On the Ugly Duckling Phase

Everyone has an Ugly Duckling phase. I refuse to believe that some people go from cute kids to good looking teenagers to gorgeous grown ups. Just downright refuse to believe it. Because the thought makes me cry. Everyone should have at least a year, if not even just a month, where you clearly don’t know what to do with yourself – you’ve just grown 6 inches overnight and you’re not really sure about your own sense of style yet and you just can’t quite manage to get your hair to do the thing.

Some people have really short Ugly Duckling phases, and they become amazing bad-ass swans in the span of a week. Others, like me, take years.

PicMonkey Collage

Words cannot describe how much I hate the picture on the left. I was about 16 and wasn’t in any way confident. I hated my body and my face and the way I looked and I wore things that I didn’t really like because it was what other people were wearing. They weren’t ‘me’, but as I didn’t know what ‘me’ was at the time, I had nothing else to go on.

The Becca on the right is one who spent 3 months of her life this summer hiding from the world, trying to sort out her life. While I’ve been on track for getting out of my Ugly duckling phase from maybe 19 or 20, it’s definitely only in the last 6 months that I’ve had any confidence to speak of. And really, confidence is key (I know I sound like some sort of self-help manual but bear with me).

Self confidence allows you to wear what you like, it gives you the bravery to experiment with hairstyles and make up until you find what works. And it makes you happy.

There’s a lot of differences between these two photos – but the main one is that in the second one, I’m genuinely happy. I was all set for Strauss Ball, I was doing a Masters, an internship and a job I love, and, most importantly, I didn’t hate how I looked or who I was.

I spent a miserably long time in Ugly Duckling mode, and I never really thought I’d get out of it. I thought I’d be awkward and uncomfortable and unhappy pretty much forever. I never thought I’d be as happy and confident as I am today, or as much of a babe as I am. Even on the days when I don’t spend an hour and a half on my hair and make up. I still think I look alright on the days when I simply have no more fucks to give and I look like I’ve been dragged through a bush backwards with last nights make up on. And to me, that’s what marks the end of my Ugly Duckling phase.

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