Sometimes people DO look like what they're going through and we should use this red flag as a way to figure out how we can help, not hurt.
Unfortunately, not everyone understands this...and it is clear from the way people (mainly women) have dragged a certain young lady for showing up in front of the public looking like the emotional trauma she was obviously experiencing privately.
Sometimes people are barely finding the strength to show up and then when they do, they have to defend themselves against those who attack how they look because of their situation. So, it is no surprise that people choose to dress up their pain and suffering.
Cause people are cruel.
Instead of showing compassion for people who look like struggle, the world has a bad habit of critiquing what doesn't even matter, like clothes.
Culturally, we in the Black community can superficially believe that "I don't look like what I'm going through" displays strength...when it can actually be a sign of unhealthy emotional management. Because the REALITY is, we can't always hold it together and especially "look" like we are holding it together well.
Sometimes we will look like what we're going through AND THAT SHOULD BE OK until we can find the healing and the strength to look better.
We gotta stop continuing unhealthy generational/religious colloquialisms that suggest it is better to dress up our pain and suffering. Because if people can't recognize you're going through something, how can the ones who truly want to help, help you?!
Suffering well doesn't always mean looking well. The determining factor is, are we doing the work [towards wellness] well?