WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL


Guest post by: Julie Hope Ambani 12331636_937867896293264_980286823_a

child-beauty-pageants06When I was young, all I wanted to be when I grew up was beautiful. I wanted to have velvet smooth skin and nice hair. I wanted to be the girl that no boy could resist. This was of course a result of watching too many movies that give the message that being pretty is all one needs to get through life. And that exactly what I wanted. Aligned to this wish I had, the second thing I wanted when I grew up was to get a tall, dark and handsome man who would date and marry me. He had to be wealthy and very strong and very protective of me. As the wish list goes on, I wanted to be terribly rich without particularly having to work hard at it. Hell, if marrying a drug lord would get me this, I wanted a drug lord as well.

pretty-hurtsNeedless to say, all that was an illusion. As I grew up, my eyes were opened to the reality around me. The older I got the more I got a definite idea of the exact type of person I wanted to be. I came to see how meaningless beauty could be in this world. How shallow it could be. How unhelpful it could be. I came to learn that beauty without brains is basically pointless. I came to understand that outward beauty without any inner beauty was totally worthless. And I also came to realize that beauty fades but intelligence does not.  Growing up made me understand that handsome men tend to be the most dangerous type of men out there. I came to learn that a man being tall, dark and handsome is no assurance of us having any future together. It was simply an illusion created by a writer somewhere that convinced us that those were the characteristics of the perfect man.  And as for the drug lord who would make me super rich without me having to work hard, well, I probably won’t make it to thirty if I follow this route.

Nowadays all I really want to be is an intelligent woman of substance. I have observed so many ladies out there selling themselves short of what they could actually amount to and that is not a category I would like to be placed in. I want to be the lady little girls around the world can look up to as a role model. I want to be a lady who inspires joy and hope in others. I want to be the muse behind every ‘independent woman’ song that will ever be written. Because when it’s all said and done, it’s not your beauty people will always be hung up on (after all you could accidentally fall into acid), but rather, the type of individual you were and what exactly you brought to the world.

pretty_hurts_by_simpledonjuan-d7u8spmAnd because I know being the type of woman with the listed qualities above could easily intimidate men in the world today, I don’t have a definite idea of what my future husband will look like. I am still hoping he will be tall, dark and handsome but these are not the key factors. Although the picture I had in my head of my future husband has been changed, I am unperturbed. As the saying goes, you attract who you are. If you are beautiful and shallow, you will simply attract a similar tart in your life.

I have no reason other than sharing the realization that aging really does open one’s eyes to seeing new perspectives in life. I know who I am and what I want to be. Do you?

jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.