If I could tell that young girl anything, I would tell her that no matter what horrific obstacles life throws at her, no matter the lowest depths of pain and insanity, or the highest highs, she’d manage somehow. No matter if she was rich or poor, single, famous, divorced, abused, mistreated or walking red carpets, no one could live this life better, louder or kinder. No matter what she looked like on the outside, true beauty lives in the gut, and comes from her mother and father. They showed her how to walk through the depths of joy and misery, gave her the courage to fight. To fucking fight hard, to show up, to battle every single day, and when to let go. To choose life, because you never know what magic moments await around the corner. And you know what? She does her best not to hide behind some physical stereotype, to be real and unfiltered. No matter what, even when she’s being an asshole or selfish, stubborn, mean-spirited, and yes even crazy, she’s loved. Wow, what a loaded gift of responsibility that has been to be truly loved for exactly how you are, not who you are or the way you look. These days, these troubled chaotic, scary, ugly times are hard and heavy for everyone, I’m not immune. If tomorrow I forget who I am, it won’t matter. I would tell that girl filled with big dreams to carry on, there’ll be someone who cares enough to remind her. And it’s okay if she falls or fucks up, she’s doing her best. Life might get harder than she can manage, but none of us has to carry the burden alone. Silly girl, your dreams might become quieter with age, but never less full. I would tell her to always, always care more, never less. No matter what. There are no beauty secrets, there’s only real life, tragic and fleeting. No Matter What.

Photo @Julie Anderson All Rights Reserved

Jacqueline Cioffa

A retired, international model, and celebrity makeup artist. Co-Author of Model Citi Zen, the guide. Founder of http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com/. Author of numerous prose pieces in various literary magazines. Most recently published in Little Episodes Brainstorms the anthology, among esteemed artists Sadie Frost, Melvin Burgess and Todd Swift.

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