Saturday, April 28, 2012

What makes me beautiful

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,


Friday, April 20, 2012

So Open Minded

A while back, I was dating The Persian (or TP for short). We had met through an online dating site, and while messaging back and forth, he had told me how one of the characteristics that he seeks out is open-mindedness to others.

I sensed that he had met with quite a few people who did not think particularly well of Persians and Iran in general, and therefore treated him poorly.

He seemed like a great guy. He held doors open, he always made sure to pay for drinks or meals even if I offered, and he preferred to pick me up and drive places. He was a bit traditional in gender roles, but growing up with a stay-at-home mom, I was used to that and his stance was not extreme.

What did bother me, however, was after going on and on about how people should be open-minded, he decided to start saying how horrible Asian drivers were. This turned into a rant against Asians in general. I was a bit miffed, but perhaps he'd had first-hand experience with a large enough sampling of Asians to make this a fair statement? I let it slide.

Then he brought up my faith. I had clearly stated on my profile that I was a Christian. So of course normal polite conversation took a turn toward religion and how in the world could an intelligent girl like me truly believe all the stuff in the Bible?? Seriously.

Well, this guy must have sensed he was on a roll, because he did not stop there. We began by discussing different places we would love to visit one day. Toward the top of my list was Israel. He asked me why I would want to go there, given the violence. I countered that there will always be issues in the Middle East, so anytime is as good as any other. This is where it gets really good. He asked, rhetorically, why are they even fighting? Why didn't the Israelis just leave? Yeah. That happened.

So, to recap, the open-minded Persian doesn't like Asians, thinks Christians are stupid, and has decided that an entire country has no right to their land.

In case you were wondering, I'm not pining away for this one.

Closed-minded to stupidity,