When I was in Junior High I went through a period of being more than a little obsessed with beauty. I was a "cute" girl, with freckles and a slight build, but I dreamed of being a beauty. I spent hours leafing through Seventeen magazine, dreaming about what it would be like to be one of "those" girls. I'd pick out my favorites and send vibes out into the universe begging the Grand Power of Being (or some cosmic deity) to see fit to bestow a bit of that beauty on me.
For years I thought that I'd grow into that beauty. Maybe when I was fifteen...sixteen...seventeen, I hoped. But of course I stayed the same girl that I'd always been, just a little older, a little taller.
I can't remember how old I was when the longing for beauty finally wore off. It wasn't a grand revelation, not an epiphany that struck in the middle of the night, but more a gradual reimagining. New desires took over. The hope that I'd one day grow up to be a beauty was replaced by the longing to be a good mother and writer and artist. It feels good to look for beauty in other places, in art, in family. And there's plenty of it there to be found.