Growing up I went through a lot of phases in my life. When I was younger my parents (by my granny’s request) sent us to this hippy dippy forest school called “Morning Glory.” It was literally in the middle of the woods (in Qualicum) and had about 60 children in total attending.
We would dance around a May pole for May Fest and have flowers in our hair. I remember one time we built a stove out of clay… a whole block was dedicated to digging up clay and making this oven. By the end of the months it took to build this clay stove, we made one tiny pizza in it. Still, I considered myself a flower child taught by hippies. And hey, maybe that’s where some of my creativity comes from.
When I attended Morning Glory my appearance was not something I spent a lot of time on. I was also young and rocked overalls with turtle necks every single day. At the time, I really embraced this kind of hippy lifestyle. Well, some changes started happening to the school and my brother ended up getting suspended. So, my parents decided to homeschool me for a year. Needless to say, I didn’t do any work that year besides play outside and with my barbies.
The following year they decided to check me into Public School. Oh oh. My family set me up for social suicide! I still remember walking into grade 5 wearing cargo pants with boy’s skater shorts over top some kind of ridiculous shirt. And my hair? I think it was however I pleased.
Public School was not like Morning Glory whatsoever. I was far behind in my studies because technically I missed all of grade 4. I mean I was a master at playing with barbies but I couldn’t read or do math, so my parents decided to send me to Sylvan every weekend. Not only did I have a hard-enough time fitting in and making friends, even if I did get a friend, I wasn’t able to hang out with them on the weekends because I was at Sylvan!
I think it was the first week in school, on the bus ride home, and the kid beside me looked at me and was like, “why do you have a mustache?” Up until that point I had never even noticed I had a mustache and I never felt self-conscious, but kids are dicks when they are younger. They just are. I started to feel insecure about myself and my hippy-loving style.
Before I entered into grade 6 I really wanted to get rid of my mustache and my caterpillar eyebrows that seemed to take up most of my face. I asked my Mom if she would be able to help me. She decided to buy some wax because we would have been there for hours tweezing them. I remember laying on my Mom’s bed and she was applying the wax on my eyebrow. I had this gut feeling that she didn’t really know what she was doing but she told me to just relax. Well, she pretty much ripped off my whole friggen eyebrow. I remember I got up and my sister’s face said it all. I looked in the mirror and started crying.
I didn’t want her to do the other one but she said she had to even them out. I pretty much went from having a full face of eyebrows to none. I remember first day of grade 6 my friends looked at me and were like, “something’s different about your face!” Thanks Mom! (Lol)
Well I now started to become way more aware of my appearance. I don’t know if anyone remembers Honesty Box, but that shit ruined me. For people who don’t know, it was a feature Facebook had that you could send someone an anonymous message saying whatever you wanted. Well, I was 12 years old at the time and I received this message saying how ugly I was and that my nose was huge and it looked disgusting! I was 12 when I got this message!!!
I remember feeling so ashamed for being me and looking the way I did. After that I had such an insecurity about my nose, before then I didn’t think anything was wrong with it at all. This comment bothered me so much that for the next 7 years I would obsess about my nose.
I started obsessing about everything involved with my appearance, and add drugs and alcohol to the mix, I felt worthless. I had internally lost love for myself, I was judging everything I was doing, comparing myself to everyone, always wishing I could change something about myself. I was looking to change external things to make me feel internally different.
I ended up getting a nose job at 19. I really do love my new nose and don’t regret this at all. Some people who knew me before say they can’t even tell a difference but I can so I’m happy with it. However, I thought after getting a nose job I would miraculously feel better inside too, and that’s not what happened.
I still obsessed that I looked ugly without make up, and I still wasn’t good enough or pretty enough. It hasn’t been until recently that when I look in the mirror (without make up) I see someone who’s beautiful and worthy of love, just as they are. That’s not to say I’m cured. I still obsess about other things involving my appearance, but I can truly say that having gone through therapy, treatment and inner work on myself, it’s starting to reflect on how I view myself in a more complete and healthy way.
For anyone who may have felt like I did, it’s true what they say, “You need to look inward. You can change everything about yourself but until you actually look inside for what’s really going on, you won’t feel any different.”
“Appearances are not reality; but they often can be a convincing alternative to it. You can control appearances most of the time, but facts are what they are. When the facts are too sharp, you can craft a cheerful version of the situation and cover the facts the way that you can covered a battered old four-slice toaster with a knitted cozy featuring images of kittens.”
~ Dean Koontz, The Good Guy