Revelations are coming thick and fast lately. My latest? Well, it starts with a story – or a few moments that I’ve entwined to make up my “life story”…
When I was a teenager two of my friends were known to me and the school as the cool girls. Pretty, funny and full of charisma. If you couldn’t be them you wanted to be around them just so, perhaps, a little bit of pretty would rub off on me. We spent our high school years as friends and are still friends today, except now it is not based on coolness just comfort and love. Today I was hanging with one of them and we were talking about the new movie that is out called The DUFF. I haven’t seen it and haven’t heard anything about it so it was today that I learnt what DUFF stood for. Designated ugly fat friend. That was me! That is who I have always thought of myself as! No matter who I am with or where I am in my life. I look in the mirror and that is who I see, DUFF.
Part of my “life story” to confirm this was a night the three of us went out in the city, just 19 years old or so. I was a teen mum so I had already had a child and this was a little weekend getaway to the big smoke. My two gorgeous friends were childless, successful and still… well gorgeous, funny and charismatic. I didn’t have any nice clothes so my friend let me borrow a denim skirt and a blue and white floralish top (yes I remember exactly what I was wearing). I also remember I had trouble fitting into her clothes even though back then I was only a size 8. Once dressed we headed out. We were walking down the street moving towards a pub when ‘we’ were wolf whistled at by a group of men. They also made some comment to us and with my friends’ quick wit and confidence she replied “How does get fucked sound brother?” You could see their testicles ride up into their throats, they’d been put in their place! It was awesome. I remember thinking that if, on the odd chance I’d ever be clever enough for a quick witted comment like that I’d probably end up with my head punched in! You know how some people can just say shit and get away with it and some people just can’t? I am one of those people who can’t. It was the same in the classroom at school they could do or say anything and the teachers would just laugh along…. If the same things came out my mouth I would have been suspended for sure. I put this down to me being ugly and them pretty. Another additional affirmative part of my ‘story’.
Anyway … we go into this pub and we are not even there 5 minutes before they are both getting chatted up and they are blowing off the advances like smooth criminals. Then finally this guy comes up to me and I am thinking “Oh yay, I am worthy” until he opens his mouth and this comes out …. “So, you’re the ugly friend huh?”
Open up the ground and swallow me now. I wanted to die. I was gobsmacked and worst of all I didn’t have a smart arse reply. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t even want to tell my friends thinking that maybe they would look at me and think “Fuck yeah, why do we even hang out with this fugly chick?” Luckily, they had substance no matter how ‘cool’ they were and they loved me and my ugly fat arse anyway. To this day I hate telling that story just in case people would then be embarrassed to hang out with me …. Lucky my blog isn’t highly trafficked!
It was this one moment, this brief few seconds of my life, that firmly cemented my ugly belief into the deepest part of my core. From years of schooling where I’d like a boy, he’d be kind of interested or worse still dating me, then he’d meet my ‘gorgeous’ friends and I, then, became the dogs breakfast. Thinking about all of it now, I’m not gonna lie, it hurts a little, embrrasses me a lot. BUT it’s all my shit. I see other women getting around who are not typically attractive but yet have this confidence and think their shit doesn’t stink and you know what? It pays off!
But the real revelation came later today when my 17 year old daughter came up to me and told me about this new female in her life that was messaging her and being nice to her and asking her for advice. I was waiting for her to say something ‘gossipy’ or that this girl had suddenly turned on her but instead she came out with “Why would she?” and I was like “Why would she what?” – sincerely confused. Her question? Why would this chick who is gorgeous, ‘you know like model material and really cool,’ want to talk to her. Was there a hidden agenda? Did she really like her? Well, I am standing there with my hot iron in hand completely dumbfounded and looking at my daughter and thinking… “WTF! Since when are you not worthy enough to have someone pretty, in fact, anyone of any look or style, talk to you! You are gorgeous and ‘model material’ yourself!” Then it dawned on me, she is more like me then I’d ever dare admit. I have taught her to believe that. I have taught her to give and give and give and to always try to make other people happy. To buy people nice stuff, to put in all your best efforts because how could they ever like someone like me. Someone so ugly, so fat, so unattractive, so stupid and what’s the word for not funny? … I don’t even know but anyway just not funny.
I cannot believe it! What have I done?! My daughter, and I am not being biased, is gorgeous and beyond her external beauty is a young woman who is also smart, funny and kind. She is the whole package! Yet, my ugly beliefs that I have held onto since I was 6, starting a new school and a girl came up to me with a scrunched up face said accusingly “You’ve got freckles.” What I heard her say was “Damn bitch” (yes I know she was only 6) “you are ugggggglly!” From that moment on I was convinced of my ugliness, everything else from there on in just set it in stone. I’ve allowed my beliefs to transfer onto a young woman. A child. MY child! And what is comical now that I look back is that same child had freckles! Maybe, just maybe, she was stating the bleeding obvious not because she thought it was ugly but because she had found someone just like her! Doh!
Well, what the hell do you do with information like that? I now know that being a DUFF is really just a state of mind but where do I go from here? How do I change this awful belief? I’m honestly not sure but I am going to figure it out! Stay tuned!