When we're little we don't care. We have one outfit we love and want to wear every day. We don't judge ourselves on how tight our french braids are, or who has the coolest outfit from gap kids. We just don't see other people as metrics to compare ourselves to.
We spend our middle school and high school years constantly comparing ourselves to other girls. We think we are never pretty, popular or liked. We worry about small imperfections on our faces and bodies: zits, nicks, bumps. We never see our own beauty. We are overly harsh on ourselves.
We spend our college years learning to like ourselves and the way we look. We begin to see beauty in differences, instead of in same-ness. We see unique features as desirable. We start to see ourselves how our mothers saw us...pretty, loved and special. We start to let passing imperfections go. We start to see that beauty truly is only skin deep.
After college we really start to love the way we look. We pride ourselves on the "style" we've created for ourselves. We start let the importance of looks go.
Which is why what has happened to me in the past few days seem like such a cruel joke. In the past couple of years I've really felt that the way I look is for me, and not others. I've come to appreciate how I look and even like the things that I used to hate. Thanks, in no small part to the ear doctor, I've begun to really feel pretty.
And even though it isn't serious, or permanent, or life threatening, getting Bell's Palsy at 25 is kind of rough. I do not feel pretty. In fact, I feel very very unpretty bordering on monster-like. Most of the time I just want to stay at home and avoid the eyes of everyone but those who really love me for what is on the inside.
The doctor said it will go away in 3 weeks. I'm confident that after 3 weeks of a lop-sided smile and constantly leaking right eye (because I can't close it) it won't seem like a big deal. I'm sure if I could just get some perspective that this wouldn't seem so bad.
But right now it is.