this is my face



It’s been over three years since I got a nose job. Honestly, I can’t remember what month it was. Sometime during the summer.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember how much I hated my face. Enough to lie asleep while someone hacked it open. Enough to show up for the surgery even after my dad watched a live special on rhinoplasty and described it in horrifying detail to me (“and then there’s just this giant hole in the middle of your face because they flip the skin back, after they cut the piece, you know that little piece in between your nostrils? Yeah that one.”) It’s hard to remember how badly I wanted to look different. I was casual about it. I played it cool. “It’s just something I need to do, y’know?” But sometimes when I was alone, I would look in the mirror and cry because I hated my face so much. It felt unfair. So many other girls got a regular nose. And then they had regular faces. Why me? Seriously, God, what the hell?

And then I got the nose job, and, well, some of you know the story– it didn’t really make a difference.

“This has only happened to me one other time,” the surgeon told me apologetically, explaining that something had gone wrong.

Instead of my face being fantastically transformed, it was just slightly rearranged. Now my nose is a little crooked in places it didn’t use to be. It’s a little thinner at the bridge.

But I don’t think about it so much anymore. Except when someone posts a picture of me on Facebook and the flash creates strange, imaginative shadows on my nose that emphasize its largeness and crookedness in new and fantastic ways. Then I am momentarily devastated. And then I move on.

Like everything about the way I look (at least to myself), my nose is complicated.

My face is complicated. It’s different in every photo. It’s occasionally perfect and striking. It’s occasionally, when reflected in the window of a parked car I’m walking past, and, inevitably, the dark windows of the F train, hopelessly proportioned. But the hate has been dulled over the years. Maybe all that emotion was tiring. It slid down, anyhow, to other parts of me. “Oh no,” I moaned. “My arms! And why is my neck so short?” But I never reserved the same bitterness for other places on my body. My face felt like me.

And then the other night, in the bathroom of an adorable little restaurant on the Lower East Side, I caught myself looking hard at myself, and without thinking, I said, “This is it.”

I was talking about my face.

This is it.

(don’t even get me started on how one eyebrow goes up and the other doesn’t)

This is how I look. Bumps and complications– a history of violence just under the skin, hints of my great grandmother, who escaped Austria during a time when soldiers with pitchforks were stabbing the bales of hay in wagons at checkpoints, in case there were hidden Jews underneath. Her husband found her stunningly beautiful. Based on the photos, she was unphotogenic like me. This is how I look– an unusual combination of ideas, sometimes a turtleneck works really well, sometimes makeup does, sometimes it doesn’t. This is the face that will age with me. This is the face that my children will get some of, whether they like it or not. This face is a legacy. It’s a battlefield. It’s totally ordinary. It’s full of surprises. It’s completely unique.

“And it’s fine,” I said to my face in the mirror.

This is it. And it’s fine.

That moment has been a long time coming. Actually, it came so quietly, I didn’t hear its approach. But I didn’t miss it. I was paying attention. And I remembered other times, years ago, when I stood in my parents’ bathroom, staring into the wide mirror behind the sink, and thinking that my face was anything but fine. It was the opposite of fine. It was a nightmare that fine had when fine was attacked in a dark alleyway, drugged, and tied up in the basement of a nondescript house in an expressionless suburb somewhere the police would never even think to look.

Not anymore.

(And don’t worry, fine is fine. That got weird.)

I’m kinda proud of myself for having that moment, and for recognizing that it was important. It gave me an idea: I want to start a series of posts called “Little Victories.” Where I write about things that have gone right– fights with myself I’ve won, things I never worry about even though I could, lessons I’ve learned, lessons I’ve seen other people learn, positive ways of interacting with themselves I’ve admired in other people, things that have improved. Sort of a more detailed unroast. I’m going to challenge myself to do this once a week, and I’m hoping you’ll share your victories, too, as guest posts and comments, so that we can do this together.

