Growing up, I always remember having an insecurity with my eyes and the way they looked. I remember the endless sighs whenever I would try numerous beauty techniques in order to make them "look" larger, including drawing thicker lines with an eyeliner or using more darker eyeshadow to encapsulate this pitfall. But little did I know that "larger" wasn't the most important thing here. Even at that time, I was conditioned to believe that bigger is always better. And, unfortunately, in terms of beauty standards, this flew to a whole other level.
This insecurity happened to span elsewhere to how I handled my social life with other people. This insecurity stained my identity to the point where my self confidence almost entirely depended on it. They say eyes are the "windows to a person's soul" but the appearance of my eyes prevented me from letting people "see" my soul and the true kind of person I really was. Whenever I would speak to people, I would be afraid of looking them in the eyes, because of my insecurity with the way they looked. The difference in the appearance of my eyes from other people meant so many different things, regarding my identity. Besides just being a physical indication of what race or ethnic group I may appear as, it also gave way to the type of person I would seem to be on the outside and on the inside.
Whenever I had conversations with people, I would be "careful". Careful to not rock over the momentum of the phobia of feeling judged for how my eyes looked and for being under scrutiny of whether I was being my authentic self. Well, the truth was being my authentic self wasn't visible to other people, because of this insecurity I had. Insecurity was a lump in my throat. It was that last bit of cough syrup that leaves hanging in your mouth even after someone has already drunk water. But the difference was that the taste of cough syrup would go away, but insecurity about a part of oneself wouldn't disappear that easily.
Besides the fact that the appearance of my eyes was something that helped encode the kind of person I was shown to be, it was also a catalyst in determining whether or not I would be affected by the power of comparison and the limitless beauty standards of this world. I always felt pessimistic about how "squinty" they looked and how slanted they were. As someone who physically looked of Asian descent, the main target of beauty was usually focused on the eyes. Being physically identified as Asian, meant having smaller eyes than the majority.
For some reason in our society, the term "beauty" means conforming to what the society wants us to be, instead of who we are meant to be. We were never meant to be what society wanted us to be, but we realized that there would be no other way to feel "accepted" or "just about right." But the truth is, we still have a long way to go in terms of minimizing beauty standards that hold true with every turn we take in this world. Wherever we go, we come across different magazines and photos of women posing for a clothing or makeup ad. And rarely, is there someone with a smaller, more narrow slant in their eyes.Identity is like a mirror. We see ourselves through our identity, but that doesn't mean that identity will always be authentic to who we are. Unfortunately, my eyes have shaded me from being able to see myself in this mirror, figuratively. I felt I already had a handheld mirror, due to my eyes and therefore, didn't feel the need to see myself in the mirror. But it is evident that knowing and being able to appreciate my identity is important. I cannot know what kind of person I am, until I look in the mirror/identity and see for myself...