Beauty Lesson: From Ugly Duckling To Swan
I was a late bloomer. And when I say late, I mean that I “didn’t get my period until the 10th grade.” I was a scrawny twig of a thing. I had no sense of fashion thanks to a mom who not only bought but also picked out all of my clothes. I didn’t wear make up. I didn’t get my ears pierced until my first year in undergrad, and the raciest I got was wearing a tank top. My overbite was (and still is) accented with a gap between my front teeth, and I wore glasses with a prescription that would rival Mr. Magoo’s.
I spent a lot of time, perhaps too much time, being emo and silently wishing that one day I could know what it would be like to be sexy, desired, and romantically loved. What would it feel like to turn heads when walking into a room? Would I develop the body to wear sexy clothes without looking like a child playing dress-up? Would the day come when guys would consider me for something more than the girl with whom they could spar, play video games, or watch WWE every week?
Time passed, and one day I realized that I was closer to being a swan than to an ugly duckling. I’m not being vain. I did a lot to get as far as possible from the ugly duckling side of the scale. I ditched my glasses and got contacts. I learned enough about makeup to know what to do with it besides make myself look like a clown. I did more with my hair than just put it in a boring ponytail. Nature decided to reward my efforts and, suddenly, I grew an ass and perky tits. Soon after, my wardrobe expanded past jeans and t-shirts. My interests didn’t change, but my social awkwardness decreased considerably once I actually, well, got used to being social.
And guess what I found out? Being pretty sucks almost as bad as being the mousy nerd.
Oh, I got the attention I thought I always wanted alright, but peeling guys off because their genitals are controlling their minds is not fun. In hindsight, I started appreciating the attention I had received from my male friends back in my ugly-duckling days. They had actually tried to get to know me, the person, without any regard for what was between my legs or inside my bra. Now, walking into a room and getting a look that resembles that of a ravenous wolf on the hunt makes me uncomfortable. My hackles go up, five million walls get erected, and I find myself coming up with a thousand contingency plans to get the hell out of there ASAP. It’s tiring, and can destroy my night out.
But, that’s only half of the story. The other half is from the ladies. Sometimes, I feel more alienated now than I did when I was anti-social. I find myself stuck between the self-pitying looks from the girls who look like I did, not too long ago, and those of spiteful women that misjudge me on first impression. I used to want to be envied back when I didn’t think I had anything worth envying. But now I can’t say anything without getting a “stank eye.” What? A skinny girl that models, looks good in any clothes she wears, and gets a lot of male attention is complaining? PLEASE!!! If they only knew how insecure I am even with, or because of, this “new” person I’ve become. How ironic that once I thought admiring glances would build me up and now, more often than not, they seem to tear me down.
But enough, this is NOT a sob story. I really do appreciate Nature’s blessings. I do like getting compliments, the ones that aren’t backhanded or come with some poorly disguised ulterior (read sexual) motive. I like being able to wear what I want. I like being able to eat what I want and not gain weight (yet). And, I used to feel warm inside when my ex would brag about my triple B’s (boobs, butt and brain). But in the end, my mom was right all along: it’s important to look pretty but infinitely more so to feel it. I wish that years ago, I would have been less stressed out about my looks. I wish that I had had the insight to know that the patch of green grass I had been admiring on the other side had its own brown spots, just not in the same places than the ones I was used to in my own yard.