Because, as much as we struggle against ourselves and diet and gain it back and change our hair and put on makeup and wish we could be reborn in a different body that looks somehow exactly like Minka Kelly and say fuck it I don’t care even when we secretly care and wonder if everything would be a little better if our bellies were a little flatter or if we could tweak things just a little and if sometimes we even get cosmetic surgery, ultimately, this is it.

And really, really, it is fine.

*  *  *

Is there something about yourself that you used to hate/feel bad about and have recently gotten over? Or do you not have something like that at all, and don’t understand what business the word “hate” has so close to the words “my face,” and if so, can you be my hero? :-)

Unroast: Today I love the way my face looks in certain photos.

 

 

 

53 Comments »

Kate on December 12th 2011 in beauty, being different, body, nose, uplifting

53 Responses to “this is my face”

  1. Julie responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    This was beautiful.

    For me, it’s my legs. I used to be so embarrassed by them. I thought everyone was looking at them and that the thighs were too fat and I couldn’t wear a skirt or shorts. Years later, I wear whatever I want and it’s hard for me to remember why I thought my legs were so ugly. Maybe it was a phase? Maybe I was going through something else? Maybe I’ll never know. I’m just glad I can see myself differently now.

    Which is not to say I see everything about myself differently. But I try to apply the lesson to other insecurities. sometimes it’s just irrational and you have to go through it to get to the other side.

  2. LIT responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    I remember when I came to this conclusion- I was 24, looking in the mirror and realized “This is as good as it’s going to get”. I was young, the thinnest I’d ever been, and (in general) happy with myself.
    Now- at 31- I love the days when I look in the mirror and think I could give 24-y.o. me a run for my money. (few and far between- but they happen!)

    Way to accept yourself!!! It’s a great feeling.

  3. Melrose responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    I think you have a gorgeous profile. I think the fact that it IS different makes it interesting and beautiful.

    I also think all women beat themselves up about aspects of their faces (and if you say you haven’t at one point or another, I call shenanigans!)
    I used to hate my nose as well, and the droopiness of my eyes, and the fact that my face and all the individual features are all just so freaking round. And who am I kidding? Most of the time I still do. But every once in a while I feel damn pretty. And those moments need to be celebrated more often. And probably photographed in excess… so when one of those shitty “ew” days comes along, I can be reminded that hey – I’m really, really, exceptionally, good looking…. sometimes.

  4. Heather responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I think I’ve come around on a lot of physical attributes that I used to have a hard time with- I’m not sure if any of them happened through recognizable turning points, but I used to long to be a shorter, smaller person, and now I value my height, wear heels of any damn height I want, and I’m dating someone who’s the same height as me (which I never thought I’d be okay with). I also couldn’t stand my hair growing up, since it was sort of a in between curly and straight and not one or the other thing, thick, and hard to deal with- but now I’m vain about it and think it’s one of my better features. I still alternate between looking at my face in the mirror and thinking that it’s my face and a face that I’m totally fine with, and thinking that it looks like a face that shouldn’t be out in public, but more often than not these days, it’s the first.

  5. Emmi responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Wow, that last photo looks like a painting of a goddess. Can’t get much better than that! I am so happy for you and your small victory, your face embrace :)

    Recently my dad said to me, “As you’ve gotten older, I think you look more and more like me.” To which I replied, “Really? I think I look more like *me*.”

    He’s kind of right, though. Looking in the mirror recently, I realized I had my father’s eyes. Not the color, but the shape and surrounding bone structure. A few months ago, I discovered that I had central heterochromia in both eyes – I have a hazel ring around my pupil, with the rest of the iris blue. It gives a greenish effect to my eye color from a few feet away. My father has hazel eyes, my mother blue. It’s pretty neat to know that I have both of them there on my face with me all the time.

    I have my mother’s fingers, but my dad’s square hand shape. Mom’s legacy threaded my hair with silver beginning at age 24, Dad’s gave me pseudo-Dumbo ears that I could’ve used to fly away as a child. The double-jointedness appears to be all my own. All of my features never seemed to come together to make any sort of aesthetic sense to me, until recently. Gazing on my current reflection, everything finally looks like it works together – but I think that’s more about what’s inside me than out.

