On 08/08/20 by Laura Johnson
I have read somewhere on the internet that Mae West once said “I believe it is better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked”. And, whereas I think she is perfectly right, I still couldn’t help but feel irritated by her statement.
Beautiful from every side and every angle, I’m 100% certain that she did not, not once in her life, have had to witness the same challenges I had to...Just because I wasn’t born with perfect features and beautiful-looking eyes!
After all, what could she possibly know about the hardships of living with yourself, and having to come to terms with the way you look?
There are many women who are lucky enough to be born beautiful, and she was one of them for sure: She couldn’t have understood how it feels to always try to navigate life without having the knowledge that you’ve fallen from a not-so-cute tree... And feeling it slowly make you sink down to the deep bottom.
I know everything is a matter of perspective, especially when it comes to beauty. If everybody had the same taste, only a few “chosen” ones among our population would have the chance to be accepted, find a loved one, and live life to the fullest.
And yet, it’s the same perspective that has haunted me since when I was a little girl.
No child ever comes out of the womb automatically thinking he/she is ugly. No mother in the world (or, at least, a caring and loving one) would not shower the fruit of her love and relationship with compliments and endless affection.
And this wasn’t something I was missing.
My mum always looks at me with infinite joy, and whenever I smile back at her, I can see she truly sees only beauty in my person.
However, the outside world isn’t like that.
And it’s not like they take the time to warn you, before you go ahead and start living in this world. The endless challenges of having to deal with the unwanted opinion of other people aren’t mentioned in the manual.
Heck, the manual itself is missing...And we always have to figure things out on our own!
What I’m trying to say is: Until the age of 6, I was blissfully unaware of how my looks were going to affect my life. As a little girl, I used to play with dolls, which are probably the most criticized toy, responsible for creating high standards since childhood. But it didn’t affect me! I looked at my dolls like they were the best girlfriends I could have…
And little did I know that I was painfully right.
Starting school changed everything for me. The shielded, protected life I had lived up to that point shattered and broke in my hands. No matter how much I tried to glue the pieces back together: Something inside my heart changed...And I have never been able to restore it.
I was born with a birthmark across the head, almost resembling the typical scar pirates suffer from whenever they go about their endeavors. It was impossible for people not to take a look at me and wonder if something terrible had happened. If only they had been friendly enough to ask, I would have happily talked about my condition, and the way it doesn’t really affect anything for me.
Kids can be extremely bad and rude with their intentions...And I was one of those that took the hit.
I was always the last one being chosen for group activities, and everybody tried his hardest to leave me alone during the free time. In this delicate stage of life, everything that looks different from what’s considered “normal” is automatically labeled as something to either be afraid of, or taunt.
It was just a birthmark, even if a visible, very red one...But it was enough to be treated like the ugly duckling of the class.
Having gorgeous parents didn’t certainly help. My father was a dashing, brilliant man that I would have swooned for myself, if I were to meet someone like him at my current age. And my mother had delicate, feminine features that made her shine from within with beauty.I was very little, but I know the memory won’t ever leave my mind: I was taken to my aunt’s house for dinner when, midway through the meal, she would scrutinize my face and say: “Well you don’t seem to have inherited your parents’ looks. I think I see something of your grandmother in you. I hope, for your sake of course, that you will have a bright personality!”.
She said so while smiling, almost as if she didn’t just deliver a killing blow for my self-esteem.
I was too young to be crushed at the time, but Life itself gave me reasons to be when the years passed by. I sensed that, even at that age, being pretty gave you many advantages I simply couldn’t afford.
Friends, for a start.
The other girls, with curly blonde hair and no marks on their faces, were always the most popular, ruthlessly leaving girls like me for a corner of the room.
I thought that growing up, and having to be with more mature people, things would change. So when my middle school years came to an end, and I was about to start my teenagehood, I thought: “That’s it, this is my occasion to change things up”. Apparently, I wasn’t very realistic in my expectations.
I think the fact that I was a normal, not very cute girl didn’t help out. And the birthmark only added to my unusual looks, making it hard for me to go unnoticed.
I didn’t necessarily want to become part of the trendiest group of girls in school, or to have the biggest group of friends to hang out with. Everything I wanted was the occasion to live my high school years without any trouble coming my way! So I set up plans for myself: I would try my hardest to make some friends (even one was enough).
But then the first day of school came, and so the usual treatment. I started attracting curious looks from the start… But quickly shrugged them off in order not to let myself engage in a self-sabotaging thought pattern.
During the break, boys and girls started scattering around the classroom, starting to exchange brief introductory conversations. And guess who was not approached by people?
