By Mzwandile Nonkula
PORT ELIZABETH: My face was nicely shaped not skewed. My eyes were nice and clear, the black part was really black nice, while the white part was very white, giving a very beautiful sparkle.
I’ve never really thought I was good looking when I was growing up. Maybe it is because of the mean kids I grew up with in my block in the neighborhood who used to tease me, tune me all sort of nonsense which affected me most of my life, God bless those despicable Dinosaurs! But as I was growing up I noticed something every time when I was looking in the mirror that I was a handsome boy.
My face was nicely shaped not skewed. My eyes were nice and clear, the black part was really black nice, while the white part was very white, giving a very beautiful sparkle. My teeth were and still are Colgate white and not to mention my schweeeeeet smile. I learnt that my looks were for me and I should be happy with them regardless of what others thought. I infect a very handsome man.
However that is not the point, it is my daughter we are talking about here. The looks of a child do play a very big role in their social interactions, the peers, the friends and most of all the growing up in confidence. Whenever I look at my little girl, I see a very beautiful baby but I ask myself if she would have great confidence and grow as a happy child, that child that every child wants to be friends with.
In her article; Lisa Belkin titled “How Many Parents Think That Their Baby Is Ugly”, she writes about the survey which was conducted in the UK in 2013 where they found that 18% of the new parents admit this. A friend and former colleague of mine; Jevon Young from Pinetown disagreed with me when I said that all babies are beautiful.
She had a crazy imagination that one. She started graphically describing how other babies’ heads will be like the alien’s, how other babies look like they are worms and all. I laughed out loud at her crazy imagination. Jevon wasn’t considering that how the alien look is one man’s imagination put in picture and managed to convinced the rest of us. Another thing is what commercial media and advertising dictated to the rest of us what is beautiful and what is not.
We have print media running competitions, asking people to send the pictures of their babies and the most ‘beautiful’ baby would be selected and win a prize. Obviously whoever is an adjudication on these messed up beauty pageants isn’t mixing feelings as a contributing factor but is guided by what commercial media has already dictated on what shape, skin tone, hair texture or a bloody smile is considered beautiful.
Hello there! You cannot claim that something is beautiful if your feelings are not captured. Beauty is in the same package with love. I love it when Julius Malema describe this sickness as ‘self-hate’ because black people straighten their hair, shave off their eyebrows to draw them back again, paint their lips red to resemble a bible, all because they are failing to recognize that beauty is not and cannot be dictated.
Societal norms are changing as the times’ changes. There was an era where posing naked for photographs was not acceptable, was deemed ugly and viewed as a total sin, but the Playboy Magazine changed all of that to an extent that in our days men and women share their nude pictures on social media to attract ‘love’, we see that as normal and ‘beautiful’. But let us also remember that what is deemed as ‘pretty’ isn’t necessarily beautiful.
I believe that love has a huge contributing factor when one expresses the opinion about the looks of a newborn. I think we tend not to look at the present picture but focus on the new life we are seeing. I, in a way, agree with Ms. Lisa Belkin on the phrase she is reminding us about; ‘the face only a mother could love’, but that is just as far I would go. I believe that all babies are beautiful.
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