[noun; ~ Pronunciation: /kwest/]
- Definition: Being on a quest is like being on a mission, often with the goal to find something or solve a problem. It appears I have been on a personal quest to find self-appreciation for a long while now, and it feels as though I’ve come to the last bridge to cross. A very very (VERY) long last bridge to cross.
“Clarity and consistency are not enough: the quest for truth requires humility and effort” – Tariq Ramadan
Let’s face it: the only thing withholding me from becoming a Disney princess is my terrible singing voice, because not only would I qualify as a solid Ice Queen if I had the voice for it, I would also make a lovely Snow White. Hah, if I could sing I’d make an even better Snow White than this one, because my hair doesn’t look like I went to the men’s hairdresser. Just saying.
My skin, that’s the problem here. Or maybe it’s not a problem, although it sure feels like one. But every story has a beginning, so let’s start appropriately:
All throughout high school I was bullied for being very pale. I think most students thought Ghost or Corpse was my real name, for they sure used them more often than Samantha. I grew so insecure, I started using a solarium once a week. Not that anyone noticed, of course. Except for me and my family. They saw a subtle change in skin tone.
Then I saw a TV show about the use of sun beds, in which they explained how using one just once a week increases the odds of getting skin cancer by 50%. I quit fake tanning immediately.
That was years ago. Last week, my old gym stopped existing and as a goodbye me and some girls from zumba went out to dinner, after which they ended up adding me to their WhatsApp chat group. Completely useless, as I hardly ever use my phone at all, but they were relentless and I was too polite to decline.
Yesterday, I noticed I had about 52 unread messages from them and decided to see what the fuss was all about. It was about the new gym having a solarium.
At this point I think I have to point out that the zumba-girls-team consisted of me, my mother, an Indian girl, a girl from Azerbaijan, and two normally tanned blonde girls. Do you see them in your head? Indian, Azerbaijani, and two tanned blonde girls. You have them? Good. Let’s move on.
My WhatsApp-chat was overflowing by above mentioned girls (not my mum) about “being too pale” and “desperately needing a tanning session” in the new gym’s sun bed.
I tried to joke about me being the palest and feeling fine, but they kept going on and on.
At this point I wondered about two things: a) how they thought this made me feel, them being so “pale and ugly”, while I am much paler. Does this mean they think I am super ugly?
And b) I am the thinnest person of the chat group. What if I would start a conversation about dieting each time they mention a solarium? Would that make them feel as bad and insecure as they made me feel? Not that I would actually do this, but the thought crossed my mind.
The real problem, of course, resides in between my ears. There’s nothing wrong with me or my skin, it’s just a huge sore spot after six years of High School Hell. I shouldn’t be bothered at all by other person’s insecurities. In fact, they might laugh at me now for being ghost-like pale, but in ten years time I’ll probably look like I’m still thirty while people would guess them ten years older, with their wrinkled, leathery and orange skins.
Guess who’ll be laughing at who then!
I’ve been doing so well lately, I really feel like I’ve grown as a person. Writing about my life and life in general gives me a clear perspective of who I am and what I value, and I kind of started to like me.
Huge steps were taken, but one more bridge needs to be crossed: getting over my complexion-obsession. I buried it well and deep, thinking I had fully recovered and was ready to move on, but all this solarium-nonsense brought back old worries and ripped open year-old scars. I feel like I can’t fully accept myself until I’ve accepted my (lack of) skin tone. It’s a part of me, and it shouldn’t make me feel uneasy, yet at the moment it does.
But I’m ready to work on that! It’s my next personal quest: accept myself to the fullest. I know I’m right, but now I have to feel it’s much better to live a beautiful life looking like a corpse, than to be a beautiful looking corpse.
And if that fails, I’ll just take up singing classes, dye my hair black and call Disney.
Or try spray-tanning and become a singing carrot.