I’ve already admitted that I occasionally tear up in Zumba class. I know, I know, I’m a complete freak. It’s something about really allowing myself to look like an absolute idiot — it’s surprisingly liberating. The other day, my PiYo instructor played a song that made me nearly bawl like a little baby. Seriously, instructors, what are you doing to me? I had to look it up after the class. It’s the song by Labrinth featuring Emili Sande called “See Beneath Your Beautiful”. I realize it sounds super cheesy but, for some reason, this song makes me want to cry like an elephant whose mom keeps trying to kill her. And I’m not usually a lyrics girl. I’m the typical girl that Chris Rock talks about in his standup routine. I’ll have no idea what I’m singing. As Chris said in “Never Scared”:
Women sing the lyrics, happily clueless:
“Smack her with a dick, smack her with a dick! smack her with a dick, smack her with a dick! A put a dick in her ear,dick in the ear, dick in the ear! Fuck her in the eye, fuck her in the eye! Fuck her in the eye, Fuck her in the eye! Blind the bitch, blind the bitch…”
Listen to me, singing about rape culture and demeaning women! It’s fuuuuuuuun! That’s what Robin Thicke told me.
But this song’s lyrics hit me square in the feels, so I had to look them up. This was my favorite part:
You’ve carried on so long
You couldn’t stop if you tried it
You’ve built your wall so high
That no one could climb it
But i’m gonna try
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful
Would you let me see beneath your perfect
Take it off now girl, take it off now girl
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight
Again, these would normally strike me as a bit corny but they seem so appropriate to everything in life. In friendships, women tend to only let the other see the “beautiful” at first — perfectly dressed tables for the holidays, nice clothes on your kids, and meals straight out of Pinterest’s most difficult recipes (they might as well have this category). After a while, though, we let each other see the real us, and it’s so liberating. We can stand the pop-in from our friends without cringing that our houses are beyond messy. And when you meet your hot mess soulmate, it’s like a silly kind of awesome love. The other day, I saw a woman with two kids squeezed into the back of a Prius, and in the trunk you could see lawn chairs, food wrappers, and other miscellaneous junk. Star-crossed hot mess lovers! Trust me — I can appreciate that your Thanksgiving table looks like something from Martha Stewart Living, but it’s that stray “short and curly” that you missed in the corner of your bathroom that will let me know I’m your peeps.
The same goes for marriage, and no one has seen below my beautiful more than my husband. I’m not talking about in the physical sense (although he has seen me at my most hideous) but, rather, in other ways. I came clean a while back about my struggle with anxiety and depression and, although it’s not the worst case in the world, my husband has seen some weird shit. There are days when I cry over a stain on my clothes and laugh at someone falling down the stairs. The looniness knows no bounds. Other days, I have 47 different personalities, and all of them hate him with the intensity of a thousand red hot suns. He still comes back for more, like a glutton for punishment — even after seeing beneath the beautiful.
There have been many posts about how this relates to Facebook, too. We tend to show each other our happiest moments, leaving those who are down in the dumps to wonder, “Am I the only one who’s struggling?” Occasionally, though, you’ll see someone let you in and see beneath the beautiful. A photo of a dirty house. A blog post about an abysmal parenting day. Or just a status update that lets everyone know, “Today was SHITTAY in just about every way.” And it’s not that we want others to be miserable, but it’s an intimate thing to see beneath the beautiful of another person.
My kids see beneath my beautiful every day. I lose my patience. I rant. I rave. I complain about making dinner…again. I occasionally let a curse word fly. Gasp, I know! On occasion, when I feel I’m at the end of my rope, I’ll even cry. They stare at first but they don’t go away. Instead, they wrap their arms around me and hug me and usually seal it with an, “I love you, Mama.” As I often say, this is unconditional love at its finest, and it’s what it’s all about, folks.