I can relate to the 'Invisible Man' theory. In this novel by Ralph Ellison, a black man shares his story about being invisible in society. I'll be honest, I have not yet read past the prologue. But I can already relate.
I feel invisible at least once a day. Invisible to athletes as a dancer, a physically and artistically demanding profession. And yet, in my last few months of school, I am preparing to sell myself in auditions and to make less than what I and my art is worth. I am preparing to fight a long standing battle. Dance is hard-- harder than other multi-million dollar businesses, but I am invisible.
I feel invisible. Unheard by my peers when I make an announcement. Unseen by men: black, white, and in between. Unseen. Not attractive. I am a small black woman with short curly hair. I do not wear makeup or eyelashes or hair extensions. I do not own fancy clothes or post them on instagram. And I am not saying that is what women or people wear or do for the benefit of others. But these 'beauty enhancers' draw people's eyes. Our eyes are programmed to like them.
I am beautiful in my own rite, but I do not draw people's gaze. No one's eyes are meant to take a second glance at the ordinary looking person. And let's be honest: you are not attracted to the ordinary. I know I am beautiful in my own rite. My aura and spirit attract those with my same likeness, and I know that. Yet I feel invisible.
I know that I do not lack anything and that my opportunities do not cease because I do not match other standards of beauty. I know that in this county, I will be overlooked because we are programmed to. I am a short, black, queer woman, and I have a lot of things going against me. I am not lacking.
I have amazing friends, get to share my art, and move my body in the best way possible everyday. I attract all that I want in this world. I guess sometimes, I look at what they have because of what they do. What they identify with. And see how they get the attention, other opportunities, or even a second glance. I look at them and see that I am not enough. But I am. I know God made me how I am for a reason. There are no mistakes in me.
I just wish it felt like it.