Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Final Draft: The Imperfect Beauties

What comes to your mind when you read the word “Beautiful”? How do you describe a beautiful person? Some people will say that a person who is fair, slim and tall is beautiful. Someone with a perfect smile is beautiful. There are many interpretations of a beautiful person.

I categorize myself in the other group of people. The not-so-beauty type. Why? Well, I stand less than 5 feet. Believe or not, with my height I can be considered as “org kerdil” or dwarf but my limbs are normally formed so I’m not. I’m pretty chubby. I don’t have a perfect smile. When I see myself surrounded by my friends, I feel intimidated. I say to myself, “Wow, they are so beautiful”. Because of these features, I have a very low self esteem.

I remember once in university. I was on my way to a class when I passed by a group of adult students. One of the men said to his friends, “Budak sekolah mana yang tersesat kat sini?” (Who is this school student who has gotten lost here?). I was furious over that comment. I thought about that comment throughout my class. I was really disturbed by that man’s comment. Just because I’m pretty petite, I can’t be a university student? This question lingers until now. Since I’m a future teacher, I become afraid of my capability. I often ask myself, “Will I be able to be a good teacher”? This is because there are several people who have questioned my capability as a teacher since I’m pretty small.

I also used to be teased due to my two big front teeth. It was frustrating and until now it has an effect on me. I didn’t really like the way I look. My friends tell me that there’s nothing wrong with it but due to my past experience I know that they’re just not pretty.

Enough about me, what I mean by imperfect beauties are people who are not perfect. Some people are born small. They are born with their limbs not normally developed. Some people are born with crossed eyes and some with speech deficiency. People with speech deficiency are people with short tongue, stammer when they talk etc. People with short tongue may have problem to pronounce certain words and you probably know about people who stammer. Although they are perfect physically, they are still capable to do activities that they normal people do. I have met people who are small entered university and have good achievement. There are also people who are born without body parts able to be successful in their lives. They are the imperfect beauties. They might not be perfect outside but they are perfect inside because they have the will to live just like normal people.

I see my self as a part of this imperfect group because I’m small. However, being a bit imperfect myself has a positive impact on me. I learn to respect others’ feelings. I learn not to look down on others because I know how it feels being underestimated. I somehow understand their feelings. Sometimes my friends would imitate the unfortunate ones and I’ll get frustrated by their actions. They would imitate how these beauties talk (if they have speech deficiency), crossed their eyes etc. I get annoyed by it. It feels like when they mocked others, they are actually mocking me. This is because I’m not perfect too.

I remember when one of my friends imitated our lecturer. Our lecturer has crossed eyes. We didn’t like her, in fact I didn’t like her because she didn’t like us. Anyway, my friend crossed her eyes and talked they way our lecturer speaks. The rest of our friends laughed but I couldn’t even produce a smile. It is hard for me to explain the reason but I feel that we should not laugh at others imperfect features. Although I didn’t like the lecturer, I will never imitate her imperfect features. Personally, I feel that when we laugh at other people’s imperfect features it is as if we are laughing at God’s creation.

Just imagine their feelings if they see what my friend did. Put yourself in that position. How would you feel? Do you like that feeling? I’m quite sure the answer is no. Sometimes, people ignore their feelings. They make fun of these people. I sometimes wonder, why? These people have feelings just like normal people. They want to be treated fairly. Just because they are a bit different therefore they are treated differently. Employers will not employ these beauties because they do not trust their capability to carry their duty. If they are given a chance, they can do it.

Bottom line is it’s not always bad being imperfect. People look down on you and don’t trust you. But every cloud has a silver lining. For me, I have to try and stay positive and be strong.

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