I Am Not So Beautiful

When I was growing up, my older sister got all the attention.
She is beautiful. Thin, gorgeous hair, just everything about her is beautiful. I am not so beautiful. I’m not ugly but if she’s in the room, I am not noticed.
When we were teens, this was very difficult for me. She is two years older than I am. Not a big difference.
Of course, she was popular in school. Everyone loved her. She got good grades as well. I struggled to get the grades.
For a long time, I was upset and angry. I took it out on myself. I hated my looks and thought that I was a loser because she was the one I compared myself to. Our parents never treated her better but everyone else did.
I remember one year we were both at camp. I overheard a conversation between two boys and they were talking about the girls. My sister and I came up and they were going on and on about how pretty she is and they said something like “What happened with her sister? Her mom must have been on drugs or something when she got pregnant.” That was a stab right in my heart. I will never forget it. I faked illness to so that I could go home. I couldn’t bear to be there anymore.
For years I had a chip on my shoulder. I rebelled. I wore all black and dark make-up. I had sex with guys because I thought that would get me more attention and it did. They thought I was a slut and I developed a horrible reputation.
Eventually, my sister went off to college and got married. She married an abusive man who would beat her up. No one knew this for the longest time. He left her. She told me about it and I couldn’t believe it. I thought her life was perfect because she was beautiful. At that time, I was dating  my husband who I am still with and who has always loved me and thought I was beautiful.
I came to realize that the beauty she has is a gift and a blessing but it doesn’t guarantee a happy life. I didn’t feel good that she suffered. I love her. But I saw that beauty is truly only skin deep.
That was a priceless lesson for me to learn and it does make me feel sad that I have found a silver lining for myself in her misery. I only want her to be happy. She is a kind and loving person. But my youth was so tormented and I hated myself because of my looks for so long. I see that I missed out on so much and gave my body to boys because I thought I would make them like me.
I guess everyone must learn these kind of things in their own way. I hope if there is someone out there reading this who feels ugly or not good enough because your looks are not what you wish, you will take from my experience and allow yourself to relax and trust that you are beautiful no matter what you look like on the outside.

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Copyright Ark Stories 2011


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