“You should smile more, you’re prettier that way.” I’d love to say that’s the only time I’ve heard that, but reality is I’ve heard it plenty. One time in particular, really made my blood boil. I think it’s because it was the start of my awakening; I was starting to value myself for so much more than a vessel that people wanted to look good.
I was serving at a local pub, tending to my tables and keeping the chaos in order. A coworker approached me, handing me a $10 bill. I figured she’d taken payment for one of my tables and this was the tip, but I’d just scanned my tables and everyone was good. The look of confusion on my face must have prompted her explanation because I didn’t have to ask before she offered it. She nodded towards a regular, a man sitting solo at a table like he usually did. She says that it’s a “tip” - pun intended. Along with his generous $10 was a word of advice - “You should smile more, you look better that way.” I was enraged!! Who are you to tell me I should smile more and then think it’s ok to PAY ME TO DO SO 😡 Also, I’m walking around making mental notes and keeping my shit in order, why on earth would I walk around with a smile plastered to my face. Imagine this photo on my body as I walk around making notes and tending to my duties, you’d think I were insane 🤣
Aaanyway, this sparked a fire in my belly and I needed to take my power back. I asked my coworker to watch my tables so I could speak with him, I assume she thought I was going to thank him. I didn’t. I walked up to him, big smile on my face and watched his face light up. He clearly thought his chauvinistic gesture had worked in his favour. The look on his face when I set the $10 bill on his table was everything I needed to continue on this journey of self love. I told him I didn’t want his tip, monetary or otherwise. I was not a sex object you could pay to look pretty, and even if I were, I was worth A LOT more than a measly $10.
And so began my journey to self love and seeing myself as more than just a girl trying to live up to society’s expectations of her. That was 10 years ago and self love is still something I practice every single day 💕