I have a high forehead, or a prominent forehead – Apparently, it’s a ‘thing.’
It’s 2018 and I am a 300 level student. I am reclining on my bunk, chatting with a friend about a topic I can no longer recall and she goes “You have a high forehead like me.” I stare at her blankly, then I reply “ No, I don’t.” For the rest of that conversation, all I kept longing for was a mirror to enable me see if ‘her claims’ were true.
After the conversation, I probably stared at my face in every mirror I came across, perhaps because prior to this incidence, I have always thought of my face as…normal. Not flawless but certainly not flawed. Someone pointing this out jarred me out of my ‘state of normalcy.’ I mean, it is my face, how could I know if there is something unusual there? I used to obsess over it, like really obsess, but now, not anymore.
I am writing this because of a conversation I had with a friend some days ago. The subject matter was not new, we’ve talked about it before. It was about his height.
This guy is everything wonderful – shrewd, calm, committed, selfless, progressive, ambitious, smart, I’ll just stop here. The point is, all of these attributes come to nought in the face of his physique. Apparently, three ladies he’d asked out all had the same responses – they couldn’t date him because he is short. Their choices are valid of course, aren’t they? The first time he complained to me about his height, I gave the banal response “You have to accept yourself”, but come to think of it, I didn’t actually think of the weight of that phrase and how hard it might be. Because for all the times I told myself not to focus on my head, it wasn’t easy to oblige. I mean, my younger sister used to be so irritated by my obsession with my forehead in those early days. It almost felt like after that friend pointed out this feature, everyone started seeing it. I remember in ‘a fit of laughter,’ another friend told me not to laugh so hard because it made the vein on my forehead “stand out.”
It is not so easy to forget when there are countless things and people coercing you into paying attention to what you are supposed to be forgetting.
I want my friend to accept himself, there is not really much he can do to correct it. Before telling him to accept it, I am also advocating for the probing question – What can I do about it? Yes, what could I possibly do about my forehead? It might seem to be such a frivolous matter as I like to think myself a young person shunning superficiality and seeking depth, but if a matter constantly troubles me, overlooking it doesn’t make it go away. Now for the forehead, I don’t know if there are surgeries that could do much to make it suitable to the standards and even if there were, can I afford it? And if I could, how am I sure I wouldn’t find some other ‘imperfection’ I would want to correct?
As hackneyed and trite as the phrase ‘ you have to accept it’ , this is the only option I have. Now, this acceptance might not be all at once, it can be little by little, a drop today, a drop tomorrow until it is full and overwhelming. By the way, I focus on my eyes, these days. My eyes – Bright, white and optimistic. What is that physical feature of yours that gets your mind troubled? What can you do about it?