In December I dropped by the Race Cards exhibition in the University of Brighton Gallery and spent half an hour or so reading the 1000 questions.

Race Cards

The exhibition asked us, as participants, to answer a question, and to take one away to think about. I took away number 271

How do you raise young women of colour to know that they are worth more than the world around them will tell them they are?

This question made me cry. It still does. It feels like such an important thing to consider. I didn’t and still don’t have an answer. But I keep thinking about it.

For Christmas, I received the excellent The Atlas of Beauty. I’d spotted it earlier in the year somehow, sadly I don’t recall the source, but I added it to my Christmas list and Richard’s family kindly provided it. I read it and looked at it over the course of three or four weeks and thought it was beautiful. And there, nestled in the introduction was the thought

In the end beauty is about being yourself

While the question I took away is about worth, I’ve chosen to consider beauty as part of that worth, and this book as a part of the answer.

The book has become part of my self-care toolkit. One of those little brown pieces of paper says

Flick through ‘The Atlas of Beauty’

because it is an excellent way to remember to look outwards, to remember that I’m just another human in a world full of them, all with problems, all with pleasures, all beautiful in our own way.

Today I had the pleasure of gifting a copy to one of my closest friends and her daughter as a shared birthday present. I hope they enjoy spending time together looking at photos of this wonderfully diverse collection of women and appreciating the beauty captured by Mihaela Noroc.