“I was never told I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren’t.” –Marilyn Monroe. As a child the purpose of a mirror was to check to see if I had dirt on my nose before going to meet my friends for a birthday party. Never did the thought of my weight, height, skin color, or beauty cross my mind. I didn’t have time for such business in between playing dress up and basketball all in the same night.
Time went on and as I walked through the many bathrooms filling up the various buildings in my life I began to take notice of myself. Quite comfortable with my image it was still nothing more than a glance until about age 12. Boys floated through the minds of me and my childhood girlfriends, whom I began to notice, seemed a lot thinner than I. But no matter, I still had my “amazing personality” as my parents described. I was told that was all that really matters although I was also told by them that I was “the most beautiful girl in the world”.
One of the floating boys began to soon be seen constantly with me at my house spending hours jumping on the trampoline. Oddly enough he seemed interested in me. My cheeks blushed while I watched him walk up my porch steps. Certain my face was on fire whenever he was around I felt the need to hide it with glorious makeup. Compliments never were said but I felt he noticed.
Eventually the words coming out of his mouth somehow became malicious. “You’re fat” or “You look like a boy” became the words meeting me when I went outside. Confusion, anger, and sadness filled my mind. Looking in the mirror I tried to figure out what I had missed. Was it my glasses? Was it my pink lip gloss and blue eye shadow? Was it my clothes? Was my chest too small and my stomach too big? Agreeing with the idea that it had to be a mixture of them all, especially the last one, I changed my diet, shopping centers, and makeup. Nothing mattered. The same words greeted me by him everyday.
Older now I see the immaturities and sheer ignorance of it all but I was lucky. Girls take words deeply to heart and many take the words “fat” as a message from God leading to their latest diet, or worse, eating disorder. I did lose weight and am thankful for it but I had control. I wasn’t looking to be the skinniest, just skinnier. The way a girl feels about herself depends largely on how others view her. I believe that every little girl no matter what age, color, weight, or body shape should be told she is beautiful, even if she isn’t. Only then can she find beauty in herself.
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