I sit at my desk, a slight tremble in my hands. Everything around me almost seemed to come out of a movie, a movie I wasn’t part of. I was just looking at things from the outside, without the chance of actually living things.
High school was for sure the most terrifying, uncomfortable years of my life.
Always surrounded by sporty, good-looking, and, of course, naturally confident teenage girls, I was yet again firmly placed at the periphery of everything.
I was never once invited to a party.
No boy ever asked me out. The day the school dance came, I was at home eating chips and watching a movie on TV.
I will never forget the way I felt these years, and I think I have always harbored a special kind of resentment towards my high school peers.
In my mind, I accused them of not being mature enough to understand that a person is so much more than her looks.
I pointed an accusing finger at them, addressing them as the real monsters for not even giving me a chance to introduce myself.
As of today, I write with 50 years of experience on my back, but I can happily say things have changed. There was never a Hollywood moment of blossoming into a beautiful swan right before the end of school Prom for me… But my time to take revenge has come, and I couldn’t be more satisfied.
I have read the news on the internet (I always like to keep myself up to pace), and it came as absolutely no surprise that there’s a new kind of racism emerging in our society. It’s called “lookism”, the discrimination against peopleìs appearance that significantly affects their success and wellbeing.
Even if having my long-held suspicions confirmed was comforting (that pretty people have it easier in life), I secretly and impatiently waited for an occasion to get back on the same people that held me accountable for my looks.
So when, surprisingly, an invite for a school reunion came ringing with my phone, I was thrilled...And scared, at the same time. I had no extraordinary job, and no luxurious house to brag about.
And no botox had absolutely ever entered my face to “fix” my looks and make me more appreciated in society. I nurtured my face in the mirror as if it was something that needed protecting - this attitude of mine towards it never changed.
So when someone unexpectedly thought to invite me over to the reunion, there was a part of me that still feared the company of those people. I knew the girls in my class would now be beautiful, successful women. I knew they would sport an elegant, tight dress, and still be the center of attention between the “boys”.
So I decided the time had come for me to take my revenge.
This time, while sitting there for dinner with my old classmates, I wouldn’t feel ashamed of myself anymore. I would stroll into the room confidently, and make them regret all the “ugly duckling” references they threw at me.
I looked around for a nice dress to wear, and a lovely red lipstick that would drive the attention away from my birthmark.
However, a little voice inside of me said that I would have to leverage the part of me that I loved the most: My hair.
If there’s something I was always so proud of, it has to be my straight, black hair. I feel like I always used it as a means to hide my face, and melt with the background… So now was the time to make it the most attention-grabbing element of myself!
After doing my research, I found out about Le Volume: a 2-in-1 volumizing brush and dryer that allows every woman to create smooth-looking, sleek hairstyles in just a few minutes. Just looking at the pictures on their website, I was mesmerized by the results it promised...So I gave it a try.
The product amazingly didn’t have any learning curve. I had planned to try it out a few days before the reunion, so that I could learn how to use it and be prepared for the big day. And yet, as soon as I grabbed Le Volume into my hands, I experienced an incredible ease of use: I managed to style my hair in only 10 minutes...And the hairstyle I achieved was outstanding!
Feeling proud of my hair, all my life I had always spent a big part of my budget trying to find extraordinary products and tools to style it and keep it healthy. Supplements, oils, self-proclaimed ultimate-generation styling brushes and blow dryers: The results always were mediocre at best. After having tried Le Volume, I understood from the get go that I would never need to look out for other solutions ever again!
had always looked at social media as the worst place to browse for my self-esteem. Little did I know that I would find welcomed advice on it! I have seen so many influencers talk about Le Volume these days, and I am not surprised at all that the product is blooming.
Every woman likes to look good with her hair, and it must be especially so for those of us who lead a very busy life and don’t have time to mess around with different tools every morning!
Voluminous and frizz-free, the hair I exited the car with that evening had maximum body and lift. As soon as I stepped out of the vehicle, the eyes of my schoolmates, who were patiently waiting for everybody to come outside the venue, turned to look at me.
I will never forget the shock in their eyes as my new hairstyle bobbed and flowed with my movements. Unable to keep their glances off of my hair, my birthmark passed completely unnoticed and forgotten all evening long.
I could see the women in my old class starting to fidget with their hair, probably unsatisfied with the blowout they obtained through their common brushes and blow dryers.
And want to know the most satisfying thing? I never joined them for dinner. I had previously booked a table for me and my new date...So I confidently strolled in front of them to sit at my table, a big smile never leaving my face. And my date also couldn’t keep himself from complimenting my hair!
Thank you Le Volume for literally being the turning point of my life...And restoring my confidence!
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