July 23, 2021

Can We See Beyond Skin-Deep?

Sophie Bancroft

Film Poem(S)kin, 2021

Where I see beauty, my mother sees wrinkles. Throughout my life my mother has shown me how her skin looks old in comparison to mine. As a young child this was reassuring. She was the adult and I the child. As a young woman, it was reassuring too, I was not ready to consider getting older. But then as I matured, I started to question why she would portray her skin in a negative light just because it was aging. Could she not see beyond skin-deep? Did the society in which she grew prevent her from seeing beyond skin-deep? All I see in my mother’s beautiful hands is the love, nurturing and soothing they have delivered, the cakes they have mixed, the beds they have made and the extraordinary achievements they have created in a professional career at a time when it was frowned upon for women to have careers. I hope these hands of the four generations of women in my family not only highlight the beauty in the visual changes of aging, but also the intimacy shared between female kin, and the appreciation of all that these hands have done and are yet to do.