Pretty Is as Pretty Believes

I recently stumbled across some old journals of mine, some dating back to when I was eight years old. They’re a blast to read, with me admitting my many crushes (half of them were on fictional boys) and worrying that my mother would actually follow through with her threat to take all of my books out of my room. (I still continued to read under the covers with a flashlight and not a single book was made homeless.)

Two days before my eleventh birthday, I wrote this:

I wonder why I’ve never had a boyfriend. I’m really pretty–I think.

The first part isn’t what caught my attention. Despite my prayers (but for real), I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was fifteen. But the second part shocked me.

I’m really pretty—I think.

As far as I can remember, I always thought I was unattractive until I was a junior in high school. At 16 years old, I finally started to gain confidence in myself when I decided to embrace my weirdness and just roll with it by dressing different and not acting like most people my age. While everyone else was getting drunk and high and sleeping around on the weekends, I would read, volunteer at church events, and have princess tea parties with my friends (I’ll be honest—we still do this as twenty somethings). I began to see the value in myself, and realized that I’d probably been too hard on 14-year-old me.

Then I look at my freshman school photo and remember why I thought I was ugly. Years later my dad saw that photo and told me it was the most unattractive photo he’d ever seen of me.

But at almost-eleven, I thought myself pretty, whether I was or not. If only mini-Macey could have given me some pep talks through junior high and my first two years of high school. If she could see me now, she’d probably think I’m gorgeous.

But current Macey?

I’m pretty—I think.

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