Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton

In a world where things are based on looks how do you fall in love with someone you have never seen. Think about the current dating apps i.e. Tinder (other dating apps are available) – you swipe if someone catches your eye but how in that split second do you know they are a nice person. What if you swiped the other way and potentially the man/woman of your dreams has gone because you didn’t initially like the look of them. Think back 50/60 years ago and in some cultures husbands and wife’s did not meet until the day of their wedding and whilst I am not saying this is the way forward (or backward) depending on how you look at it I do wonder whether as a generation we have become more superficial?

I think back to my childhood and I was a chubby child and whilst this was “cute” whilst I was a baby as I grew older subtle (or not so subtle hints) were dropped. But my chubbiness did not take away the person I was. If anything I think it made me more boisterous; I was not afraid to speak my mind, I enjoyed a good laugh and I didn’t really care what people thought about me. However, once the college years came this all changed and the paranoia kicked in. Did that outfit make me look too fat? Was my double chin (which I add is a family trait and it does not matter how thin I am will never go) to prominent. Add to this hormones, boys and bras and you can see where I am going with this.

Let me take this one step further and introduce Alfie and Alice. These two strangers meet in hospital. Both have had horrific things happen to them, things we would not wish on our worst enemy. Alfie was in a car accident resulting him in loosing a leg and Alice is caught in a fire which has scarred her for life. They are both very different people or are they? On the recovery ward Alice insists on having her curtain closed so no one can see the extent of her injuries but her bed is next to Alfie’s bed and Alfie loves to talk. Alfie is the person who keeps spirits up on the ward even when people are having dark days so there is no way he isn’t going to befriend Alice. But Alice still cannot open her curtain and is petrified of what she will see when she looks in the mirror but also what everyone else will see. Therefore, Alfie needs another method to break down those barriers and get to know the girl behind the curtain. And if he manages this will they both see they are not as different as they think and be able to help each other overcome their demons.

Think to the current day where are in a pandemic and most days people are living in their trackie bottoms and hoodies (some days we are not even getting out of our PJ’s), Zoom meetings have been had with no make up and bad hair days are forgiven so whilst it has been hard and we have missed our family and our friends, we have missed socialising and getting out has the situation we are in made us more accepting of the fact that looks are not everything. As for me, when I look in the mirror I will still be considered as chubby but I have to be careful as I need to look at what my six year old sees when she looks in the mirror. Does she see a funny, witty girl whose dream is to be a fashion designer and have a house with a balcony or does she see the family chin? What can she hear mummy saying when she is getting ready?

Me, as bias as I am I see not only a beautiful little girl with more sass then I can handle on most days but an intelligent thoughtful creative individual who doesn’t really care if mummy is fat, thin, pink, spotty or has grey hair but is more bothered if mummy is free for a cuddle when she needs them, is happy to dance around the kitchen and sign loudly or make dens with every cushion in the house.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: