I feel pretty..

I feel pretty….

If only you knew what it takes for me to say that, and to mean it.

As far back as I can remember being “different”, I remember hating pictures being taken of me.

Hiding behind my peanut, not looking at camera.

Always being the “fat friend” I have learned how to be the first one to take the pictures of everyone else, and if I was ever dragged in front of the camera, I know how to hide behind someone else, push my rear out, arch my back, lean forward, shoulders back, chin up, and “smile”. And then take the camera back, and delete all the pictures of myself.

Floating Head.

Floating Head, a few years before.

Head still floating.

Hide behind a friend, with a fake smile.

Hide behind a hug.

A few weeks ago, still hiding-ish. (No floating head though… 20 years later, progress)

I have “such a great personality”, pretty eyes, cute dimples, great smile… … Or so I’ve been told.

Blah.. blah.. blah.. Compliment the “fat friend”…

It wasn’t until this weekend, that I saw “it”.

Over a year ago Danne did another impromptu photo shoot of me. This past weekend, as she was getting ready to launch her new website, she called me over to her computer to see a picture I had forgotten all about.

I just stood there for a moment. Looked at my friends, and said “I’m pretty.”*

Moving forward, and not hiding…


*(from Danne: “I believe my exact words were, “You’re positively stunning!” To which your exact reply was, “Oh My God, I’m pretty!””)

You IS a princess !

Mary is about four, and last month she made me a memory I pray I never forget.


I only get to see Mary about once a month. One Monday night each month my role as After School Program Tutor expands to babysitter for the parenting classes that Urban Youth Impact offers to the mothers in the community. Instead of working on homework with the kids, or being in a disipline role, this Monday night each month is a chance for me to let my hair down, literally, and have fun with the kids.


Mary and her two sisters were playing with my hair, fighting over who gets how many rubber bands, pulling, tugging, and twisting my hair into an updo that has never, or will ever be seen again. My hair at this point is knotted and knarly, and I am trying to figure out a way to divide my head so that each girl has her own section to work on. I was not successful.


I am trying to control chaos in our little corner of the room, so I give Mary a rubber band and as she is standing right in front of me creating what must have been a masterpiece of my bangs. I whisper to her “Mary, I feel like a princess.”


Mary takes one step back away from me, and with an emphatic tone, and a sort of confused expresion on her face, and toothless smile, tells me “Ohh, but Miss Julie, you IS a princess”.