In the Land of Beautiful Women

silhouette of a woman

Growing up, my friends were really good-looking girls, stylish, very popular with the boys. Most of them were rather sexually active because they were desirable, pursued. The hot girls.

I had acne, baby fat, and a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I hid my curves behind thermal shirts, layered tops, earth tones (my favorite color was butterscotch). But I had a decent rack and gave great head, so I could give and get my fill from older guys – or from my beautiful friends when they were in between boyfriends. I was a dirty secret out of necessity. Age differences complicated things. And this was before bi chic, when masturbating to glimpses you’d caught of other girls was something you did and NEVER told anyone – and you certainly didn’t advertise that you made your girlfriends come.

I didn’t have the choices they did when it came to love. Every time an opportunity came my way, I felt like I had to accept, that there was no telling when the next one would come by. Conversely, I found myself in the awkward position of juggling one of my best friend’s many beaus for her, assuaging his fears, chatting in a strictly friendly manner with him, knowing all too well she was off with another man.

When we’d meet new guys, I was never the one picked, the one flirted with. I’d be contacted by them, sure, but to be asked for a friend’s phone number or for inside info to get on a hot friend’s good graces.

What boyfriends I did have were stragglers, loners, freaks, people who had trouble making and keeping friends, let alone anything more. But I was so happy to please and be special to someone, anyone, that I snuggled into them and didn’t look back. When I was abused, I told myself it was the price of admission, that someone like me was lucky to have anyone. I went back to a man who drugged and raped me, defended him to my friends. I was his biggest advocate. Because I was fat, ugly, awkward. My intelligence threatened people, was impossible to hide, problematic. I should be happy with what I could get.

But I was never really happy.

I’d bend my personality to cover gaps in relationships, actively change my preferences, condition myself to be a perfect mate to anyone who would have me. Drown my partners in pleasure, hoping it’d wash back and drown me, too. But when I was alone, I was so empty.

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In spite of it all, I’ve managed to build things over the years, create, form connections. Faked confidence took me far (“fake it ’til you make it” was my mantra). I laugh inside sometimes when people tell me I’m attractive, knowing they’ve been fooled by my shell, this facade I’ve worked to create, a diet and some exercise, a new wardrobe and dressing strategy garnered from research and the kindness of fashionable friends and strangers. I watched as I played the game, made minor adjustments how I went from being invisible to receiving constant attention.

Skyspook tells me I’m a rare person, a beautiful woman who was not always beautiful. That there’s something to be said for having struggled because of my appearance, developed my personality, educated myself, cultivated charm without having looks to fall back on.

I personally just wish that effort meant more to people, that we cared more about what a person does, what a person has to say than what he or she looks like. Not hating on the players, just really hate the game. Win or lose, I hate the game.

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