Beauty For Ashes
Once upon a time there a special, little girl was born in Hollywood, CA.
Being that she was born in Hollywood, it's only natural that she would become a huge dreamer.
She would spend her early years dreaming that one day she would be famous! A movie star, a singer, a figure skater, or maybe even a model.
She would imagine herself on stage in front of thousands, acting, singing, and dancing. She would stare at herself in front of her large closet, mirror-doors….Pretending to be on a huge stage singing in front of thousands.
She just knew that one day she would be someone!
Well the time had come for her to start kindergarten and she was so excited! She helped her mom pick out her outfit, she asked her mom to fix her hair in pigtails and with huge aspirations, dreams and goals, she went on her way.
Kindergarten however, was not what she expected.
The little girls in Kindergarten weren't very friendly, nor accepting. Many of them would stare at her, almost as if they were dissecting every article of clothing she wore.
And for the first time in her life, the little girl realized she wasn't really a princess. In fact, she wasn't even pretty. She was quite plainly, maybe even ugly.
My heart still breaks for her. In fact, I can't help but cry as I write this…
Shortly after Kindergarten started, the teacher announced that they were going to be assigning “Big Brothers” and “Big Sisters” to each Kindergartner!
These “Brothers and Sisters” were kids from the same elementary school who were older (in 6th grade.) And these kids would be mentoring the young Kindergartners, writing them letters, coming into the classroom to help out, tutoring them, and playing with them- all throughout the year.
Well you can imagine her excitement! She could not wait to find out who her “Big Sister” would be!
The time finally came to meet her “Big Sister” and when the teacher called her name...The little girl ran to her new “Big Sister” and hugged her!
But something happened, something she had never, ever experienced! For the first time ever, the little girl was pushed away, shunned! Instead her “Big Sister” turned to her fellow classmate and asked (out loud) if she would like to trade little “sisters” with her? The worst part? Her reason was, “My little sister isn't cute.” And yes, she said that outloud, right in front of the little girl. She heard everything!
OUCH!! Talk about painful!! Knife to the heart!
Well, that little girl…... Was me!
I can still feel the rejection, the shame, the pain, almost as if it just happened.
And I wish I could say, it didn't change me. I wish I could say, “I didn't allow it to affect
me” BUT it did. BIG TIME!
That entire year, I didn't have a “Big Sister”.
During the most critical year as a child..Your first year of school, when you’re developing your security, independence and socializing skills....Instead, I was developing insecurity, shame, and rejection.
I remember everyone making arts and crafts with their big “Brother or Sister.” Instead, I sat next to my “Sister” as she ignored me. Almost as if, she was ashamed to be associated with me. She would have her back turned away from me, while she helped her fellow classmate, who was helping her little “sister” (a kindergarten friend of mine, who was much cuter than
In first grade kids started making fun of my looks, saying I was too hairy. (Well, I couldn't help that, I'm 100% Cuban.) I somehow acquired the name “Hairy And The Hendersons”.
I hated it, and I hated myself!
I remember wishing I was pretty, begging God that He would make me pretty.
I would watch Disney movies and pray till I was blue in the face.. Asking God to make me look like one of them.
I used to dress up to school EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Hoping that I would look pretty enough, so that I wouldn't be made fun of. I never wore pants, ever! Because I felt prettier in dresses and skirts (thanks alot Disney!) But that only made matters worse, cause I was constantly showing off my “hairy legs.”
So I started shaving at the age of 9, or more accurately I tried shaving... Apparently, 9 year olds aren't very good at shaving. It did help a little, but then they started to pick on my hairy arms.
In 6th grade, my boy crush decided to do the meanest, most unimaginable thing… He gathered every kid in the 6th grade around at recess, he then pulled me into the middle, in the center of the group, in front of everyone.. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his girlfriend. I was so naive, and such a hopeless romantic, that I immediately exclaimed “YES!” As if I was Julia Roberts at the end of Pretty Woman being rescued by Richard Gere. (SMH)
5 seconds later, he yelled out “Just kidding!” And the entire crowd, EVERYONE bursted out in laughter. I was mortified!
I've never been so embarrassed in my life.
Even when I grew up and became “pretty” there was always a reason for someone to bring me down. In high-school, I was “too happy”.. Apparently, I “smiled too much!”
I became a cheerleader, and suddenly
I wasn't “skinny enough.” And trust me, I was super skinny! So I became anorexic.
Well, that didn't work out too well cause I really liked to eat! So instead, I became bulimic, that way I could eat, and then just throw it up. (By the way, this is never a good idea!!!) Solved nothing!!
No matter how hard I tried, I would never fit their mold! It was impossible!
Unfortunately, I could go on and on…..
The point is, I was bullied, badly bullied. ALL. MY. LIFE!
You look at me, an attractive woman. You see this beauty queen, with an International sash and crown, looking so “beautiful” (although I have all this makeup, lashes, and hair extensions.) You probably think “She must have a perfect life!”
And even if you saw me as a child, the daughter of a pastor, who lived in a nice house (although we didn't have money, cause my parents were “house broke.” All their money went to pay for the “nice home”) Anyhow, looking at me, as a child, you would never have known the pain I was suffering and enduring daily.
And honestly, as I'm writing this, those words still hurt me.
BUT, because of those words, and because of those “bullies” I became motivated, determined, UNSTOPPABLE!
It ignited this flame inside of me...I decided maybe I AM an “ugly duckling” but one day I WILL BECOME a “beautiful swan!”
You see, my external “beauty” isn't what makes me beautiful.
It's my heart that makes me beautiful!
Had I not gone through those painful moments, those heart-wrenching but defining moments in my life...I wouldn't be the person I am today!
Because of those experiences, I am now compassionate, humble, kind and loving.
We have a choice to allow things to either control us, destroy us, or EMPOWER us.
The words that spew out of the mouths of mean bullies, they do NOT define you! Those bullies DON'T know you, they don't care about you. Then why care about what they think, or say?
You don't have to agree with them! You don't have to accept it!
Instead, take it as a compliment. Really! Think about it, they are so threatened by you, that they feel the need to bring you down to their level.
When I finally realized that, things started changing. Their words could not longer hurt me, because I understood. It's not my hairiness or my “happiness”.
They're not happy with themselves!
They're hurting, and in order to feel better, they hurt others. In order to be the Alpha, they tear everyone down, to lift themselves up. It wasn't just me. The problem was with them!
So why allow it to control me, change me? Why allow it to decide who I will be?
There are many “pretty” people in the world, but many of them are hideous inside.
We need more “beautiful” people. People who their every being screams beauty. Their heart mesmerizes you. They lift others up, because they're confident in who they are.
The true meaning of beauty is “to please the senses.” A joyful, compassionate, loving, and humble heart is what pleases my senses. And THAT is beautiful!
We need more beautiful people!
Less vanity, more heart!!
No matter what anyone says to you or about you, remember who you are! Remember that you decide! No one, but you, can tear you down. Do NOT give anyone that power, instead use the pain and the hurt to empower you and become beautiful from the inside out!
I'm your Mrs International, reminding you- To choose love,