On Beauty

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Baby pictures of me with my mother…

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Pictures of me at 3 and 4…

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(The doll is my sister)

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This is where it all starts to go downhill:

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Eighth grade –  oh goodness…

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What on earth is this…?

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Senior picture – looking normal again.

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And here I am after twenty tries to get the best picture.

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I think once I hit about twelve years old, I saw myself as ugly.  That must be about the age kids start to label people and themselves, as well.  It’s around the age boys started calling me ugly anyway.  Ugly, homely, dog.  When I think about it though, I don’t ever remember being called pretty by anyone, not even family.  When I got glasses in 3rd or 4th grade, my grandparents said I looked sophisticated.  Then I had to start wearing a patch for lazy eye.  Sigh.

I know “they” say you’re not supposed to, but I tell my daughters every single day that they are beautiful.

For me, I didn’t really see any beauty in myself at all until I had kids, especially my daughters.  I wonder if it’s like that for most people.

I have my flaws, for instance one side of my face looks like it grew at a faster rate than the other so it’s asymmetrical (more cheek and dimple on one side, chin uneven) and my nose is crooked.  Also, my jaw is weird.  I really needed surgery to correct a malocclusion (an under bite that inspired the nickname “Pekingese” by my “best friend”) so I feel like I have a flatter face than I would’ve had, had that been corrected.  One of my eyes is about a quarter brown, too.

I’ve pretty much come to accept my flaws and don’t see “ugly” that often.  Sometimes I do still see myself as that scary werewolf-looking kid.  Sometimes, though, I think I look quite beautiful but that’s only when I look at my daughters and see myself in them and know that there’s  no way an “ugly” person made them.

Jamie…

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Sarah…

(“Do we have to do this, mom?”)

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