Hey, aesthetics is a fancy word about what’s beautiful and pretty and appealing.

There’s a whole area of philosophy, about aesthetics.  Then there are workers who help people look more beautiful, and they can be hairdressers, nail experts, makeup artists, aestheticians.

What about me?  I’m a neurodivergent fat woman, and I was poor almost my whole life.  Being beautiful was always for other people.  I could be beautiful to my mom, my best friend, a partner.  But mostly it was too expensive, and I thought beauty was a game I could never win, so I didn’t play.

Makeup I had no idea about and no desire to wear.  Clothes–I hated clothes shopping more than anything.  It was stressful, scary, and felt futile.  And so much shame, being fat, and when my size went up.  I didn’t have the emotional resources to handle it.  So I wore hand me downs and whatever my mom found on a sale rack.


But now, I’m different.  I like being photographed, and I buy clothes.  Now I have more clothes than I need.

I had a thrifted skirt that I never wore, as it was too long.  So I asked a tailor or shorten it, and I bought a brown tank top to match it.  Beautiful!

I needed more red lace in my life, so recently I bought a dark red lace shirt.  I’ve bought geeky dresses, kitschy tee-shirts, and stopped wearing jeans–jeans were my uniform, with a solid color teeshirt, for most of my life.  Jeans were comfortable psychologically, but not physically.

personal way

My weight is fluctuating, and my health is too.  Some days I have energy for much of the day–it’s bizarre.  I can do stuff for hours.  Before, I was lucky to take a shower, brush my teeth, and cook a meal.  Otherwise, I was sitting or lying down.

I can do beauty in my own way.  I’ve reclaimed a little part of it for myself.  I will never be a thin white woman, wearing makeup, getting my hair done, and taking that for granted.

But I have a pretty smile.  My tits are lovely.  My feet are nice!  I can’t and won’t do standard pretty, but anyone smart could comprehend me being beautiful in a weird personal way.


I had a best friend long ago who came from money.  She had studied abroad in Italy, and she wore makeup every day.  White, thin but curvy, brilliant, and held down by the money-thumb of her doctor dad.  Her dad controlled her that way.

Normally I would not have been best friends with this person, but my true bestie and I were estranged for two years, as we had been girlfriends and broken up.  So I was available, and this super privileged lady took the spot.

She could afford stuff that was unimaginable to me.  She was good at complaining, at getting her way.  I would be mystified by what I saw her ask for, and what she was given.  People fell over themselves, for her, and I had never experienced that.  I wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it with my own eyes.

Everywhere she went, she was praised, offered things, teased, flirted with, honored, and treated like a queen.  I had never experienced that in my life.


She went to work at an expensive salon chain–I will not mention the name (I’ll be evasive).  They use natural ingredients in their products and are considered high end, I think.  I am not talking supercuts here.

She had gone to that salon, and she took a job there, during a difficult time, between undergrad and grad school.  When customers returned things, she could have it for free.  She gave me a candle and some hair product that smelled amazing–the most delicious hair product smell in the world.

Then I regarded this salon brand highly, but I had never been inside one.  My friend changed jobs, and we parted ways anyway.  So I lost access to this stuff.

Years later, I wanted some!  I tried to get up the guts to enter one of those salon-stores.  When I was out and about in the world, I would note their location.

But I couldn’t get myself to step inside.  I was afraid they would call security and have me thrown out immediately.  I felt like I would be read as a homeless person, and homeless people were certainly not welcome in their stores!

This salon-store symbolized wealth, luxury, care, approval, trustworthy aesthetics.  It’s definitely for rich white people, and I would never be that.  I was sad I could not get the delicious smelling shampoo.

do it

Someone said they would go with me, help me get the products I wanted, and hold my hand as I endured the judgment of the salon-store workers.  They would even do the talking.  They knew how to play rich.

In a way, that idea is appealing.  But I don’t want to buy anything, to prove I’m a valid person.  Doing capitalism right isn’t my goal.  Retail therapy is repulsive, and buying a product could never prove I’m ok.

I’m totally ok right now, unconditionally.  Maybe it’s good, I can’t fit in at a mall.  There are a lot of choices I make that cause me to be different and not on a standard path.  I abstain from some things, like costly aesthetics, in order to receive other things that are more valuable.  Like peace.


What is beautiful?  Aesthetics are confusing–I’m not buying it.

Beautiful is my imperfect thighs, my crooked smile, the crooked smile I remember of my mama.

My laughter when something makes me laugh for a long time.  My sparkling mind and sharp insight.

A baby crocodile, the unexpected bird, the sleepy grin of my spouse.

The sky, definitely, always changing and trustworthy to change.

By Nest

Curious, disabled Earth Goddess, telling the truth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *