Essay: Perfect Features

Oct 25, 2019

When I was fourteen, I decided that my nose was funny looking.  Juggling two mirrors, I would examine my profile—and there it was:  plain as the funny-looking nose on my face. 

Not a movie star nose but a little tipped-up number with no dignity or elegance.  How humiliating.  So, during most of my ninth grade year I sat in class with my finger holding down the end of my nose.  I don’t know whether anyone noticed this odd behavior.

I do know that it didn’t change my nose.  And by tenth grade, my nose had been displaced on my list of imperfections.  Now I was fretting about the freckles on my face and the braces on my teeth. 

I didn’t like my hair, either, which was brown and fine—not blond and thick like the movie stars.  It took years, but finally I found some things to like about myself that weren’t in the mirror.  And then it happened.  I was giving a talk and afterwards a friend asked,

“When did you find out you were pretty?”

I thanked him for the compliment, but I hadn’t found out I was pretty.  I had acquired a self and some confidence to go with it.  Guess it showed.