I always had a really tough time growing up with the fact that I had curly hair and eyes that your can’t pin a color on (to this day, they’re concentric circles of brown, grey, and navy).  I had tons of freckles and a really flat chest.  I just never really felt like I fit into a blonde, straight-haired, blue-eyed world.  And I suppose that took a toll on my self-esteem.

Fast forward to now, where I couldn’t love my hair and eyes more.  They show youth and hide my aging, where my colleagues all appear to be aging exactly the same way.

But regardless, over the last several weeks, I have been called all of the following by well-meaning people:

-Middle aged

-Past my prime

-Average-looking

-Not skinny, but curvy (an odd combination with a flat chest)

It’s funny because now more than ever, I can tell you this:

DON’T tell me I’m anything but beautiful.  You vision of me means nothing.  I am exactly in the skin I am in for a reason, and I earned it, every last wrinkle and every last freckle.  Don’t think for a second I’d trade with one of those supermodel-types.  No, I’m exactly who I am supposed to be right now.  And that, in and of itself, is beautiful.

But let’s not forget that I have three beautiful daughters.  Have I mentioned that one of them looks nothing like me?  Oh, she has my personality.  She is sensitive, kind, and mathematically inclined.  But she has long, straight, blonder-than-blonde hair, a very petite will-never-be-curvy figure, and bright blue eyes.

You know what?  She cries because she doesn’t have dark curly hair like her mom.  She cries because she is petite, unlike her twin.  She makes cut-out glasses so she can look more like me.

It never dawned on me that she could feel outcast because she doesn’t look like any of the women we know.  All the women in my family, all of my friends, all of our sitters, have brown hair.

Then I had a lightbulb moment when Andrea came to visit.  You all know Andrea? She has straight, long, blonde hair.  My child suddenly had a role model.  She suddenly knew someone who looked like her.

And she was okay, which I am thankful for.

All the same, to all three of my daughters, I will keep repeating it:

DON’T tell me I’m anything but beautiful.  You vision of me means nothing.  I am exactly in the skin I am in for a reason, and I earned it, every last wrinkle and every last freckle.  Don’t think for a second I’d trade with one of those supermodel-types.  No, I’m exactly who I am supposed to be right now.  And that, in and of itself, is beautiful.

Even if they do look like supermodels.

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