The only person who truly cares about my toes is me.  I have not the most graceful-looking toes in the world; in fact, and I will NOT provide visual proof of this, my big toes look like twin Fred Flintstones.  I have tried everything to make them look less…Fred Flintstone-y, but to no avail.  There you have it…I have ugly toes.

This has prevented me from flaunting my feet since I was very young.  I had not really noticed this resemblance with one of the most famous cavemen in the history of entertainment until it was pointed out to me by my adorable older sister.  Since then I have been concealing the toes under tables, inside shoes (preferably large, bulky shoes that will accommodate their enormity,) in the sand, in socks…you name it…

Since a very early age I have been trying to hide every single part of me that, for one or another reason, seems to have fallen short of “stellar” when reviewed by others.  I should, by all accounts, be walking around wrapped in gauze like a mummy but, I’ve been told, I might look like a frayed version of the Michelin Man.

All the years I worried about every single thing that was wrong about my appearance, agonizing over my hair being too straight, my nose being too round, my eyes being plain old brown rather than a glorious shade of something else, my toes being thick and ugly, my eyebrows being too heavy…

A few months ago, digging through a box of pictures, I found a picture of myself at the age of seventeen.  This was the year I didn’t get asked to prom and had to go with my sister.  She danced all night, had boys milling around her, was the proverbial belle of the ball.  I recall sitting in a corner, dancing with the one guy who made sure every girl got on the dance floor at least once and going home feeling relieved the whole experience was over.  I was surprised to see that I was not, in fact, a shard off of the Great Beast’s hoof…

I was rather pretty.  Not fantastic looking.  Not beautiful.  Not even very pretty.  But I was rather pretty, thank you.

To get to where I am today (a late-forties, not quite svelte, graying, attractive woman who laughs quite a bit and shows her teeth to the world with very few qualms), I had to accept that I was stupid enough to listen to my sister, and that I deserved to be defined by her because I allowed it to happen.

I don’t wear a size six like she does, and I don’t color my hair; I have not worn a two-piece bathing suit since I was ten years old, and I can’t really say that I subscribe to the standards of beauty that are paraded in front of me in the media day in and day out.  But I am happy…and I am smart…and irreverent…and funny (or so I’m told.)

If you are young and you are reading this: don’t let anyone tell you who you are.  It’s a big, old, honking waste of time!  Trust me!  I know what I speak of, my friend.

Excuse me now…I have to go paint my toenails.  I know it’s getting colder and I won’t be wearing sandals, but good ol’ Fred Flintstone, in preparation for the holidays, needs to put his tuxedo on…

 

 

Advertisements