A mouth full of chocolate and a head full of bad ideas.

It’s tough being ugly. It’s not a conscious decision we make, though it can be exacerbated by poor judgement. It’s just generally The Way It Is. We know this.

Most of the time, being ugly is no big deal. It doesn’t affect my day to day life in any particular way. Sure, I’m acutely aware that my face is red and greasy most of the time, and I’m careful not to exert myself too much before I interface with people, lest I make the default problem worse. When I’m nervous I feel for the worsening overlap of my front teeth (the lateral incisor over the central for all the dental professionals that no doubt read this blog) with my tongue or, if I think no one is looking, my left thumb. It makes a satisfying clicking sound when the nail rings off it.

Otherwise, though, things are fine. I do a reasonable amount of exercise to maintain physical fitness, though I still indulge in practices that worsen the condition. I drink milk and have a powerful sweet tooth. I floss but not every day. Still, I’m more or less good with the way things are in my head.

Unfortunately, there are moments now and again that remind me of the Real Situation. A certain look – the briefest glance – can be enough to trigger the skeleton-shaking certainty of my inherent ugliness. It’s the beautiful that are most capable of this particular look, and most willing to deploy it. I can’t cast aspersions on them for this; it’s another one of those things that is The Way It Is. It’s my own psychosis that leads to my reaction, not an agenda of malice on their part. I’m overcome with shame, to put it bluntly. Shame that I am the way I am, shame that nothing I do can fundamentally change it, shame that I feel this way at all.

I think it’s natural and healthy to compare oneself to one’s neighbours. This is all I’m doing, and the fact that I often come up short is what it is, as my father might say. You soldier on, sharpening the mind, asking questions, seeking answers. You pick your battles knowing full well you won’t win every one of them. You make the best of it.

So, ugly people of the world, fear not. We’re all going to die, and no one will remember your acne scars or the gap in your teeth or that unusual way your earlobes hang. These things matter more to ourselves than anyone else. We may chastise ourselves for being a certain way or feeling a certain way, but that energy is focused in the wrong place. Seek solutions to the problems you can solve and forget the rest. To quote the seminal songsmiths of Corrosion of Conformity, it is that way because it is.

-LB

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