Okay, here's a little tale from long, long ago. It happened around the time I was eleven and, to this day, helps shape my self-image and beliefs about beauty. I had a crush, my very first, on someone other than John Stamos or various members of Duran Duran (not Roger and never Andy. Sorry dudes, you just weren't my type.) It was powerful and scary and something I ONLY confided in my very best friend at the time who happened to be three years older than me and clearly MUCH more sophisticated and worldly about such things. Anyway, I thought he was just the cutest thing ever and my friend found the whole thing entirely too adorable and was bound and determined to find out if he liked me, too. I insisted that she keep her trap shut, thank you very much, I had NO intention of sharing these thoughts with ANYONE but her and knew that I was in no way capable of handling the crushing blow that would, most certainly, be the result of her inquiry. Some time later, this boy decided, perhaps on his own, perhaps due to some of my "friend's" machinations, to bestow upon me a most lovely moniker, one that I clearly recall to this very day. Are you ready for it? Seriously, you'll just LOVE it, I know I sure did. He began to refer to me as...The Plop From Pluto. Couldn't you just die? Actually, I wanted to. If there was anything my fragile little psyche needed at such a formative time in my life it was a DELIGHTFUL little nickname like that, especially from the boy I had, until that point, thought was the absolute bees knees. *THUD* Yes, that's what it sounds like when your heart drops, just before it shatters. For an indeterminate amount of time after that, when he addressed me, if he addressed me at all, it was as The Plop From Pluto and I died a little more inside each time. For some godforsaken reason, somewhere down the line, my aforementioned friend decided to talk to him about this and ask him, I'm paraphrasing, if he really thought I was THAT ugly. His response, allegedly, was that I was "kind of pretty." This according to my friend who may or may not have been trying to spare my feelings (too late for that, sister) and soften the blow that had been dealt to me, time and time again, for months, at the very least. Now, maybe he did think I was "kind of pretty" and was just doing that crazy boy thing of being meanest to the girl he liked the most, maybe not. But the fact of the matter is, what I have always held on to is the feeling that I am, indeed, The Plop From Pluto, beyond repulsive and certainly, without question, not worthy of being liked or, dare I say, loved. Clearly, this happened a long time ago. I have since been told I am "pretty, cute, beautiful" even, at one point, "the most beautiful thing I have ever seen" but I'll tell you, even now, it is SO much easier to believe that I am disgusting, hideous and wretched than any of those good things. I have said that everyone is born beautiful and it is one's actions (or inaction) over time that enhance or diminish one's beauty but, I'm being perfectly honest here, that applies to everyone BUT me. Still, I feel passably decent-looking today. I took the time to put on a fucking DRESS (I know, right?) for no apparent reason, which I NEVER do and even shot a few self-portraits in my bathroom to commemorate the event. I think the reason I feel this way today is, as people have tried to tell me for YEARS, that beauty really does come from within and I kind of like myself today. When I like myself, even if it's just for a passing moment (usually) or maybe even a whole day (stay tuned), I feel less than disgusting, slightly cute and maybe, just maybe, a little bit beautiful.
By the way, in case you're wondering, I would still like to kick that boy square in the balls, if he has any, just cause.