When I was younger, I saw the supermodels on the magazine covers, I saw the gorgeous actresses in movies and on TV. And my idea of what beauty was was sort of just diminished. It wasn’t even a thing because I thought, but if I’m the ugliest person in the world, where does that standard of beauty even begin? My doctor told me I officially have neonatal projeoid syndrome. It affects three things.
It affects my eyes, my bones and my heart. So basically, no matter what I do, I just will never be able to gain weight. I mean, when you’re first time parents and you’re told your daughter is £2 10oz and you show them a Polaroid of me because they think that they’re going to be scared of their own child and the first thing they say is, bring her to us right now because she’s our daughter, no matter what size she is. And to have that foundation from literally day one, I think, has shaped a lot of who I am now. It wasn’t until I was 17 and I found the video on YouTube calling me the world’s ugliest woman with my photo and knew that over 4 million people had seen it.
There were thousands of comments on this article and I just sat there and scrolled through every single one and read every single one because I was so desperate to find one person that was standing up for me and I never found it. I had my door slightly opened and when I looked out, my mom was directly in my vision and she was just sitting there watching TV.
And I knew if that article crushed me as much as it did, I couldn’t imagine what he would do to her.
And I think that’s where the light was turned on for me, that I’m not going to sit here and let their words become the definition of who I am. About a year or so after I found the video, I was asked to view my first speech for my assistant principal. I never wanted to be in front of people and she asked me to speak and tell students my story. Before I went up. They warned me if they get loud or like, rowdy, there are people here that will quiet them down.
Halfway through, when I realized I should look up, everyone was looking at me and they were so quiet and I could see tears in people’s eyes. There was a moment, there was a connection, and I felt like that whole eyes different shield was just gone and we were just one group of people. We’re not victims in any sense unless we allow ourselves to be. I don’t have vision in both eyes, but I have vision in one eye. I might wear kid shoes, but at least I don’t have to pay full price for adult shoes.
Like, there’s always the bright side. You can put makeup on and you can do your hair and you can do all of these things, but when you go to bed at night and you put your head on that pillow, you take the makeup off and you’re stripped down to just you what you have you have what’s on your inside. You have your personality. You have your values. You have the things that mean the most to you.
You have your dreams. Those things are what makes you beautiful. Beautiful. That’s what the standard of beauty to me is the person that you are not the person that you look like.