Dove-Real Beauty: According to My Dad What #RealBeauty Is (And Was)

She anticipated meeting him since the curly haired cute boy moved to the neighborhood. He was the talk of all the girls.

Whatever became of he and the rest of them-she never knew, but he was making his rounds around the hearts of girls he never knew.

Shy, but she wanted to know him too, so she made her presence known—sorta.

She set up to summons Cuteboy-you know-just wondering if she stood a chance at perhaps the next middle school dance.

As he made his way to the apartment, the girls that (too) wished to court him, led him to her chambers. The problem was-his judgment. It sentenced her to a life of questionable self esteem that manifested itself it subtle ways that only I later knew.

You see when Cuteboy made his way into the house; she ran into another room and locked herself in.

She was excited to think that Cuteboy would even bother.

He bothered, indeed.

He began to kick the room door-ordering her out so he could see her.

She was too shy. He continued to kick. She had a decision to make: Allow his kicking the door to alarm the neighbors who would surely tell—or open and show herself.

As he kicked, she cracked the door open and in that instant; with his words, he kicked her and cracked her heart open for life. “What took you so long? You ugly thing!”

To add insult to the injury of already being gutted, he punched her there.

Fast forward.

My mother was a savvy woman with an uncanny sense of humor and atypical way with words. I listened on as she told me that story and throughout the years, I read between her many idioms and lines.

I watched how, over the years, she felt a connection to Whoopi Goldberg-her favorite actress.

Throughout many Saturday visits between watching Walker Texas Ranger and several Whoopi Goldberg movies, I understood why.

I believe the connection was the moment that (as Color Purple’s “Celie,”) Whoopi opened the door to Shug Avery’s first words: “You sho’ is ugly.” Some part of me believes that brought on a case of post-cinematic recollect disorder.


Although in the movie, Celie got her chance to mend the hurt by the words of Shug Avery; curly-haired Cuteboy never made his way back around in my mom’s life.


My dad did though.

Although he never knew her story about Cuteboy, ironically, he was a “Cuteboy” too. Except his is the story about how (at first glance) he was stunned by my mother’s beauty. His eyes light up when he tells it to me alone. A school-girl look shines across her face when reminisces around her.

What I know about #RealBeauty is that it’s something that we can feel (or cruelly made to not feel). The beauty of that is a real beautiful thing: Someone can come along and see the beauty in you that somebody else almost succeeded in stealing away from you.

I love my dad twice over, for loving my mother.


More on Dove’s Beauty Campaigns at Other Side of the Fame

Author: Angela Sherice