  6. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    In my 20′s and 30′s it was my thighs, and while they still look good in jeans…I don’t wear shorts, in public. Seriously. In my late 40′s, where many insecurities are being recycled (yes, you’ll get comfortable in your late 30′s, only to enter the perimenopausal years and go through it all again…but smarter than before)…well, my boobs are suddenly not the fabulous mounds they used to be and that has bothered me. If this had happened in my 20′s I would’ve gotten a boob job just like you got a nose job…but it happened in my late 40′s where I acknowledge the “sigh, darn” factor. Fortunately, I am a little smarter now and won’t get a boob job…my unroast today can be found on my most recent blogpost…you’ll find a video of my boobies, hanging out (clothed of course) and laughing!

  7. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    by the way, your nose is cool…and your ears are adorable!

  8. Also Kate responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I am slowly, slooooowly starting to not hate my thighs as hard as I once did. They are large! They have muscle on the outer parts (yay!) and soft bulges of fat on the inner parts (boo). They are not woman-sized thighs, if you would believe the magazines about the sleek, impossibly-smallness of the ideal woman’s thigh. They smoosh when I sit down until they are so wide I’m sure everyone in the room is just flabbergasted at their largeness.

    BUT – they also allow me to maneuver from place to place via walking, running, biking, climbing, skipping, puddle-jumping, dancing, and a whole other variety of ways to move. And for that, I suppose strong, sturdy thighs with some built-in extra calorie storage are probably nicer to have than sleek, impossibly small ones.

    That last picture is stunning.

  9. Deanna responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Your face is lovely. Have you ever noticed how ‘blah’ some of the women we consider beautiful really are. I tend to really notice faces. I think we focus on features in other people that we are not crazy about ourselves. I notice hair and faces. I also notice that women who are considered to be sexy and beautiful are often, IMO, very plain. It takes a man with considerable character (Bear…for example) to notice a woman who is truly beautiful. My husband too. I would never grace the cover of a magazine and I can’t even get an article published in the journal of my expertise (even though those with much much less experience than I do get published because they are young, perky and usually blonde)because my face is so far from traditional. We are, on the other hand, highly unforgettable. :-)

  10. Isabel responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    I think for me it is my nose as well, at least it’s the one thing I seem to have come to terms with. I have a very ‘prominent’ or ‘distinct’ nose as my family would put it. But honestly, it’s just big. I used to get teased about how big it was in junior high. I had an option to get plastic surgery on my nose, because they already had to fix my deviated septum. I’m so glad I didn’t take that opportunity.

    Now, I look in the mirror, and I like my nose. It makes me unique and helps me stand apart from all those women with cute button noses.

    There’s many other things that I have not come to terms with about my appearance, but I hope one day I can look in the mirror and love all of me, not just certain parts.

  11. katilda responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    i used to hate my skinny, stickly legs so i hid them under pants that were too big for me or long skirts. when i started running last year, i gradually became more comfortable with wearing less clothing on my lower appendages (because really, who wants to run in knee-length basketball shorts?). Anyway, this comfortable-with-myself-in-spandex spurred some kind of newfound confidence in my stickly legs…i still think my knees are terribly knobby and that the bones stick out in the wrong places on my ankles and feet, but i’m surprised by how many compliments i get on my legs when i’m not hiding them away.

  12. Natasha responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Why is it that we alway see something negative about ourselves that nobody else can see?
    When I saw your first picture I thought “Oh how pretty and romantic looking!” and the last one definitely made me think “Greek maiden statue” and also reminded me of that Leonardo Da Vinci picture that was on Ever After. I can see- if you resemble that grandmother- why her husband would have considered her beautiful.
    I’m glad you’ve gotten to the point where you’re starting to be fine with your nose. :)

    For me, I used to hate my profile because I have an underbite and it makes me look like I don’t have much of a chin and my forehead goes back a lot from my eyebrows. But I decided a while back that I like my profile because it’s unique and has character. I even sometimes find it beautiful.

  13. tirzahrene responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    My hair. I go up and down with a lot of things (hello, cellulite, I know you’re here to stay so I might as well own you because you’re ALL MINE and I refuse to hate on me any more than I have to, plus I love seeing other people with the courage to be imperfect so I should probably try to BE one of those people) but my hair is the hardest thing for me. It’s never been the hair I would want, ever.

    And then I didn’t like it so much I got it cut shorter and shorter and hey, whaddaya know, it looks GOOD this way! It’s striking. It’s interesting. It’s a little in-your-face. It’s easy. I can dye it five colors in one year and it forgives me because it’s all been cut off already so I’m not damaging the same hair too many times in a row.

    And now I’ve got a new (and embarrassingly expensive) shampoo that makes my hair feel awesome in a way it’s never felt awesome in its life, and I’m interested to see how long this will last (in time and hair length both!). But either way, I don’t hate my hair when I give it a good environment to do its thing.

  14. tirzahrene responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    PS I always wanted a bump on my nose, like yours, like my mom’s nose. My nose kinda does the opposite. Oh well. It works, and it looks like a nose, and hey, all noses are weird when you think about it.

  15. Kate Not-Of-The-Cake responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    I had the biggest issues with my boobs – they’re huge! And I hated it when I was 16 – I got a ton of attention I didn’t know how to deal with and I longed to get a breast reduction. Everyone I talked to agreed that I should…until one day I realized that *I* didn’t have a problem with how big they were, but I was letting what everyone else said affect me. I decided that I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me what to do with my body and am now the proud owner of a sweet pair of DDD’s. :)

  16. Anna responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Your honesty is refreshing and you look amazing.
    It comes down to how we look to our own eyes and how we feel about it. It certainly is not about how we look to others.
    I have a flat nose, with hardly any bridge. If I lay on my side and cry, my tear will flow from one eye to the other. I used to think that it happened to everyone and since learned otherwise. :)
    It’s all well. It is a good exercise for me to look in the mirror and say, ‘This is me”. My mind’s eye and my reality are slowly coming to a compromise.
    I’ve been told that I’m beautiful and I’m working on seeing that.
    Thank you for your blog. I like your Victories idea.

  17. Sarah responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Yeah, honey, your face is gorgeous! :)

  18. Kate responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    @Tirzahrene
    I know someone else who started using a new (and embarrassingly expensive shampoo) and now loves her hair. At first, I didn’t believe her, because that sounds like a beauty product myth. But apparently, sometimes it happens. And when it does, I think for a second, “Um, hooray for shampoo companies?” :-)

  19. Kate responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    @Anna
    What a vivid, strange way to describe how a flat bridge works. I sort of saw it as a music video– very moody and dramatic. And of course, I imagined you as gorgeous in it.

    :-)

  20. Kate responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    P.S. Thanks for liking the little victories idea!!

  21. Beauzeaux responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    That last picture is so so sexy!

    You really need to stop having conversations with that person in your head. She’s not good for you.

    Only conversations when there’s someone else in the room.

  22. Sara responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    I hated my whole body when I was younger. I’ve been making slow progress at liking my physical self ever since I was 16, but had an epiphany about 6 months ago when watching ‘Say yes to the dress’ (My husband and I eloped, sometimes I live vicariously through TLC). I was watching a bride to be onscreen crying because she had gained weight and didn’t think she’d look beautiful on her wedding day and I thought

    “Wow. I’m glad I love my body.”

    And at that moment I realized I truly do love my body. I like how it looks, how it moves, how strong it is, how flexible it is, how willing it is to work long and hard hours, the effect it has on my husband… I even like the mole on my nose that I’ve had since I was nine. I’m no longer embarrassed, ashamed, or penitent because I’m a 300-ish lb woman. I’m actually kind of grateful for not having a ‘perfect’ body because I like who I’ve become with it. I’m me, and that’s an awesome thing.

  23. Kate responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    @Beauzeaux
    OK, you have to tell me: Where does your name/sn come from? It’s so interesting!

  24. Kate responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    @Sara
    Amen! It is an awesome thing.

  25. kerry responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    I have spent a long time hating my left eye. It is anuncorrected lazy eye that withstood years of patches, drops, and glasses. It makes me look confused straight on. It makes me look drunk. Everyone else swears they cant see it. I hate when people tell me that, even if its true.

    Im getting better about not hating it. I am getting better about thinking, pre-photo, not “uh my stupid eye is so ugly,”which but rather “remember to tilt slightly to the right!”

    Not total acceptance, but vast improvement.

  26. Sable@SquatLikeALady responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    As always, Kate, so insightful.

    My husband is recovering from a nose job right now. I wonder if it will make a difference in his life, how he feels about himself, the world, etc. I’m having a hard time with it, personally. His nose may be big, it may be crooked, but it was part of the face I love. Not that I won’t love his face with his revised nose but… I don’t know. I have always hated my nose too, but I can’t imagine going through what he’s gone through for the past week to change it. Then again, I did starve myself for over a year to get rid of the belly I so despised. Strange.

  27. San D responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Oh let’s see, when I was younger, I struggled with my medusa curly hair…and then when I got older I got cancer and had no hair for awhile and when it grew in, I struggled with it’s straightness for awhile, until it returned to curls that I love. Then when I was younger I hated my overbite front teeth which were broken, root canalled and turned dark over the years….and then when I was older I fell on my front teeth and broke them, again, and well I got new ones, and am happy with them now. So you see the “funny fickle finger of fate” will eventually even it all out in the end, so I don’t worry about any of it anymore.

  28. Victoria responded on 12 Dec 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Kate,

    I found your blog a while ago and have been reading you since. Like someone said above, your style is refreshing. It’s honest and warm, and it feels like a conversation over lunch. I think you achieve that by being yourself, by embracing every aspect of who you are. Don’t you think? (really, I’m curious. Sometimes I feel that all those tiny choices that make up writing end up concealing so much of who we are). Anyway, the end result is beautiful. Thanks for that!

    Vicky

  29. Kristine responded on 13 Dec 2011 at 12:14 am #

    I love your nose! I would be totally happy looking like you :)

    I used to hate my curly hair. I would straighten it every day for years and still didn’t love it. This one time i got a pixie cut, and when it grew back it was thicker and less frizzy than it used to be. Now thanks to some (very expensive, as mentioned above) Aveda hair products I love my hair and leave it curly most of the time. I’ve learned to think curls can be just a pretty as straight hair and that if I just take care of it right, it can be something I like about myself :)

  30. Renae responded on 13 Dec 2011 at 4:51 am #

    Hi Kate,

    I really like the idea of writing down our little victories. So much of the time, i document and spend time rehearsing the failures and negative self-talk. This year has felt endlessly difficult but i also know i have had moments of calm self-acceptance, love and peace. I really wish i had a record of all those small and subtle victories i experienced because i know i had them- they just tend to slip away so quickly and we find ourselves back in the grind! I’m taking your idea on board. :)

  31. Mara responded on 13 Dec 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    I’ve got one of those cute noses…
    It’s not quite a button nose– it curves out at the tip a little too much– but I don’t really mind.
    Anyway, before I hit eleven I always hated my freckles. I don’t even know why! I just did– and we’re talking like, seven, eight, nine years old here. It’s pretty sad. Of course, then puberty came and I was so much more concerned with the zits that I pretty much forgot I ever worried about my freckles.
    I always thought I was ugly as a child, and I don’t understand why now. I mean, I remember all the crap I hated about myself– my feet were not glass-slipper-worthy in the slightest, my face Just Wasn’t Pretty, I had buck teeth, my eyes were green and not blue– but I look back through photo albums now and I’m like, “Wait, what? I thought I was ugly?” Because yeah, turns out I was a frickin’ fairy child.
    Anyway. Yeah. I’ve moved on to different flaws now.

  32. Emma responded on 14 Dec 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    This is great. I love that you write that you look like your great grandmother, sometimes I wish I looked more like other members of my family. We all pretty much look like strangers from each other.

    And, in all honestly, for as long as I can remember my mother has dreamed about getting plastic surgery to GET a nose like yours, she’d kill for a bump!

  33. Krystina responded on 19 Dec 2011 at 11:03 am #

    To be honest this has been sitting in my mailbox waiting on me to read. ( Things have been crazy with the holidays… ) I liked this post. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of your posts but this one struck home with me. Because I have this argument with myself on a daily basis. My cheeks are too full, I have a double chin – in most pictures anyway – my eyebrows are nearly invisible ( I learned to draw them just last summer ). My hair is still growing back from having brain surgery. ( It’s lil longer than yours Kate ) One of my eyelids is always a little puffy, thanks to good ol KY allergies… But anyway, I was with family this weekend I don’t normally see and everyone said how beautiful I was and how much I resembled my mom. My mom was beaming. <3 She looked so proud of me. Which made me realize that I am beautiful. My hair is growing fast, I like my full lips, my strong legs, my graceful neck, the rest are just Krystina beauty marks. They make me "Me". :) I will try to stop removing pictures from my facebook wall of myself that family member always seem to put up. I should be thankful for my body and my face. Noone else has it. By the way, I like your "do". Happy Holidays!

  34. Katja responded on 21 Dec 2011 at 6:09 am #

    Kate, I’m also someone with big eyes and a big nose (so big I got teased for it for a whole school year by a boy who – of course – I had a crush on). And of course that has affected my self image. But I’m 28 now and I really (almost) don’t care anymore.
    Anyway what I wanted to share is that once an art teacher in 11th grade told me that I had a Renaissance-face. I didn’t really know what he meant but took it as a compliment. But just now when I saw that picture at the end of your post I understood. That photo could also be a painting from the 16th century. Love it! :)

  35. Rebecca responded on 21 Dec 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    I like your crooked eyebrows!

    They make you look simultaneously inquisitive and cynical (in the best way possible)!

    Your nose and profile are a thing of glory, lady–strong, lovely, and un-ignorable. You are striking.

    I’m working on developing a better relationship with my Irish peasant arms. Crossfit and hundreds of push-ups help. Knowing that I am strong helps. But every once in a while…I just wish I could wear cap sleeves without looking like a side of beef.

    We’re working on this.

    In better news, today, I really love my legs.

  36. Adrienne responded on 28 Dec 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Last year I managed to bust right through my fear of showing my knees. I have found them to be unattractive for decades now, but finally got to the point where I didn’t care if others liked the way they looked or not. Ha!

  37. em responded on 27 Feb 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I wish I had a face like that, classic in its beauty, a face that looked like something or someone, a face that looked like my people or my heritage.
    My 4 grandparents are of 4 totally different races and continents of the world. I look like nothing, like no population or culture or history.
    After people have known me for a few months, they sometimes make a surprised comment that I am beautiful, as if they have just seen it.

  38. Kate responded on 27 Feb 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    @em
    I think that’s awesome, that you’re such a smooth blend of all of your relatives. That sounds like the future. It sounds totally beautiful.

  39. Maria responded on 27 Feb 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    I have dimples, the big ones everyone says they wish they had. I loved them as a kid because of all the attention. But as a woman, I hate being “cute.” I bite my cheeks in photos so that my smile isn’t so huge. How ridiculous.

    I think the problem thinking starts when I deconstruct my face or any body part on its own. As a collective whole, it’s just me. I view loved ones that way, as a whole. I think its amazing how I appreciate the appearance of everyone I love. It doesn’t seem to matter if they’re “socially” attractive, they simply grow attractive to me, because they love me and that’s THE most attractive element in a person. So, I guess this is the long way to say that if I love myself, I’ll find myself more attractive. And I’ve found that doing a sport that keeps me strong really helps. Pursing any kind of sport that builds strength and endurance has always enhanced my self-concept more than losing weight or being a smaller size. Being a size 12, doesn’t make me feel any different than when I was a size 16. But being able to do 5 pushups or to climb a few sets of stairs without being winded or to see a shadow of a muscle, now that is empowering.

