I applaud the positivity of saying “You are beautiful”, but it doesn’t apply to me.. I’m not beautiful, inside or out.. And I don’t want to be.Young goth girl with a red hair covering her face

What I am is functional.. Not that beauty has no function, but I’m functional in a way which strips away loveliness. If there was some pretty inner glow at some point, it’s long been replaced by the cracked, chipped, dirty furnace room which is at my core..

It’s not a comely place.. The architectural flourishes have mostly been torn down to add more room for makeshift shelves, containing the accumulation of a lifetime of – learning? experience? knowledge? Let’s be honest: a lifetime of trying to get shit done, and not always in the best or smartest ways.. I’d always pictured the process would be like adding volumes to some pristine and lovely library, each one carefully put in place as the collection grew in some logical fashion.. It didn’t turn out quite like that.

My inside is like my outside: greying into white, not conventionally attractive, and forged with the kind of determination which both builds strength and muscle – and permanent injury from being too damn stubborn, or too damn persistent, or too damn unwilling to give up when maybe I really should have.

Don’t call me beautiful. I don’t have a need for it. I don’t have a want for it. If you want to compliment me, you could compliment something I’ve done – though even there, I don’t really want the compliment of words. Take what I’ve done, take what I can do, take what I have to offer, use it, and that – that – is more than beauty enough.

~Jeff Mach


Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

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