This article was written by one of our 82 Teen Interns. The writer would like to remain anonymous, as the article is very open and honest.
“I know I’m pretty but when I see the other girls I just feel…ugly. …”
“I don’t feel feminine at all . I suppose what I want more than anything is advice. …”
“Am i ugly and how can i look better?”
After googling in the two words “feeling ugly”, these were just a few of the phrases I found in the headlines underneath the resulting links.
I think I’m ugly. I’ll admit that, and I’ll admit even more things about how pathetic I’ve been about, and how often I believed it was a problem. I used to look at guys and think that no one has ever looked at me like they do at a pretty girl and more than likely, never will. However, it used to be worse in middle school. I despised mirrors. Although I danced, I found a way to perform by not exactly looking at myself in the mirror. I followed my arms, made myself look slightly above my shoulder or raised leg when I did have to look in the mirror. When I slid on my jeans, I thought my stomach wasn’t flat enough. By the way, I weighed less than one hundred pounds and both danced and ran track.
For when I did find mirrors, I found myself unable to stop looking at my reflection, hoping desperately that maybe one day I’ll find something pretty about myself. I sucked in my cheeks, I checked out my profile or obsessively arranged my hair to hide my massive forehead. In the end, I still felt worthless and ashamed that others should have the misfortune of seeing me haunt the halls. I used to want to run away when I saw a picture of myself. I wasn’t always completely unhappy because I thought I was ugly- I still found people who genuinely cared about me, and we could have fun together without judging anyone. But then I covered my face and laughed nervously whenever someone pulled out their camera and thought it would be great to capture the moment. I’d actually spent my childhood more carefree than most other girls- I hated shopping, for example, and I loved being outdoors or writing or playing music instead of allowing my mother to teach me how to walk in high heels. During middle school, though, I decided to change myself completely.
Mornings smelled like burning hair and dancing my way through skinny jeans. I literally chose to give away all of my clothes and bought new ones from all the supposedly “in” stores I heard of. I’m afraid even my mentality went through a “pretty” renovation. Some of my unfinished stories from that time period are about gorgeous protagonists with mysterious and delicate auras. I had friends who tried to make themselves feel pretty in different ways. One of them was already undeniably beautiful- guys were always taking second glances at her when we went to the mall. Although my friend rarely involved herself in official relationships, she was always passive with any guy who would tell her she was beautiful and ultimately, allow them to break her heart and leave the pieces to gathering dust.
However, after my freshman year of high school, I went through another epiphany. I went to a school where the majority of the technically pretty girls were pale skinned with straight hair ranging from brown to auburn to platinum blonde.. As usual I had started nearly magnifying every ugly extremity of my body when I started looking in the mirror. I came from a family of dark Filipinos with massive curls and knots of black hair, I thought. Plus I have that whole Asian stereotype behind me so that when people see me they’ll think I’m some awkward nerd with SAT study guides in her backpack. Then my thoughts started moving in a whole new direction. What the hell am I supposed to do to change that up? Bleach my skin? Dye my hair and act completely ungrateful for the hair genes both my parents gave me when there were other girls I knew who were curling their straight hair every day? As I came to the resolution of these questions, I knew I was sick. And I was tired.
Radical Parenting’s articles are able to reach all kinds of audiences, and I wanted to write an article that touches upon the audience that weigh themselves daily, vomit in toilets, and look in the mirrors scrutinizing every one of their features they wish they could take back. Adjectives for appearances are entirely subjective, and every girl has a right to feel beautiful. Perhaps you’ve heard this before: “it’s the inside that counts”. Yes, that’s true, but it is human nature to just people by their appearance for on a first impression, that is the only evidence we can go by. Therefore, I digress to make another point about that saying: one should not consider their own looks as an obstacle in meeting other people, learning about the world, and enjoying themselves a little every day.
Imagine waiting to give a presentation in front of your classroom. You’re going to have to look in everyone ‘s face and speak to them, but while they’re in their seats, they’re waiting to give their presentation too, just as nervous to look into your face as you are into theirs. The ugly truth is that a majority of society is worried about themselves. Most of the time, we judge and we criticize to feel better about our own selves.