  40. Maja responded on 06 Apr 2012 at 10:16 am #

    I had really, really large boobs by the age of 14. I remember going for a walk with my teeny tiny, most petite friend (we’re talking less than 5 feet tall) at tennis camp the summer I turned 14, and a college guy drove by and shouted, “your boobs are too big!” They were completely covered, no cleavage showing (not that cleavage would excuse such a comment). I was shocked. People on the sidewalk stopped walking and looked around, confirming with each other what he had shouted and looking to see where the comment was directed. At whom it was directed. Me. It was so humiliating. I cried all afternoon while my tiny friend let her imagination run wild with all the horrible things she would do if she saw him again. She’d run after his car with her tennis racket, swinging ferociously, and cover his windows with grip tape. She was a good little friend. I hated my boobs. I felt so insecure with them. The day I received my first minimizing bras in the mail was a magical day, but even they couldn’t hide all that was there.

    The day after I turned 17 I got a breast reduction. The operation was a huge success; they were perfect, and half the size they had been originally. I was a perfect C. I was SO HAPPY. I went crazy trying to perfect the rest of my body during the following year and lost about 30 lbs, none of which came from my boobs. They never got any smaller. I inevitably gained it back over the next year and a half, because 1,000 calories and 2 workouts every day is a hard routine to keep going, and, of course, my boobs grew. It’s just where my fat goes! And I ended up where I am now: a size 8-10 with a big rack. Not huge, but not very thin.

    I’m a very curvy lady. My friends hate it when I call myself fat; they say I have t&a, just like I should. I came around to guys really late because of this crippling self-consciousness, but I’ve met some really nice ones who really like me. Finally, now, at the age of 24, I can say I like my body. I’m not excited to go to the beach and show the world my legs and my bottom and my chest, but who is?! I can dress myself confidently, and if I get a nasty unwelcome comment, I know how to defend myself. And I don’t let it make me feel terrible. I’d like to be smaller, but I’m happy with my proportions, and I’m finally recognizing that…this is what I look like. It’s not going to change drastically. I have big boobs, but I don’t have breast cancer; I have hips and cellulite, but I can walk. Whenever I have to run after the bus I feel a little thrill of victory as I get on thinking, “dang, I can run!”

    I love my body. It’s been good to me. And I want to be good to it. I’m living in France at the moment, and I’m treating it to the best quality meat, cheese, and pastry that it will ever get. :)

  41. Eat the Damn Cake » “you look just like your mom!” responded on 07 May 2012 at 11:36 am #

    [...] Sometimes, after someone has told me that I look just like my mom, I catch myself rushing to a mirror. I am automatically comparing our faces. I see where mine is duller, where the features got muddled. I got the big, bulky nose, while hers is straight and sculpted. Her eyebrows are fine and feathery, mine are heavy and dark. My face looks softer, longer, confused about its mission. I can see some of my great-grandmother, on my dad’s side, struggling to surface. [...]

  42. Jenn responded on 18 May 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I’ve always hated my stomach. Even when I was at my peak of perfection in high school (there’s no way I wasn’t in shape: I was swimming 20 hours a week!), I remember hating how my stomach “pooched.” That changed when I got pregnant. Suddenly, my problem area became my child, surrounded by pride and excitement. I love being pregnant (not only because no one lets you carry anything) because I don’t have to worry about sucking my tummy in!

  43. Jenn responded on 18 May 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    Oh, and I love my legs. No matter my weight, they are faithfully slender. I should remember to be thankful for them.

  44. Amal responded on 21 Jun 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    i have exactly the same story as u i remember looking the mirror and saying why god why me
    but my mom toke me to the plastic Surgeon coz i was crying i have 0 Self-assessment how boys mead fun of me my face change little moved to another country to study msc now boys are all over me than i realize why i thought i look perfect now i have self Self-assessment that why boys want to be with me my family have big nose to start with but for some Reason my nasal collapse to mack it Worst the surgeon broke my nose to but it back in the center of my face i get depressed after coz i realized how superficial is the human race when i read you story my depression went a way and you inspired me to:) thank you u have no idea what you did for me

  45. Eat the Damn Cake » the girl someone should write a book about responded on 03 Jul 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    [...] of mine. It will be delicate and small and fine. It will never be bulky and arched and bold. It will never dominate her face. Of course not. That would be [...]

