How It Ends
I was seven years old. Not a “supermodel” child, but it was a time where I could get away with having a big chubby face. It was cute. Big blue eyes. Blonde hair. Very skinny. We were at Disney World, and I was a huge girlie girl and was getting a make over at their “bibbidi bobbidi boo” boutique. I had my hair all done up, purple eye shadow, cherry lips. I remember all the adults fawning over me, staff, onlooking parents, lots of cameras, as they all cooed “She’s so beautiful!” I remember another girl sitting close by. I don’t remember much of it, being so long ago, but I vaguely remember some kind of sadness or envy coming from her. Maybe I’m making that up. Who knows. I was too caught up in myself.
I was ten years old. I was a late bloomer. As my friends began growing boobs, getting periods, growing older, I suddenly stuck out in a more physical way. I was always an outcast for my strange behavior and frequent crying spells (I have been mistaken for mentally disabled for my behavior a few times) never popular, even in elementary school when “popularity doesn’t exist”. Maybe popularity didn’t, but bullying did. And now I had my looks to worry about. Stupid looking buck teeth. Stupid smile. Big fat cheeks. Big eyes turned into bulging eyes.
I was eleven years old. Glasses. Short hair. Very small. Same face. Typical “innocent entering sixth grade girl” look. I’d normally been very weird and loud (in a way), but in the beginning of middle school I shut down. I was scared. I was completely invisible. I hated my face. I remember standing in the downstairs mirror crying and clawing at my face and screaming about how ugly I was and my mother panicking in the kitchen.
I was twelve years old. I’d began puberty. Got my period – even tasted it quite a few times just to see what it was like. I got boobs that I could now play with and squeeze together and touch. I gained a lot of weight and was no longer skinny. Not exactly fat, but I got called “stumpy” and was slow and kind of hunched-back looking. Not exactly a plus. Surprisingly, seventh grade, everyone’s least favorite year, I actually had fun. I didn’t care about my looks. Wore flared jeans and hand me down t-shirts everyday. Still had glasses. I never shaved, resulting in huge afro-pits that the boys would tease me about – so in turn, I’d shove my “disgusting” armpit hair in their face and send them screaming. My face got worse, but I didn’t notice.
I was thirteen. All my friends were getting asked out. Getting boyfriends, Getting kissed, Getting attention. Girls in my grade went through boys like I went through heavy-duty pads (I had a very heavy period). I was completely invisible. Repulsive, even. I didn’t exactly notice this at the time though. Other people did, though. A boy once popped his head out of the bus and shrieked, “You’re ugly!” at me as he friends laughed at me. I was walking home from school. People stared at me in disgust as I walked by on occasion. Again, I didn’t notice at the time, until I noticed a very particular guy.
Alec. To the regular person, Alec was somewhat above average. Charismatic. Friendly. The cliche “Tall, Dark, and Handsome”. Intelligent. And he knew it. While he wasn’t really popular, he was respected, something I’d never felt. To a person that’d developed low standards due to disappointment (see: me), Alec was practically a god. It began as a small attraction to him, watching him as he stood up in front of our combined language arts classes and recite Shakespeare in that demanding, deep baritone voice. Ever since I first saw him, I had to look away. I couldn’t do this to myself. The way Alec made me feel, the pulsating feeling between my legs when I was near him, scared me so much that I avoided him in every way.
Alec broke me. After I became comfortable enough to develop a crush on him from a distance, it became clear I liked him. It was also clear he thought I was the most disgusting human being on the planet. How could the “incredibly nice” Alec treat someone who just wanted to be his friend, like shit?
You hear sometimes that an ugly face can bring out the worst in people. There’s no point in being nice to an ugly.
I was desperate. I changed myself for Alec. I attempted to be more outgoing, choose better outfits, got contacts, bought $10 Claires makeup sets. When I dyed my hair bright vampire red, a small part of me even wondered if he would notice. For a while, my newfound mix of conflicting confidence and self-hatred shielded me from the reality of my face.
There was a point where I’d gotten Alec’s number through a friend, smoothed things over, and we texted for hours. This is where I fell. He was amazing. But he avoided me in real life, despite confiding in each other over text (which is an overstatement – it was a very thought out three hours of texting that read more like an emotionless interview). A week later after acquiring his number, he admitted it was weird talking to me in school “because there were people around”. I should’ve dropped him there, but instead I asked him if he wanted to come over, if that would make him feel more comfortable. To accommodate him. Two weeks pass before he responds with a “yes” and he comes over, its fun to me, but I guess not to him because he ignores me for another two months before telling me that he “doesn’t see us as friends” and “doesn’t ever want to hang out or talk” to me again.
It was during this time I learned from a friend he had hooked up with a pretty girl with an ass on his couch and they made out for hours. I also learned he currently had a crush on one of the prettiest girl in the grade – the kind of all-American pretty with a face I can’t even begin to describe (the first time I saw her when I moved here I couldn’t stop staring and I was afraid she would get mad at me). She was friends with everyone, super nice, the oldest of a big family, a preforming ballerina on the poms team. You knew she had an easy life. She was nice to everyone, except me it seems, for said weirdness. People try to be nice at first to me, but it becomes too much to tolerate, and that turns into pity which turns into a general distaste.
I couldn’t compare to her, or even the past girl’s he’d hooked up with and/or liked. It was then I saw the moderately deformed face that was really behind the mirror. I had(have) puffy, dropping lips with a small, curled-in chin and no jawline. Big chubby cheeks that pulled my whole face down. A soft, overly-sloped pug nose. Pointy ears. Bulging eyes. I can’t even tell their original shape they’re so asymmetrical – one eyelid droops halfway down my eye, while the other is pinned up, making it look big and round. My face, with little to no depth. Everything was forced to the front of my face, giving it a corny shape. Think Lola from Sharktale. I started feeling happy less and less. It got to a point where I’d scratched myself with a pair of scissors just to feel less disgusting, only for a second.
The worst part is realizing nothing can change this. Ever. No amount of makeup, weight loss, even expensive plastic surgery. I’m the ugly that the averages and above averages use as a crutch to look pretty. My friends stopped faux-complimenting me or trying to patch my self esteem. Even if they sugar coated, their true message came through. “You’re ugly as fuck you’re ugly as fuck you’re ugly as fuck”. My guy friends would jokingly berate me for my looks and then apologize like it didn’t matter. My friends would try to call me pretty one day and then tell me I’m ugly the next. Once my friend asked “‘When are you going to get your glow up like the rest of us?” They aren’t “beautiful”, but they will never know what it’s like to be ugly.
Now I’m almost fourteen and cynical. This is how it ends.