For the past few days I've had a song stuck in my head. Not a bad one, so I'm not really complaining. It's "What Makes You Beautiful" by British boy band One Direction:
The song is sung to a girl who is obviously gorgeous but unable to see it in herself. Without sounding too smug regarding the first part, I can relate.
I was a late bloomer. Throughout middle school and highschool, I had it kinda rough in the looks department. My teeth were buck, so I had braces for 7 years. While the acne faded as I neared graduation, it still comes and goes for me. Not knowing how to put together a decent outfit didn't really help me, and being completely ignorant of how to deal with my thick, curly hair was the icing on the ugly cake. I was a mess. On top of all of this, I was so awkward. I didn't know how to talk to boys...or other girls for that matter. I managed to have some friends, but the majority of the time I felt like an outsider.
It was in college that I blossomed. I started playing around more with makeup. I bought a flat iron. I learned to work with my curls. I dressed myself in a modest yet cute fashion. And people noticed me! Suddenly boys wanted to talk to me. They wanted to sit at our dorm table and talk to ME! Some even asked me out.
It's amazing how things change. It's more amazing how they stay the same.
This past week my mom texted me to let me know that one of her friends who was the mom of one of my friends from middle school had commented on my looks. We had run into her very briefly while plant shopping, but she told my mom that she was stunned by my beauty. It was wonderful to hear, and others have said similar things to me.
...and yet, it's still difficult to think of myself like that. When I look in the mirror, I still see that metal-mouthed acne-faced girl with puffy, unruly hair in a bright yellow sweatshirt and wide-leg jeans. Yeah, there are moments when I see myself as pretty and even downright hot, but they are few and far between. Mostly I just see all the flaws and shortcomings.
If only I could see what they saw.
Blind to my reflection,