I know I am not ugly. I’m no beauty queen, and there are many women more beautiful than me in every way, but I am not ugly. But sometimes I feel it. Sometimes I feel so ugly that I can’t imagine how anyone could find me attractive.

Recently someone who is EXTREMELY attractive has flirted with me. Not a lot, just a little. Just enough to notice.

At least… I think he has. I am assured by many that he has.

Most of the time I think “yay!” and enjoy it. Enjoy the feeling that despite the marital breakdown, despite being a single parent, despite the mummy tummy, that someone might find me attractive. Some of the time I just refuse to believe it. There is absolutely no way. I’m fat. I’m ugly.

The thing is, when your heart has been stomped on, and when the person who is supposed to love and believe in you more than anyone else in the whole world proves that they don’t, your self esteem takes a beating. A huge beating. And I never had that great self esteem to begin with.

When I look back on images of myself when I was in my early twenties I think wow, I looked good. I still had my awkward nature, my bug eyes, and my goofy smile, but I looked good.


See? Not half bad.

Yet I didn’t think so. I felt pretty damn crap about myself.

So, will I perhaps look back on myself and how I look now, in ten years time, and think “Sheesh woman, you looked good!”

We put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve perfection. The images of celebrities and models that are pushed into our brains every day are fake. They are airbrushed and altered, and made to look “perfect”. They are not real. Yet we want to look like them. Real women, with real lives, desperate to achieve a state of perfection that can only be achieved with the help of computer experts eradicating every slight imperfection.

I know that I need to work on my self esteem. I need to start to believe that I am not ugly. Because I’m not. My head knows it. My head knows I’m average in a lot of ways, above average in a few. And that’s okay. That’s better than okay, that’s good.


I am imperfect. I have stretch marks and cellulite, but that’s okay. I had a child, I had a life, and the marks of both are on me. That is not an ugly thing. That is a natural thing. Natural is beautiful.

I look at some of the women around me, beautiful women, smart women, with gorgeous children, and they don’t believe they are beautiful. They can’t see it. They compare their bodies, with the marks and the wobble, to the images of “beauty” around us. They compare their faces to those on magazine covers. Yet, even if you forget that those images are airbrushed, these mummies are still beautiful. I tell them but they don’t believe me, and it’s so frustrating.

But they have been telling me too, and I haven’t believed them either.

But I am working on it. I have to believe it. I have to accept it. Because in my head I know it, deep down I do know it, I just put so many layers of insecurity on top of it that it’s hard to get to sometimes. But I will. I am going to get there, I am going to believe it.

You should too. You are beautiful.

Don’t forget it.


About J.J. Barnes

Author of The Lilly Prospero Series Writer and Podcaster at Blogger at Rose And Mum And More Contributor to The Huffington Post
This entry was posted in Body Image and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ugly

  1. Thanks Judie for the words its good for men to hear how women/moms really feel inside. Your words make it easy for men to understand. Terrence L. Gallman, fellow Author

  2. jodiebloomer says:

    I don’t know if I will ever believe it. But please, you must believe it, and you most definitely are not fat my dear. X

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