Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it is fair to say, that I don’t have, and have never had, a really pretty face.
For the record this not body dysmorphia talking.
And, suffice to say, the onset of old age is not helping. 😦
By the same token, it’s also fair to say that I have attracted my fair share of good looking guys, have truly been loved and cherished (albeit temporarily), and whilst for the most part, I put that down to the fact that I have an OK figure, I can (in the right light/circumstances/bag on head) look quite nice when viewed face on.
It’s my profile that shows where I’ve been whacked hardest with the ugly stick, my nose being the biggest culprit.
Whilst showing you a photo would obviously compromise my anonymity, I’m going to try and give you some idea of what we’re dealing with here.
The nicest thing anyone has said to me about my looks in the last five years came from a workmate who said that she thought I looked a bit like Katie White from the Ting Tings.
Whilst part of me would love to believe this, and I can see where she was coming from, pardon the pun, but as the song goes, ‘That’s not my name!’ (sorry…)
Maybe, when I was 20, I could have been her rather less pulchritudinous sister.
Or, at a pinch, she could be my daughter. Had I bred with Chris Hemsworth.
The next comparison came from an old lady who once compared me with (the lovely) Debbie McGee.
Well. As her not so lovely husband, Paul Daniels, might say, ‘Not a lot…'(sorreee….)
But one of the worst allegations came from a rather malicious busker playing on a London underground platform, who, when I strode past him, must have been peeved that I had not dropped any coinage in his greasy trilby.
‘And, you look like Margaret Thatcher!’ he sang at me, rather innovatively and with a fair bit of venom during his rendition of ‘Where Do You Go To, My Lovely?’ as I leapt onto the train.
It’s funny now, but that happened about twenty seven years ago and he’s probably dead now (I hope 😉 ), but I’ve never forgotten it.
I wonder why insults stick more than complements?
No wonder my Dad was so derogatory about my looks.
I’ve also got quite a mouthful of teeth on me, and I’m not even going to go into what my early teens were like or I was called at school by my family, friends, and enemies alike, but suffice to say, UGLY has been branded onto my soul, bone deep, and will probably be there till my dying day.
So when I sprouted tits and legs in my late teens, I grasped at these blessings and desperately hung onto them like Jack Dawson did to that bit of wood in the sea at the end of ‘Titanic’, and as soon as I started earning a wage at sixteen, I bought contact lens…
(Yes, that’s right. I was speccy too. In sum, speccy, goofy, weird nose with reddish hair and thick National Health glasses. Thanks so much for that, God…)
….and did everything I could to discourage the ‘U’ word from attaching itself, leech like, to me ever again.
And a lot of the time, I succeeded. Perky tits draw the male eye much more than big teeth, and if those eyes travelled up for any reason they were immediately dazzled by a shock of bleach blonde hair and carefully rouged, slightly parted full, glossy lips, and all of course, was forgiven.
But for a whole plethora of reasons, I never felt beautiful enough to be loved, never trusted anyone to love me for myself, and if anyone was foolish enough to, they’d come a cropper because there must be something wrong with them if they want me.
And of course, I always envied the beautiful girls, especially those of the kittenish variety with perfect faces and cute little noses who couldn’t not be pretty if they tried.
Meg Ryan. Ulrika Johnnson. Michelle Pfeiffer. Debbie Harry. Shannen Doherty. Lisa Bonet.
I could have had a million pounds worth of surgery, or even a head transplant, but I would never get to look like them in a million years.
Of course my yet-to-be-acknowledged mental illness ran riot with this, and happily, breezily stirred the shit, whipping up my paranoia to frenzy level whenever an opportunity arose.
Someone laughing in the room/street/nightclub? They were laughing at my face.
Someone scowling in the room/street/nightclub? They hated me because I was so ugly.
Someone ignores me in the room/street/nightclub? They’re ashamed to be seen with me, because blah, blah, bleugh…..
However, whilst some of these things may have been my imagination, I have been the subject of brutal name calling, even in middle age, usually albeit, by people even uglier than I am.
And it still hurts. Make no mistake about it.
Don’t pity me too much though, ‘cos I am quick witted, very observant and the years have sharpened my tongue, so any fool wanting to take me on nowadays gets their arse cored, with all the mercy and subtlety of a Cillit Bang enema.
I take no prisoners, people.
Then the other day I looked at my reflection in the mirror and told myself:
‘Sista, this shit is not going to get better y’know.
You face has gotten thinner in the last year and there is only so much Botox you can do, so your ‘at least I don’t look my age’ card is getting a little frayed.
Your figure is OK, but your skin isn’t that of a sixteen year old so you might want to give the bikinis away to Oxfam this year.
You know you are getting less male attention.
Your next big birthday is sixty.
All those women you used to long to look like? Even their looks are starting to spoil, like strawberries left out in the hot sun.
So bitch, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not going to get prettier. You are, from a totally superficial point of view, going get uglier.
What are you going to do about it?’
The last of my Aces in this life has been snatched out of my hands, and thrown on the fire to join blonde, skinny and sexy; intimidating, confident bitch; and high profile executive.
Then, one night, it occurred to me that if Ugly is going to stay with me for the rest of my days, I might as well embrace it and try and make the most out of it.
So instead of deleting/hiding my most hideous photos, I’m going to look for them, keep them and send them off to a photographic agency for people with ‘Interesting Faces’ and see if I can’t benefit for once for having the profile of the most hated Tory MP in history.
I may even try and get ‘extra’ work. I think I’d look very at home as a peasant in the crowd circa Tudor times in ye olde England. 😉
I may even have professional shots done!
Loving my looks and indeed myself is still so far away and is probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever attempted with regard to personal growth or development.
So please, wish me luck folks, because I’m sure as hell going to need it as things are about to get even uglier…..