I’m not ugly because I’m nearing the second half of my life, and gravity and time have done their best to conquer me.
I’m not ugly because my skin is dry and grey, wrinkles forming around my eyes and mouth, creasing my forehead and neck.
I’m not ugly because the black stubble on my chin and upper lip is enough to make a pubescent male envious.
I’m not ugly because I have more dimples on my ass and thighs than on my face, or because my hair is thin and brittle, greying in the most inappropriate places.
I’m not ugly because I tip the scales well beyond my full-pregnancy weight, and it seems that no amount of exercise and/or diet is breaking that barrier anytime soon.
I’m ugly when I yell at my son for something he has no control over. That I let my impotence and ignorance make me intolerant and unfeeling, when instead I should be compassionate and consoling when he’s struggling with his anxiety and fears.
I’m ugly when I think or say something racist and bigoted about someone because of how they dress, or speak, or appear.
I’m ugly when I consider someone stupid for not believing the same way I do about religion, or politics, when I imagine the only truth is mine.
I’m ugly when I swear, spewing vulgar words when I’m intelligent enough to find better, more effective ways to express my pain, anger or frustration.
I’m ugly when I judge someone for their weight, heavy or thin, I don’t know their obstacles.
I’m ugly when I criticize parents of children who appear out-of-control. I don’t know what troubles are lying beneath the seemingly unruly behavior, what physical or mental issues are at play.
I’m ugly when I get angry at my husband over some inconsequential chore, without considering how hard he works to provide the sole income for our family.
I’m ugly when I hold a grudge, letting my hatred fester and become a cancer in my soul.
I’m ugly when I lose patience with my daughter, expecting her to remain a child and not a grown woman with opinions and thoughts of her own.
I’m ugly when I fail to say I’m sorry when I cause someone pain, when I neglect friends or family, when I’m selfish and rude.
I’m ugly whenever I am somehow less than my potential, fearful and complacent, reluctant to take a stand, speak out against an injustice, or to right a wrong.
Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.
~ Dorothy Parker