  46. Michail Romanos responded on 04 Jul 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    I stumbled upon your blog accidentally while looking up ” renaissance maiden faces”. I think in the last photo you have a stunning renaissance profile. I am an engineer turned jewellery designer, so I appreciate an extraordinary face. Good Luck.

  47. carnation responded on 04 Nov 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    In this culture, it can be hard to be different in any way, but I would hate it if surgery could make us all look the same. I have a standard romance-novel heroine, delicate, little nose but that merely means my nose is not a factor. No one is attracted to it; no one is not attracted to it. It neither adds nor detracts from my face. Your final photograph in this post is so striking, that profile with the golden light and the softly curling hair reads as classically feminine and makes me think of Pre-Raphaelite oils. My profile, with my straighter hair and straighter nose, my cooler coloring, would just seem conventional. There are plenty of people who are specifically attracted to a strong profile on a woman, but I’ve never known any who are specifically attracted to a conventional one.

    That’s not to say I don’t know what it is like to be different. I am different, physically. I am tall. I am unusually voluptuous, curving in and out in a way that defies standard pattern grading in clothes. I have very white skin paired with blue eyes and black hair. I have exaggeratedly feminine facial features. My differences are not unattractive, but they do mean that I can never present myself as average, as inconspicuous, as unthreatening. It means that I have to undermine myself physically when meeting new people so that I don’t seem too sexual, too girlish, too physical, too stuck on myself. I’ve hated nearly everything about my body that was different or exaggerated; the skin that can’t tan, the breasts that are too large, the rounded ass that marks me as female in the most vulgar way. But I eventually move past my hate because there is no other choice. Cosmetic surgery has never seemed like an option for me. It’s just been a very long process of learning how to present myself.

  48. Sara responded on 29 Dec 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    I love your nose. I think it’s so fantastic! I come from a long line of well endowed noses and I think pronounced noses like ours are so classically beautiful (think old Roman sculptures of Gods and Goddesses! My nose is so much like my moms and I couldn’t be happier!

  49. Eat the Damn Cake » the things men say about women in front of other women responded on 22 Apr 2013 at 11:38 am #

    [...] I knew things were bad when I started thinking about my nose. It’s like a bright red, wildly waving flag now. This little thought comes up, all evil and subtle, like, “What’s one more surgery…” Yeah, [...]

  50. sarah responded on 03 May 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    You look so fucking unique, so interesting and quirky The stereotypical Disney Princess/The Hot Girl In Every Movie Ever never really struck my interest. Sure, they’re cute and proportional and ya know, that’s cool but personally, I find it to be boring. A lot of ways female beauty is portrayed through the media sucks out all emotion. More often than not, girls on magazine covers are staring dead-eyed or so photoshopped you can’t see any life. You have so much personality that shines through your eyes, it’s amazing.

  51. Laura responded on 16 May 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    To be honest, I think you look like a mythological Greek sculpture. I can’t remember if it was Athena or Artemis, but your profile is a striking resemblance of an alabaster Greek god that was made by one of the masters I remember reading on. It’s wonderful.

  52. Eat the Damn Cake » woman gets hit by truck, dies responded on 03 Dec 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    [...] that, you’ll get a crease.” She was tall and graceful. I never put my shoulders back because I was embarrassed about my big nose so I was trying to hide in my hair, even though I was also cocky in plenty of [...]

  53. Adam responded on 29 Dec 2013 at 1:29 am #

    I am a 19 years old male with body dimorphic disorder and you are very courageous, people told me I was cute all the time but I can’t live with my own face. I cannot deal with my own narcissism and it’s slowly killing me! I wish I had the same courage as you do.
    You are inspiring me, love.
    -Adam.