I was born cute—came squalling out of the womb with a head of dark hair and blue eyes. The hair turned blond before my first birthday and the eyes turned bluer. We were all small babies, petite and small-boned. I was born cute and stayed that way until I hit my teens.
Something happened in middle school; I remember the moments exactly, imprinted on my mind and heart. You never forget a trusted adult calling you homely or pinching the flesh on your strong thigh, saying, "If you can pinch it, you're too fat." I killed cute in middle school and claimed ugly instead.
Sometimes I think it is great grace to have turned into the person I am today, to have lost the youthful cuteness, to not meet the standards of what is deemed beautiful (or, in my circles, "smokin' hot"). It would be difficult to say that I thank God for giving me the body I have because the truth is I despise my body more than I love it. I despise it because no matter how I nourish it, feed it healthy, whole things, I cannot control it.
But you could… , you might say. There are any number of ways to control the body I have been given: Do this gym program or workout regimen. Get plastic surgery. Tighten this and suck in that. Perk that and straighten this. Eat this, not that.
Despite our shocked reactions to Renee Zellweger’s new face, plastic surgery and cosmetic injections aren’t just for the Hollywood A-list. Living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, my pastor has joked that there's nothing to do around here but get plastic surgery and work out. "That's why everyone is so beautiful here!"
It's true. People are beautiful in DFW—outsiders comment on it every time they come ...1
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