I am fugly. Fucking ugly and there is nothing I can do about it. You must be thinking that she can’t be that bad, but there is no arguing in it. It is not an opinion. It is a fact and the world reminds me every sodding day. But I don’t beat myself up about it anymore. I don’t hate myself and although it took me a long time, I’ve finally accepted myself. I am not overweight, my skin isn’t bad, I smell pretty nice and my teeth are fine. I am pretty good at doing makeup but none of that can hide the fact that I am simply an ugly woman.
People always bang on about how beauty is skin deep or don’t judge a book by its cover or it’s the inner that counts and so on, but step into my shoes and you’ll realise that they are just words and have no effect in the real world. Society is superficial and appearance is everything no matter how much you’ll like to deny it. Dress smartly, people don’t mind sitting next to you. Dress a little differently and people prefer to stand than sit next to you on the tube. I had the first-hand experience of that when I studied BA Education at a London university.
Novels or Movies like ‘She’s all that’ make it seem like a transformation is all that is needed to suddenly become hot and accepted. Not for me. I wish there is something I can do about it but there isn’t. I thought puberty was slow and I would change for the better but no such luck. The fact that I am not super intellectual or clever did not help matters either. I had a bland personality and couldn’t hold an interesting conversation for the life of me. My School life was pretty much hell but sixth form was okay and university was okay.
So, after years of humiliation, judgement and a posh dinner in town to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday, I had a rude awakening and it pretty much sealed my future job. That night, I came to accept that I am an ugly woman. I usually didn’t go out too much and preferred to stay home after numerous embarrassing incidents but this had to be the worst and put me off huge social parties. That night was a night I couldn’t say no to. My friends had made me promise and I am not one for breaking promises. People had always broken their promises to me all my life and I knew that feeling of betrayal and hurt. So, I put in the effort. I did my makeup and decided to put on a beautiful plum dress that I had bought but never had the guts to actually ever wear. It was way too sexy for me. But I felt hopeful and put it on and after doing makeup. I looked in the mirror and was positively surprised by my appearance. I actually looked good and I felt good too. My friends told me that I looked great and barely recognisable (the power of makeup these days!).
My confidence was up and I went to the posh ‘Dine and Dance’ restaurant . As soon as we arrived, we had to pay the cover fee, which my friend had forgotten to tell us about. We didn’t really have enough for it as most of it was for the restaurant, so some guys behind us helped pay for my friends. But not for me. So, my friends managed to gather enough for me and I was allowed entry. Strike one!
Later, after we had danced, my friends begun to pair off with other guys who had danced with us and there was one left, so we started to dance together. We didn’t touch, because he could barely look at me. Instead, he looked around and as soon as he saw a more attractive girl, off he went without saying a single word to me. He danced with her, stared at her and touched her, -everything he didn’t do with me. Strike two!
I was hurt but I tried to forget about it. After my friends and I returned to the booth, a photographer came to take pictures. You probably know what happens next. He took so many photos and I tried my best to look like I was having fun and posing and then it dawned on me, he wasn’t trying to take different angles, he was trying to get photos without me in them! But I refused to let him, and so I continued. That was until he told me, point blank, to move out of the way. Strike three!
I got the message and I went home. I felt so undeniable ugly right there and then and it was clear, there was no a single fucking thing I could and I wouldn’t do it either.
Call it dramatic, but then I decided the best people who would accept me for me without the interruption of appearance were the visually impaired. So, I became a Braille teacher. In that way, I got to stay in my career path and face no discrimination based on my appearance.
I returned to my small dead town, a town I didn’t have too many fond memories of. It was a town of two halves: the wealthy on one side and the deprived on the other. I had lived on the other side my entire life. Astonishingly, a job, a welll-paying job had come up and it was in this very town. I had to take it. With a mountain of student debt, I was back living with my grandma.
I stood in front of the house. It was a small, detached cottage with the typical greenery surrounding it. However, it looked ready to crumble. I opened the creaking metal gate and stepped onto the cobbled path. I made sure to close the gate behind me. My grandma was a very particular woman and liked everything to be a certain way. I rang the doorbell, waiting nervously. Let’s just say, she wasn’t very maternal and probably secretly hated me. We didn’t have the best of relationships. Slowly, the door opened.
‘Hi, Gran.’ I smiled. There wasn’t a smile on her face. She sort of humphed and turned back.
‘Come in then.’
‘I’ll just get my things.’ I ran back and gathered my large luggage and a holdall. I didn’t have much anymore. I sold most of them online and gathered a little bit of saving to get me through the hard times. It didn't help that had been scammed out of thousands either. I pulled my things in and went to my room. Amazingly, it was still a bedroom. My grandma hadn’t made it into a clutter room. But there was something distinctly different. It wasn’t my room.
‘Um, so what happened in here?’ I asked.
′I got the room neutralised. I had it made into a lodger’s room.′
‘Okay.’ It was clear, I was a lodger. I wasn't here to stay. She didn't want me to stay. I wasn't hurt. My heart was hard as stone.
'Dinner will be at 8pm.'
'Thanks.' I started to unpack. I didn't unpack much. I got out my grey pencil shirt, white shirt and a grey blazer for the next day. My first day at my new job. I just hoped they would fire me on the first day.