Life as a beautiful girl

I used to use my beauty to my advantage. Just sensing someone found me attractive was all it took to make me feel attractive. I put very little effort in; I just had attention on me effortlessly. That may sound like bragging, until you find out I’m an introvert. Like, extremely so. Like, 99% introvert on the personality test.

The moment my self-esteem was clarified was when I was asked about it by a stranger I had become comfortable with over the few hours of knowing him. “What is your self-esteem like?” he asked. Without hesitation, I responded: “Well, people think I’m cute, so…”

He gave me a look that said, “that’s all?” When I pondered that exchange later, I wondered the same thing to myself. Because I’m cute? Is that the only reason I like myself? I didn’t realize it so clearly at the moment, but I now realize that one question was a catalyst to finding who I was. Within a few weeks, I started cutting my hair; within a few months, my hair was no longer than a couple inches long. I wanted to take control of my beauty, I wanted to be in charge of the attention I received.

It worked, and I felt blissfully ugly. What an awkward period of life. It was peaceful, as I was no longer that young girl people looked on with lustful eyes. I was just another person, walking the streets to get to where I needed to go, not worthy of a second look. As much as I loved it, it wasn’t me. I realized that I didn’t need to shun my beauty in order to love myself; I didn’t need to reject my natural look in favor of less attention. What I did instead, which took many years, was decided to use my beauty to my advantage—to get people’s attention, then let them see who I had become on the inside to match. There’s nothing more surprising that a beautiful young woman who is poised, well-read, and polite. In a culture obsessed with looks, for someone blessed with the features others envy to act as if they aren’t important is charming in a way.

I appreciate the way I look as if I am a fan myself. I didn’t create me, nor did I pick out my features or craft them in the way they are. I was just born like this. So, how can I take credit for it? I see what you see and I like it too, so what that I’m the one on the inside. But, since I am, I have to be elegant. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” How can I belittle someone for not being born in my situation and body? I can’t. You are you, I am me, and that is all we’re supposed to be.

Appreciate my looks if you like, but don’t see it as the definition of me.  I certainly don’t.

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