Because you deserve to Be Seen


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I have a friend we have started calling The Beauty Queen. At not quite 5 feet tall I don’t think Nicole Romero ever expected to wear that title. But she is, a beauty queen. The Beauty Queen in my book. But it isn’t what you are thinking. Nicole is like the queen of a kingdom where she is constanly inviting everyone to come and take their place. 

Nicole was leading a session on beauty at a retreat in Austin. She was tucked into a chair when she said something that simultaneously sucked all the air out of the room and let us all breathe easier.

“You don’t owe anyone you looking a certain way in order to be see and heard. You simply deserve to be seen and heard.”

You would think that a group of women who choose to publish their opinions on the internet would not need to be told that they deserve to be heard, women who regularly publish selfies would not think of it as news that they deserve to be seen. But we were all sitting their dumb struck at the truth. We don’t owe anyone a certain kind of look before we are taken seriously. We don’t need to ask forgiveness for taking up space.

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I’ve been thinking about my brand a lot lately. I guess that is sort of a dirty internet word, but all it has meant for me is thinking about what I love and what makes me get all shouty and excited. What is it that I love about writng, about learning, about life?

I love when the physical meets the thoughtful. When the spiritual meets the natural. I tattooed the truth onto myself and the embodiment of it has been very real to me. I think anger breaks more easily when we break a bottle or to. I am sure that lies have less of a hold when we physically burn them.

If I really believed that I didn’t owe anyone any particualr experience, what would that mean in my practical space? It means I would wear lipstick whenever I wanted.

 It means I would wear lipstick whenever I wanted. 

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I like lipstick. The brighter the better. Love that red. Wild Orchid. Purty Persimmon. Fuschia Fusion. But I save it for special occasions. For weddings and the first day of school, for days when I have time to do my hair or moments when someone has invited me to speak up. I wear bold lipstick at the times I know I deserve to be seen.

But what if I believed I deserved to be seen all the times I wanted to be seen?

Lipstick to the grocery store. Lipstick at the coffee shop. For sure lipstick in my yoga pants. Maybe I would wear lipstick today, when my eyes are tired and my children misbehaving. Maybe I would wear it on the beach, when my suit is ten pounds tighter than it was last summer. Maybe if I wore lipstick more often I would be reminded that it is my humanity that makes me worthy of being seen. Not an invitation or a special event. If I really don’t owe anyone a certain look before I deserve to be seen I would wear lipstick whenever I wanted.

I think I will start today.

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If you would like to join me head on over to instagram and make sure to tag your post #BeSeen plus some other popular lipstick tags like #redlips or #lipstick. If you don’t have an instagram email your photo to my amazing friend Jennifer who has been teaching me about the holiness in seeing, in seeing yourself through your own lens. She will put it up for you (!

11 thoughts on “Because you deserve to Be Seen

  1. Wondering what i would do…. cuz we both know it would not be lipstick lol! I think i would say all the “lame”, “only funny to me” things that make me laugh and i hold back. I would also make up songs and dance to myself even when I’m around others! I probably would also talk about Jesus more (seriously, why do i hold back)

  2. Don’t got red lipstick, but you remind me its OK to be seen as we are because we are already beautiful. Here’s yo the vulnerability. That’s comes in being seen. Here’s yo choosing myself and honoring who I am, lipstick or not, I will be seen!!! Thanks for these words!

  3. My only experience with lipstick (wearing) was ninth grade second semester induction into Beta Club (honor) where the initiation included dressing as an adult female. I got a lot of help from my mother. I am firstborn of eight children (of her and my father).

  4. Lipstick– easiest fix to make skin, eyes, and teeth brighter! For a few dollars a stick, no less! My fav this summer is Revlon 430: Softsilver Rose– has just a touch of frost to make me feel like I’ve been playing tennis. I think this delight you’re experiencing in lipstick comes with being grown up, cause it happened to me too when I was about your age. These days I carry a pouch with every shade! I recommend it for all occasions, as you are discovering!

  5. Abby,
    I just want you to know you are seen. I don’t ever see you in person but you shine brightly for the things you stand up for; for the issues you push to the forefront. I think everyone deserves to be seen and I believe there are so many men and women both who are ignored. I think we should look for those people and try to acknowledge them so they know they matter.

  6. I guess I am into simplicity. I don’t wear jewelry to work because it is just too complicated to figure out which jewelry to wear with an outfit – I even let my pierced ear ring holes grow shut – ear rings? Too much trouble. And I have one shade of lipstick I wear all the time – it makes my life simple. I find that people hear and see me because when I do initiate an encounter, the content of the initiation is valued.

  7. Pingback: Brown Nipples, or You Don’t Owe Anyone A Different You (and some Jesus) | Maritza Amanda

  8. I have gotten behind on my reading this summer. I manage a before and after school program that turns into full daycare during the summer. I decided I WOULD catch up this morning (also following your scarcity posts, catching up is a way of telling myself that there *is* time for the things I want to do!). I read this post, and it certainly resonated with me. Me and my leftover eyeliner and mascara from last night. Me and my glasses partially to provide a barrier, hoping my parents and students won’t see the day-old make-up. I certainly love lipstick! But hardly wear it… afraid of the extra time, or being too much.
    SO I got out my lipstick (two options, Berry Wet pink, and Cherry Cola red) and opted for the less-bold pink. And put it on at my desk, in full view of my students. One girl started laughing at me, while the other four girls at her table looked over, confused. They saw no problem. They simply saw me. And it was empowering. Thank you!

  9. Pingback: Beauty Update – My Favorite Number | coffeesnob318

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