Ugly Duckling Syndrome

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Hi world, it’s 2015 and this is the longest I’ve gone without posting a blog. I could spend a whole 50-100 words explaining why I took a month long hiatus but does anyone really give a shit? No, they don’t. So moving on.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of “Ugly Duckling Syndrome” or perhaps “Fat Girl Syndrome” but they are kind of like weird back-handed compliments that guys give to girls who they find attractive but aren’t aware of it. Basically, they’ll ask you if you used to be super ugly or super fat (or both) because you are currently a visually appealing girl who doesn’t have a horrible personality.

Here is where things get dicey. If I claim right now that I am a sufferer of U.D.S. then I’m basically saying I agree, I think I’m really pretty, right? But if I say that I don’t have Ugly Duckling Syndrome, then I don’t get to talk about how hideous I was when I was little and I’m kind of writing about nothing.

Every time I bring this up my mom gets SO mad because I guess parents always think their kids are cute, but I was such an ugly child. Seriously, if you haven’t reproduced yet, take a good long look at your partner and confirm if they (and you) have the looks (and traits) you really want to give to someone else.

I would like to call my hideousness a “phase” or “an awkward stage” but I really don’t think those words apply to how long this ugliness went on. First of all, I have giant, enormous teeth. For whatever reason, all of my baby teeth fell out of my face in like, one year, so all of my huge adult size teeth grew in at the exact same time. I looked like a shark/chipmunk hybrid with rows of large, crooked teeth. I have had 8 teeth pulled in my lifetime and my dentist still complains that all these teeth are always in the way. So anyway, I got a bunch of braces shoved on my chompers pretty early on, and they didn’t come off for 5 YEARS. They were complete with those horrible rubber bands that fly out of your mouth when you talk, and a bite plate that really enhanced my minor tongue thrust, giving me one hell of a lisp.

So yeah I know, every little kid has braces, no pity party for Kaley. However, I also had glasses. Since we weren’t really riding the money train, my thick, gold rimmed Walmart glasses would fall apart like, all the time and my handy dad would hot glue them back together. I basically had these lopsided specs on my face with hardened glue all over them. Hot.

The braces and glasses combo is rough, especially when you’re 10, but it’s not a total dilemma. The real kicker is when your dad takes it upon himself to cut ALL OF YOUR HAIR OFF into this disgusting crooked bowl cut. I also want to throw out that purple was my favorite color at this time, I liked to wear these purple overalls to school, and I guess calling people gay was super trendy around my youth, so basically I was a blind, toothy girl with a weird hair cut that was also rumored to be a lesbian. I am also a quarter Portuguese, leaving me with the darkest arm and leg hair you have ever seen on a small person. I don’t think I knew what “getting laid” meant around this time in my life, but I was certain that it wasn’t going to happen for me.

These things might seem minor now, but elementary school kids are fucking horrible, horrible humans and I went for a long time getting things thrown at my face, called some pretty hurtful names, and enjoying my Go-gurt in solitude.

I finally sacked up and stuck some contacts in my eyes around 8th grade. The braces came off my Freshman year of high school. My hair grew out, I got some high-lights, and somehow convinced the cheer coach to put me on the team. I don’t remember the first time someone called me pretty. I thought it would be life changing, because I had wanted to not be ugly for so long. But it wasn’t. It still isn’t. Sometimes I still look in the mirror and see that fugly little girl. Sometimes I still feel like her.

The most enticing part of being a sufferer of UDS or FGS is that you’re nice. The idea that attractive people can’t be nice definitely makes me chuckle, but that’s for another blog. It’s the idea that my outer “beauty” doesn’t hinder me from being a kind soul. This is not true. I am harsh, sarcastic, introverted, and even cold because I spent so many years being told I was ugly by a bunch of dumb kids. Taking the time to change my look was easy. Taking the time to develop a hard outer shell, a sense of humor, and an ounce of confidence was way harder. To say I’m a work in progress is an understatement.

For all of you who find this sincere sassy-ness funny, honest, or even something you just kind of relate to, trust me, that is WAY more important to me than hearing that I’m “pretty”. I’m just bummed it took me so long to figure that out.

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