Pros & Cons of Being an Ugly Child

I'd like to start off this post by apologizing to my mom. Mom, I know that you think I was an adorable, cute, beautiful child. But you are literally the only one. Even Tyler (my husband) laughs at how awkward looking I was before middle school at the earliest.
Me at 7.
Whoever cut those bangs should lose their license.

I was not a cute kid. My highest-upvoted post on Reddit was to /r/uglyduckling, where people post pictures of how ugly they were as a kid and how much better looking they are now. To be clear, I don't have issues with my self-esteem--I honestly think I'm an attractive person. Just see the post "I'm Cute" that I did a few months ago. Just because I acknowledge that I looked like a buttface as a kid doesn't mean that I don't think I'm gorgeous now. 

What I've come to realize, though, is that being ugly as a kid comes with its own set of pros and cons. So, I thought I'd explore those today!


You learn early on not to value appearance above all else.

There is a huge social problem with the pressure women face to value their appearance as their most important attribute. Think of it this way: how many men do you see on TV that are conventionally unattractive? How many women--and not just actresses, even news anchors and reporters--that are young (30s at the oldest), skinny, and have perfect hair? A lot of girls start experiencing this pressure early, when people constantly tell them how cute and pretty they are during childhood. 

I was a weird-looking child, so instead people complimented me on how smart I was, since there wasn't much else to compliment (I didn't become funny until around age 11). As a result, I grew up valuing my intelligence, since that was ingrained in my mind as the most important thing from the beginning. Looking back, I was super fortunate to be immune to this pressure.
Me at 18. This is the most "conventionally attracitve"
picture of me that exists.
I'm also told it's the most heterosexual looking
picture of me that exists. LOL.

There is nowhere to go but up.

So, as we've established, I was a weird-looking kid. I was a fairly awkward looking young teenager (I had mid-2000s emo bangs), but by the end of high school and through college, I was really good looking. I won't lie or try to be modest. I worked out like twice a day, and I dressed really quirky. I was super, super cute. Now that I'm out of college, working seven jobs, and going to grad school, my appearance has definitely slipped. I'm gaining weight, getting acne, etc. But no matter how many concerns I face about aging--whether it's my transition to mid-20s adulthood now, or worrying about wrinkles when I'm in my 50s--I know I'll never look as bad as I did as a child.


You don't know who to trust.

Honestly, I think this is the only con. So, obviously, as an ugly kid, I KNEW I was an ugly kid. Sometimes I'd joke about it or complain about it. All the adults, not wanting to hurt my precious little-kid feelings, would always respond saying something like, "No, you're not ugly! You're adorable! You're so pretty," etc. It was obvious to me they were lying. The problem is, how do I know when people are lying to me as an adult?

If I show people pictures of me as a little kid, a lot of people will still say something like, "Aww, you were so cute!" If I tell them that no, I'm aware that I was weird looking, they'll be like, "No, don't say that about yourself! You were beautiful" or some obvious bullshit.

But that becomes a problem. Because as an adult, there are still times that I feel down on myself. There are days when I feel fat, or when I feel unattractive, or when I think my mustache is visible. People always try to reassure me by telling me I look great or whatever...but how can I tell when they're lying? If the same people said I was cute as a kid, how do I know that I look good NOW? What is their standard for "good" if me as a child looked good to them? I guess it just makes it hard to know how other people really perceive me.

What are your thoughts on this? Were you a cute child or a strange looking child? Or somewhere in between?

Happy Wednesday!



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