yourself, “What does this say about me striving for an unrealistic image of perfection? Am I pleased with myself and all I have to offer this relationship?
Come As You Are
There are many benefits to living in your authentic beauty. You can be more confident about your partner’s love for you. Moreover, give yourself space to live without the unnecessary pressure of perfection. Life is stressful enough; your home should be a haven and place to rest your mind and body, a place to leave the mask outside the door. In conclusion, a woman should be her best beautiful self, but instead, strive to be comfortable in her skin without makeup and done-up hair. It is the real, raw, authentic you seeking a real, raw, authentic love, right?