sixth grade was not a good time for me. i had curly hair, thick bangs, acne and majorly crooked teeth. and, like every other sixth grader i had a major crush on a cute boy. he never liked me back, though. he preferred the tall blonde girl who always wore sparkly pink lip gloss and who could start a conversation in the blink of an eye. I was crushed when I found out I didn’t have a chance. I guess he didn’t like me because I had an obnoxious laugh and I sucked in math class, and I enjoyed spending time with my dog more than anything else.
seventh grade was somewhat better even though my acne got worse. and since we were in the middle of junior high our teachers must’ve decided it was time to talk about the birds and the bees in health class. and, along with the birds and the bees came the talk of puberty. our teacher made it clear what the signs of puberty were, for whatever reason. “some signs include voice changes and acne.” acne. i cringed at the word.
after class, i walked with my head down, trying to hide my red blemishes that covered my chin. i kept it down while opening up my locker at the end of the day. i grabbed my books and put them inside my book bag, but i guess my curly haired classmate didn’t seem to notice my sad look. either that or he didn’t care. he came up beside me and leaned on the lockers. “hey emily!” he yelled. i looked up, frustrated that i couldn’t hide my blemishes anymore. He said, “i know that you started puberty already because you have zits all over your face.” He walked away and my eyes swelled with tears. I felt ugly.
high school was better. my acne was mostly gone thanks to antibiotics and proactiv. I was still the minority, though. I didn’t drink so I was a party pooper. I didn’t sleep around either, so I was a prude. I didn’t have a designer purse or drove a BMW so I was poor. I wasn’t a cheerleader and I didn’t look like a model, so I was considered average. I had spent the four years of my high school career wondering what was wrong with me, or what I should change about myself to get people to like me. Maybe if I wore my hair like this, so and so would like me. Why don’t boys want to date me?
looking back know those thoughts and the people who made me feel that way, are in fact, excuse my french, extremely shitty.
now as a 20 year old i am probably one of the quirkiest people that have ever lived and i’m perfectly content. i think back to the sixth grade and the boy who didn’t like me back. now i think of it as his loss. and to the tall blonde girl with sparkly lip gloss I am glad that I wasn’t here. I would never want to look like a barbie doll. I look back at myself at my locker in the seventh grade, with pimples and all. If I could talk to the seventh grade me I would tell her that having pimples doesn’t lessen your self worth. Having insecurities about yourself and overcoming them helps make you a stronger person.
but mostly I would talk to the high school me and I would shake some sense into her. let people think what they want to think. if they are going to make assumptions about you without even knowing you, then they aren’t worth having in your life anyways. if you don’t want to having a beer, then you don’t have one. you don’t sleep around because you have self respect. and who cares if you don’t have a coach purse I am sure that the one you have is just as good. and who cares if you aren’t stick thin. you’re you and that’s all you can be.
20 years old and i am still figuring out the world, even if i am a few years behind. i am completely happy with who i am as a person. i wish what i know now, i could’ve known in high school. I probably would’ve laughed more. I probably would’ve done things for my own benefit instead of for other people – of whom i didn’t even like to begin with. truth is, people are always going to talk about you. you just need to stay true to yourself. in the end your happiness is all that matters. just remember to always love yourself and silence everyone else’s nasty words.