Little Beyoncé

Always Something There to Remind Me
Cringing at the thought of makeup, despising dresses, hiding under baggy T-shirts, and seething with insecurity, I was a terribly unglamorous child. As a matter of fact, I still struggle to fathom cosmetics and how to correctly apply them. Sure, I could simply Google makeup tutorials, but not without becoming lost in the various maneuvers I must make to paint my face.

Luckily for little Anusha, she had two incredible and worldly cousins, who were only a few years older than she was. Having no immediate siblings of my own, these two very quickly filled the void. In fact, I have such strong emotional ties with them that I struggle to refer to them as “cousins”, feeling more comfortable with “sisters”.

More than knowing a thing or two about makeup, singing, and style, these girls were all about confidence, something that I distinctly lacked at the time. Not ones to simply lecture about the subject, they actually put it into practice.

How might they have done that? Well, they put me in one of their finest dresses, gave me a stunning makeover, and had me lip-sync Beyoncé’s “Listen” while they recorded my performance. While that may sound like a creative form of torture to some, they actually had legitimate reasons for making me do it.

By having me adopt an extravagantly glamorous appearance, they encouraged me to think and feel like a superstar. Whether I had makeup, my hair done, or a lovely dress on, they taught me to always carry myself with confidence, dignity, and respect. As the little Beyoncé that I was, I was reminded to never let myself succumb to crippling insecurity and self-doubt.

Why did they film my performance? Well, it makes great footage. Honestly, I had a difficult time keeping myself from smiling as I watched an eleven-year-old version of me mock belting the lyrics to Beyoncé’s “Listen”. With my eyes passionately closed throughout and my mouth open far too wide on some of the words, I truly looked hysterical.

Years later, upon fortuitously hearing the song on the radio, I was overcome by the memory of passionately lip-syncing it. I remember my crippling self-doubt as an early adolescent, and the strange, but effective way my sisters eradicated it. So thank you, Beyoncé, Priya Didi, and Shubha Didi. I couldn’t have done it without you.

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