This quote from Oscar Wilde takes me back to high school, where I had a case of single-white-female. Maybe because I was terribly awkward, growing six inches my freshman year. With frizzy hair, shorts worn at the natural waist, and high water jeans (before they were cool), I just couldn’t help myself. There was too much going on, and I didn’t know where to start. When I looked in the mirror, I wanted to be anybody but me.
I wanted to be her. She was a senior girl, and I would pass by her locker too many times, often staying after school to watch her play basketball. Yes, she was beautiful but it was the way she felt comfortable in her own skin that enthralled me. I thought if I could just comb my hair like hers or wear the kind of clothes she wore, then I might be a little more like her and less like me. Thankfully for her sake, she graduated and I stopped acting so creepy.
Scales and photo-shopped magazines took her place, making me feel just as inadequate. I guess I didn’t realize how much of my adult life was dictated by these things. They were white noise until they weren’t.
They have since been drowned out by the sounds of cooing and high-pitched shrills. I now have dark circles under my eyes, dimples in surprising places, patches of gray hair, and extra pounds hugging my thighs, but I’ve never felt such ownership of myself. Today when I look in the mirror, I see a woman who has lived a life on her terms, married her best friend, and surrounded herself with women who inspire her every day. I see a woman who wants to raise her little girl to love herself. This woman is triumphant, and she’s thankful everyone else is already taken.