So THESE are my siblings. (That’s me in the purple hair.) The other two lovelies are my brother and sister, both younger in age.
We are half Japanese, and between the three of us we actually fill almost every Japanese stereotype.
Wicked smart. (Sean.)
Artistically creative. (All three of us.)
Exotic looking. (Kari.)
Wide feet. (ALL OF US OMG.)
Cutthroat business acumen. (Kari and me.)
Alabaster skin. (Me. No, I am not wearing white pantyhose.)
Thighs like a speed skater. (Kari, Sean.)
Good with all things electronic. (Sean. Wrote computer code before age 10.)
Forehead like Mt. Fuji. (All three of us, and that actually is a compliment.)
Tiny, dainty, button noses.
THOSE TWO. NOT ME.
It’s hard to tell in this picture (partly because we are crinkling them up and picking them), but Kari and Sean have the cutest, littlest, happiest noses you’ve ever seen. Always have.
Me, not so much.
I was 28 years old before I realized the truth about my nose. The midwife I was seeing to assist in the home birth of my daughter told me in passing, “oh, I didn’t realize you were Japanese. Your long nostrils are very Caucasian.”
I spent the next twenty minutes sitting in my car in the parking lot, trying to look at my nose from the underside in the flip-down visor mirror. “WHAT IS SHE TALKING ABOUT, MY NOSE IS JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE’S IN MY FAMILY. MY NOSTRILS ARE NOT LONG.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie “The Jerk” with Steve Martin, but there’s a scene in the movie in which he realizes he is NOT black. As a 30-something man, Navin Johnson hears that he’s truly Caucasian.
He replies, “You mean I’m going to stay this color?!”
FINDING OUT MY NOSE WAS NOT CUTE OR BUTTONY WAS JUST LIKE THAT.
I take after my Norwegian Viking father in this regard. I have his nose. I have the same nose as my aunt, who is one of the most masculine looking women I’ve ever seen. Seriously, Norwegian Viking. Or VikingESS, if that’s what you call the ladies, but I can’t even call her that because she really isn’t one. I COME BY MY MASCULINE NATURE QUITE HONESTLY. Imagine a man-size woman (in girth and stature) wearing a hat with horns, holding a stein, bearing the name “Holga” and swinging a bear by the tail and you’ve got an accurate picture. She wears a size 17 ring.
YES. SEVENTEEN. ONE-SEVEN.
Someone showed me a picture of my dad when he was in high school, and my aunt around the same age, and said “Oh Erin, you do have the Laurvick nose.”
It wasn’t a seriously scarring moment for me, hearing that my nose was something other than what I expected, but it was an icy cold, bucket-full-in-the-face splash of reality.
It’s such a silly thing, the way we think things to be true about ourselves until someone tells us otherwise. As babies we have zero fucks to give with regard to body size or shape, the number of fingers or toes, the color of hair or eyes or skin. We don’t care, and we KEEP not caring until some biased adult with their own bends and scrapes and scars comes along and kinks us so that we match.
I wonder, how many parts of yourself do you dislike because of your own opinion, and yours alone?
Not many, I’d guess.
What would it be like if we carried the same kind of self-acceptance we had as children, all the way through our lives? To never have learned to question our worth based on our bodies or appearance, to never learn to hate parts of ourselves because someone else said we should.
Whether it was a magazine or a loved one, a mentor or a relative, a friend or a bully, the doubts and self-hate stick. They sticks to us, weigh us down, and hold us back.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
we cannot always choose what people say,
but we can absolutely choose whether or not we believe them.
I was told by my midwife that I had long nostrils. I do, kind of. I was told by my family that I have “the Laurvick nose,” and although it is a large, strong, dominant trait in my family (honest to God if you could see it you’d go “…OH,” because it’s not a nose, it’s a beak), I actually don’t think my nose is that big.
AND HONESTLY. If you get nothing else from this post, please get this: I did not know my nose was this small until I took this picture,
THIS IS THE WHOLE ENTIRE POINT OF THE BODY IMAGE PROJECT.
We hold on to things. We hear things in our head, form perceptions of ourselves based on the opinions of those around us, and those opinions stick. They stick because we trust what we hear, because the bad stuff is so easy to believe, and because we are operating from a point of low self-esteem and almost zero worth.
They stick because we don’t ever question otherwise, and they stick because we do not stop, examine, and consider what we think for ourselves.
It took this photo to dispel my opinion of my “big nose.” It’s not big. It’s actually kind of cute from the side.
It also took me ten years to dispel a limiting thought about my nose, because I never questioned and I never took an effing picture.
My nose does NOT look like my brother’s or my sister’s. It is not buttony. It is not mushroomy. It is longer and pointier than those around me, those I consider handsome and beautiful, but that does not make it BAD.
It makes it different.
I’m totally, 100% okay with different.
(they don’t call me the black sheep for nothing.)
Embrace your different. EMBRACE YOUR NOSE. Pick the nose you’ve already got. :)
Discard the opinions of others, love yourself just as you are, and your whole world will change.
Please comment and share your nosey pictures. I can’t wait to see them!
(p.s. taking a selfie of the underside of your nose is way harder than it looks.)
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Live every day like it’s your last one. Find yourself, own your truth, and change your whole freaking world. Forge Depth, and never stop digging!