We Were Ugly So We Made Beautiful Things

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The ugly truth

My nose was wide and squished. There were dents in the side of my head where my eyes had been before being moved to the front of my face. And I had scars running across my face that looked like train tracks coming into Grand Central Station. It developed over years of thinking, teasing, talking, friendship, bullying and love.

The ugly, unfair truth about looking beautiful

These are some things I figured out along the way. Ugliness is not the absence of beauty. Ugliness is its own, wonderful thing. Defining ugliness only in opposition to beauty narrows our sense of normal. A quick look at history shows that defining beauty in one particular way is just another fashion choice — apt to change with the seasons.

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Appearance is linked to identity and self-worth. It is the currency of a false economy. Of course, female beauty is a very particular thing. I think you spend your entire life on display, whether you want to be or not. When women speak about their bodies and the experience of living in them, we court danger. In pitching this very piece I joked that I'd probably be trolled. New York writer, Kristin Salaky wrote a response to a Dove campaign celebrating "real beauty" — it's worth mentioning that the "real" beauty in question still hit a reasonable metric of attractiveness, kind of like "TV ugly" — and her message that she was ugly and perfectly okay with that, was not warmly received.

People had complaints ranging from the fact that indeed she was ugly, to accusations that she was self-obsessed and many even whined that she wasn't ugly enough. Per usual, you can't win when you've got a vagina.


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In , English journalists, Polly Vernon and Bryony Gordon wrote about their bodies provoking a similar tsunami of abuse. Vernon had written about liking her thin body and Gordon had written about liking her heavier body. Earlier today, I passed a magazine with Kim Kardashian in a bikini on the cover and the headline: This is what she believes it takes for her to participate in this economy of hotness.

I simply cannot believe that the return on that level of deprivation is worth it.

It’s our 6th birthday!

Beautiful or not, enjoying your personal aesthetic is a creative outlet but never forget that pursuit of beauty has always been a dangerous game for women. In the s we slowly poisoned ourselves with lead and arsenic make up products, in the s we deformed our ribcages and misaligned our spines with corsets, and in the 20th century, we've casually sliced and plumped and filled our way to impossible beauty.

We've surfed three waves of feminism in the last century, and still, there is much work to be done.

8 THINGS THAT ARE MAKING YOU UGLY (AND How To Look Better!)

We've swapped corsets for waist trainers and lead for semen facials, and little has changed in terms of the scrutiny of our appearance. I appreciate my ugly years, they saved me from ever attaching too much worth to my features.


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The phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder is supposed to be a comforting phrase but I prefer "beauty is boring, what else you got? Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash. The image newsletter Receive the latest fashion news, beauty inspiration, shopping ideas and more straight to your inbox every day. Incredibly attractive people have mastered the art of listening. Try doubling your personal listening-to-talking ratio for a week and enjoy the noticeable difference. There is no question that smart is sexy and ignorance is ugly.

Incredibly attractive people know you don't have to be a brainiac to maintain admiration, but it helps to be aware of current events and develop your mind. Dedicate an hour a day to making yourself smarter and watch a whole new class of people join you in discussion. It's difficult to be around people who neglect themselves. It's often a clear sign of low self-esteem.

Incredibly attractive people hold themselves in high regard. They are strong in self-confidence and care about their bodies.

Being/feeling ugly seems to be the source of all my problems

They enjoy life and want to be around for as long as possible. Make your own body a priority.

One moment please...

You don't have to be a perfect specimen, but good hygiene and maintenance go a long way to show people that you matter. A generous spirit is a huge attractor. Incredibly attractive people know that selfishness is ugliest when it's on the physically fortunate.

There is something magical about genuine altruism. Give of yourself freely and the universe will embrace you and shower you with love.

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