By now everyone has seen the Vanity Fair photo of Caitlyn Jenner. I don’t keep up with the Kardashians so when I saw the picture, I didn’t know what the internet buzz was about. Further investigation was needed, so I turned to my wise and trusted friend Google. Within seconds my jaw dropped and I could totally see the resemblance to Bruce Jenner.
I have to admit, looking at the photo made me slightly uncomfortable. Bruce Jenner has boobs! I gawked at the picture, trying to find the remaining remnants of Bruce. My mind raced with questions like how are his kids handling this? Is he ALL woman? Who did his boobs, they look amazing? Why would he do this at 65?
Why would he, at age 65, become Caitlyn when being Bruce seemed to have worked out pretty good for him? Of course the internet was saturated with people voicing their take on why. He’s doing it for the money, he’s doing it for the publicity, he just wants a reality show. Yeah, I’m thinking there are probably other ways he could have achieved all the above without becoming a woman.
So I read the Vanity Fair article and found myself embracing Caitlyn and being inspired by her story. After I finished reading the article, when I looked at the photo, I stopped searching for Bruce and all I saw was Caitlyn. I saw her pain, her growth, and her finally embracing herself for who she is. Full disclosure, I envied her a bit. Not only for her amazing boobs, but because she genuinely seems happy and truly at peace.
How many of us are miserable being who we are but are too afraid to be ourselves out of fear others will judge us? We smile when we are sad and pretend to have it all together when our life is suffocating us. We agree with others even when what they say offends us and our beliefs. How many of us will go to our graves not ever living life on our own terms because we were too ashamed to do so? Caitlyn Jenner won’t.
It’s easy to get caught up in the physical aspects of Bruce’s transformation, but there is so much more to see once we get past that. I personally am touched by his bravery. It took a great deal of courage for him to say you know what, I’m going to be me regardless of what other people think.
I wish I had an ounce of his courage in this regard. I tend to be the token Black person in my circle and have always found it easier to act the part of who I believe makes other people feel comfortable when they are with me. Be polite, don’t be too aggressive, be diplomatic, watch your grammar, and always smile. It gets tiring. I’m guessing that at 65, Bruce was exhausted from pretending to be someone he is not.
I can’t begin to even fathom what it’s like to feel that the body you live in is not your own. However, this is the reality for some people, several of them children and teens. Working with youth is my calling so Bruce Jenner’s story also made me think about the young people who suffer in silence and contemplate taking their own lives because they fear who they are will offend others.
I realize that many people will be entertained and/or offended by Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn. However, somewhere out there is a young boy or girl who will see Bruce’s story and completely relate. They will see that they are not alone and that there is someone out there just like them.
I believe we can all learn a great deal about self-acceptance from Bruce Jenner and Caitlyn’s story. If nothing else, we can take away from all this the lesson that when you are able to embrace who you are, you truly start living. Think about it, in the last few years Bruce was like an extra in his family. Caitlyn on the other hand, is a star in her own right.