The Beauty Lesson
I still fume when I remember a boy in my 5th-grade science class. I was shy and silent at that age and everything bothered me. My mom had moved my sisters and I away from Indianapolis to Detroit after she and my dad got a divorce. It made me sad and angry to leave my dad and other relatives here.
That mean boy told me one day that my hair was dirty. At the time, I didn’t care about hair or clothes because I was too young and depressed. When he told me that, I went home and scrubbed my hair VERY hard and soaked in the tub in steaming hot water for an hour. I poured some of my mom’s perfume, Evening in Paris, in my wet hair and went to bed. The next morning, I brushed it 100 times because I’d read that in Good Housekeeping magazine. It was so shiny! He sat next to me. I wanted to sit somewhere else, but the teacher wouldn’t let the students change seats. The boy sneered at me and didn’t complement me, but he did tell me I should use curlers. My hair was stringy, according to his opinion. What did I do that night? Of course, I curled my hair! I borrowed Mom’s brush curlers and fastened them to my head. I slept in them and tossed and turned all night because the pain in my scalp was so bad. I took them out slowly because that was the advice from REDBOOK magazine. I combed gently and applied tons of hairspray. The next day, that boy didn’t compliment my curly hair. He insulted me even more when he told me I had “Ni….r lips”. I used to have full lips, a lot fuller than I have as an adult, especially now as an older women. If I showed you my school picture from that year, you would see what I mean. Anyway, the boy laughed at me, and even pointed at me to the other kids. That night I practiced ways to make my lips smaller; keeping them closed and not talking to anyone, covering them with several layers of Mom’s foundation and keeping my head turned away from him.
He insulted me in many ways. According to him, I didn’t have any breasts. I was a bit confused about that one because I was obviously a girl. I went home and asked Mom to buy me a bra but she didn’t have the money. I put one of hers on and stuffed it with socks and toilet paper to make them “big”. No compliments from him, of course. I endured suffering from him about my body until Mom decided to move back home at Christmas. I never had to sit by him again.
“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” Coco Chanel
I thought about him the other day, and I don’t know why. Maybe it was when I washed my hair and used the curling iron. Hurt lasts a long, long time. Those people who were abused when they were younger make me feel sympathy with them. I secretly rejoice when the bad guys get outed. But those celebrities and so-called important people escape to sex-addiction clinics with equine therapy, yoga, gourmet meals, and other luxuries at the $30,000 six week stay. Six weeks to ride horses and have aromatherapy massages? Baloney! caca in Spanish/ poop(that’s a mild form of meaning) in English. Now many people are coming out of the woods to bring the evil to light, and it is a form of evil when somebody assaults a person sexually, emotionally and physically. I wish I would have said something to my Mom or a teacher about that boy. I wish I could have told someone about abuse at my jobs as an adult. That is another story…