I grew up ugly. Not in a low self-confidence, poor body image way. Just ugly. For real. As evidence of this fact, I submit that my ex commented on seeing pictures of me in middle school that he hoped none of our children took after me. This is one of the many reasons why he is an ex.
In a cruel twist of fate, I managed to be short, too fat for juniors clothes by sixth grade, need giant pink plastic glasses to see with, have naturally curly hair that my mother let me perm and dye traffic cone orange through the use of Sun-In, have a decent attack of pubescent acne, and require braces. With headgear, no less (which resembled a medieval torture device). Yes, puberty was a wonderful time.
I can still be motivated to tears telling the story of how I spent middle school eating lunch in a secluded room with the ice cream lady after I stopped going to the cafeteria. Why? The eighth grade boys liked to hiss “You’re the ugliest girl in the whole school,” to me every day as I walked by their table. It wasn’t all bad. I got a free ice cream every day with lunch. Which definitely didn’t help the weight problem.
Why I am telling you all this? Because it’s real. Because maybe some ugly girl will read this and think, “I’m not that ugly.” Because there’s hope for the girls who are. By high school, I had pulled it together a bit. I toned down the orange hair with some decent dye and grew out the perm. I grew a few inches, and while I never got skinny, the weight redistributed itself a little bit. Braces off. Contacts. And by tenth grade, a boyfriend (with glasses and braces of his own) and a first kiss.
Did being ugly build character? Is there some moral about the ugly duckling becoming a swan here? Not really. But when I have a bad hair day now, I can be grateful. Because (as God is my witness), it will never be as bad as sixth grade. I did manage to develop a fairly good sense of humor- formerly ugly girls are the funniest girls I know. And my hide got a little thicker- thanks to that I could ditch the nasty ex.
But really, it all comes down to accepting the ugly girl. Along with the far-from-ugly woman she has become.