When I asked my friend to answer these questions, I could hardly wait to see what her answers were going to be. She is always insightful and wonderful to talk to, so it is no surprise that her responses are entirely unique.
Please enjoy her thoughts on beauty, and you might just pick up some Japanese phrases along the way! Introducing a girl I’m proud to call my friend, Katrina…
What is your first reaction when someone calls you beautiful?
I feel this amazing swell of butterflies in my chest and I start smiling a lot. Living in Japan, people say “かわいい” (kawaii) which means more than anime lets one believe. In Miami (where I grew up) being beautiful/sexy is what you aspire for. And I have always been to short to fit that bill. But here in Japan, teaching kids, when very judgmental 13-15 year olds tell me I’m かわいい, I genuinely feel really great about myself. To be told the equivalent of beautiful which would be “きれい”(kirei), is like model status that people don’t necessarily want to date people like that because it gives an aura of glamour and fame that isn’t always approachable.
Do you believe them?
Depending on When and Who, I do sometimes if I myself am feeling like it’s a good day for my face, but when I’m looking ratchet AF…I might not and feel like they’re being sincere if its a total stranger. Like I previously stated, if its my students I do totally because I see their face and I know that they are being honest with me. I do enjoy hearing “かわいい” more than I should, but it just feels so great to be complimented.
What do you think makes you the most beautiful?
Physically…My big huge eyes, I am told a lot by Japanese people that they’re massive and nice and I am quite proud? of them. I like to think in English beauty goes deeper, and especially when Natalie tells me that–I know she means more. I absolutely love that, I try to always be kind because rudeness is SO UNNECESSARY. We have enough garbage on the internet and it makes me sick to my stomach. Beauty is how you smile kindly at kids, or how you hope someone is genuinely better when you heard they were sick/had a bad day…I hope this is also part of my ‘beauty’, because I know I see that in others too.
Do you think that people (not necessarily just women) are told they are beautiful often enough?
No. No, I don’t. I actually recently watched a video where a girl told random people in her school that they’re beautiful, and one girl got literally upset… I think more people need to hear it often enough because confidence is key. I have too massive of an ego for my tiny body and I feel like it comes in handy, confidence saves lives~
In today’s world, we are constantly made to feel like we need the newest beauty palettes or the freshest fashion to be pretty, or to be enough. Do you think that who you are and what you have is “enough”?
Recently, yes. I am told even in my no-BB cream and mad lazy clothes, that I am beautiful and it has given me so much more self-worth which I know shouldn’t be my source of that and it Should be from within..but I can’t act like I don’t yearn for someone else’s praise. I always talk so much smack about my ego and my self-confidence as a Leo, that Hell Yes I’m more than Enough. At the same time I know I need that affirmation from someone to say “yes you are.”
Can you think of one person who has left a positive difference on you or the way you see yourself? What did they do to help you see yourself or the world around you differently?
My amaaaazing boyfriendddd!!! He is the first person to get weirded out by when I wear a lot of makeup. And that has actually helped sooo much more. Even on my worst acne days when I’m feeling crappy, he lets me know I’m beautiful and not to worry about it. I used to never be able to leave my house without BB cream and powder and eye makeup, but it started to cause styes in my eyes and I had to stop. But my bf Ryosuke has made me feel like I don’t need it and I only ever wear the slightest amount on date days we go out because it finally stopped messing up my eyes and I am confident to not need it and just do it because it makes Me happy.
I want to thank Katrina so much for taking the time to participate in this series. She’s truly a beautiful soul and a perfect representation of what beauty should be, inside and out.
If you would like to know more about her life in Japan (you should definitely check it out), please visit her blog here.