The other day, I saw a saying that someone posted on Instagram. It was to the effect that we see ourselves as five times more attractive than we really are. Apparently, there are articles based on this scientific assumption and this is fact!!!! My life began to flash before me. And I remembered that I was that “ugly” girl. Oh yes. I was.
Yes I am and yes I am! Or am I? Maybe I’ve finally woke up to reality in my elder age!
I was also that sister. You know, the one who was just a bit “off” in looks. My two sisters were blessed with great hair texture. My youngest sister had straight and shiny hair. It was freaking shiny!!! My other sister had thick hair that fell into the perfect wave pattern. And she never had to blow dry her hair to get it to fall so perfectly.
Hell just froze over because I thought I would never have anything in common with a Kardashian. But I do. I’ve even been called “sir”!
On the other hand, I had a kinky, coarse, thick but unmanageable mane. And in hindsight, it was only unmanageable because my mother had no idea how to care for this type of hair. When I was younger, she would set it so that it either flipped out or so that it would fall into banana curls.
You have no idea how well I could relate to the pre-makeover part of The Princess Diaries!!
During those younger childhood days, I could get away with being on the edge of cute. That was because my mother dressed me nicely!
Cute due to the beautiful dress and somewhat manageable curls–but it doesn’t last too long!
And as soon as the pre-teen years hit, it all went to Hell. That’s right. Any minute chance of my becoming even close to average looking hit rock bottom during puberty. I think that possibly my genetic makeup may have been confused as to what gender I was supposed to be.
The two brows that grew above my misshapen and crossed eyes turned into one massive uni-brow. My upper lip was suddenly a garden of rooted unsightly hair—and enough of it that in certain light, even with the assistance of Jolene Cream Bleach, looked like a full-on mustache!
And of being of equal proportions, I had a matching line of hair above my upper lip!
Add to the fact that my mother cut my hair super short did nothing to feminize my now masculine looks.
Ugh. Sr. Mary Josephita. THE meanest nun of all time–and I had to get stuck with her. The only GOOD thing about my mother cutting my hair super-short was that this witch wasn’t able to pull it. She did slap me across the face though. I’m in the second from top row. LOL–it doesn’t get worse than that—or does it..
Sr. Kathleen Marie. God was good to me. He knew how much I suffered in sixth grade with Sr. Mary Josephita so he gifted me with this beauty of a nun–and she was kind too! I had a growth spurt that placed me in the top row–still on the end and the hair is still so disgustingly short. I swear my mother hated me! Tee-hee! You can see where my love of plaid and blazers stem from. I wish I still had that blazer!
I want to thank my childhood friend and classmate Linda Fay for sending these pictures to me when I requested them. We Saint Pat’s kids stick together for life! Thank you Linda!
I was miserable. I was made fun of. Timmy Schmidt told me to my face I was the ugliest girl he had ever seen. That’s so mean! He wasn’t very pretty either!
My feelings were hurt–but in that hurt, I gained strength and a more realistic view of how I appeared to others!
When people told me I “had a face only a mother could love” they lied. My mother couldn’t stand the sight of it. She would refer to my sisters’ good looks then stop when it came to describing me.
Hmmmm. You mean to tell me I could’a been a muse for Picasso perhaps???
Things started to improve slowly as I took control of my looks. I let my hair grow. I learned how to make it as smooth as I could with the ammunition of large rollers, setting gel and, thankfully, the primitive blow dryers that started popping up on the market.
And although I did hold on to my flesh-toned Clearasil, I discovered makeup. And added a touch of blush and mascara and lip gloss.
Phew! Finally out of that awkward stage. Here I am at 23 at a wedding. As you can see, I was fine with my hair–it was tamed that day. I’m only wearing a bit of eyeshadow, mascara and lip gloss. The uni-brow was plucked and how I wish I had those natural brows back!! And that dress. It was one of my favorites. Too bad I never saved it!
But it wasn’t until I began to really age that I came into my own and accepted the way I look. With aging comes changes. My eyelids were drooping. My skin wasn’t even-toned anymore. My face started getting blotchy patches with the lines and wrinkles. I was asking myself “Are those large freckles or age spots?”. My face wasn’t looking as dewy or luminous as it was some years ago.
I know–it looks like a ton of makeup. It sort of is–but it’s fun–and is a ton of confidence!
I started to experiment. Shading a bit here, highlighting and contouring a bit there. Different lip colors. Sticking only to what eye shadows worked for me. Finding the right foundation.
That was the finished look. A long way from that awkward “ugly” stage!
It’s a journey—but a fun one!
The hair—well, it’s no surprise to anyone that I lost most of it and I write about the journey often. But the flip side is that wigs have brought me a new confidence. Finally—in my sixties, I no longer have to worry about a thick, unmanageable mop of hair. Now I have to worry if my husband will be home when the mail delivery comes with more wigs for me to wear!
I can rock red, black, multi-toned and blonde hair—and do it in a matter of seconds!
Yesterday I wore CAR-A-MEL hair (Yes–I emphasized the correct pronunciation!)
Today I’m rockin’ the 613 blonde!
And as a blogger who has a very small but fantastic group of regular readers, I know which angles to aim my phone when I’m taking photos. I can’t afford a photographer but I sure know what side to selfie myself from! Perhaps it’s the control freak in me—but I know how to photograph myself so that I don’t look like that ugly girl from years ago. Or do I? Maybe I still do appear unattractive to others. And that’s quite alright because I look fine to me. And after over fifty years of feeling hideous and unattractive, I can’t look any worse than I did in those school photos!
Hey, I may look like dog waste to others, but to me, I’m just fine!
Those awkward looking years. Most of us go through them. Only a choice few do not. Those years when we are ugly. Let’s be realistic about this. Please. Those ugly years shape us and mold us into who we are now. But the sad fact is that we still tend to see ourselves as we did back then.
We need to stop that. We need to start feeling great about our looks—even if we are the only ones who think so. What others think no longer matters. And to that I say….
I, of the former unattractive and ugly duckling stage, have never been able to get by with my looks. I’ve never been the one who’s beauty stood out in the crowd. I’ve never been the one young men fought for. Nobody has ever come up to me to comment on my looks except to tell me my eyes are crossed or that I’m the ugliest girl. And because of this, I’m able to accept my aging face—and I’ve grown into it and love it!
My aging face. Lines, wrinkles, jowls–it’s all okay because I’m no longer awkward about it!
Take a lesson from Jane Birkin. She gets it!!
I LOVE Jane Birkin. You know I don’t idolize anyone but boy–she comes close to it for me! Read this article where she tells it like it is : Jane Birkin–What I See In The Mirror.
There is beauty in growing up unattractive–but it comes much later. And it comes when you treasure it both inside and out!