Yes you reading this. You, as in the younger me. You, as in the reporters, the writers the social media shakers and makers.
You are enough. As you. Just you. Not you after weight loss. Not you plus fillers, creams and filled dermal needles. Not you in that fashion that costs more than most pay for rent. Just you, always just be you.
You with your quirky smile. Hey you over there who has aced making cakes, or the one that always manages to remember everyone’s birthdays. Even when no one remembers yours. You that takes the fall for your colleagues, the one that works more unpaid over time than hours on the clock. Yep, you’re there, you are still enough.
You, the mother, the new parent with a new bundle of responsibility to support. You are enough, just as you are. No matter the rebound to pre-baby weight, how you fed, how you gave birth. Because I’ll let you into a secret, every parent has worries, and can make mistakes. You are enough, for you, for your child, for your family. Be there, be present as you.
To the teen wondering where to go, you are enough. To those grades which life revolved, you are also enough. Those thinking they can’t carry on, you are enough.
You that may cry yourself to sleep, that hides fears or illness from everyone. To those with medical conditions that we can’t see, and you don’t feel like explaining for the hundredth time this week, I see you too. The ones feeling lonely, or can’t say they have friends. Waking up not able to remember the last time you spoke to someone, anyone, no phone calls, no texts, no visits, I see you too.
I see the ones that just go about their day, no big loud voices or luck thrown their way. The ones choosing between heating and food. Everything crossed for not another benefit cut, I see you too. Those that know the chill of the park bench at night, you are enough too. The ones praying for any good news. I can hear the tears of those finding out their worlds have imploded by another part of the world news. You, so scared for one or many reasons of your life, that you don’t notice whether your socks are matching, or your roots have been done. You that choose to block out the horror that life has dished you out with the party charade, the tipples, or illegal highs. I see you with the happy social media pretence too, if only they could see the real, not selfie you. The middle of the night, the waking up, the hard working, the thoughtful, the quiet and sad sides of you. You are enough too.
Then I see you, the reporters in tow. Telling me how X has lost this much weight, or how bad Y looks with their weight loss or gain. Informing me between news of lives lost, most importantly about the designer dress that one chose to wear, or that a certain celeb only spent £20 on their latest swimwear. Adverts and articles for looking younger, looking slim, spending money on looks rather than healthy eating and the gym. Please remember when you are reporting that some that you highlight have the money, the time, and the experts to get every waking moment just right. I also see the ones that you hound and judge, not able to eat even a cookie crumb without fear of you photographing a bloated tum.
So, what do you see? When you see me, when you see people in the streets? What do you look at for qualities in your friends and foe, what do you see when the media updates the celeb news? Can you see beyond the looks, the make-up, the clothes. Could you spot that person struggling to stay afloat? Could you praise manners, kindness, voluntary actions instead of who has kissed who on televised actions. I challenge you, the reader, the person described above, the future me, the media creators, to find something positive to say or think about everyone you meet. About everyone you write about, or photograph care free.
For nobody knows what lies beneath, what one might be thinking, or where their story has been.
What do you see?
Rose-Sky Journey Pieces, June 2017.