The ostrich and the swan

I never liked my eyebrows or my nose when I was a kid. It was a time in society you just didn’t see representations of me in magazines or on TV. I wanted to look just like the California gold standard that graced every cover, commercial and lead role.

No matter how hard I plucked and tweezed and tried to contour my very Middle Eastern features to more closely resemble the blonde blue eyed, aquiline lovely models I saw wherever I turned, it just wasn’t gonna happen.

I was teased relentlessly for the shape of my nose for the first 25 years of my life, and dreamed of the day I could have it “fixed”. I wished and exercised away my teen years desperately wanting narrow hips and the waif-like figure of Kate Moss.

No matter what I did, my nose was still big and my thighs were too thick. At an audition I was told that I was wonderful but really didn’t look like a “lead”. The man gently explained that girls like me are cast as the funny supportive character, and the “ethnic ones”.

I felt like the ugly duckling. The one who would never grow into a swan but was secretly actually an ostrich. Don’t get me wrong, I think ostriches are pretty cool birds, but they are not the bird you visualize when you dream of becoming something beautiful.

He was right at that time too. No matter where I turned, the reality of how beauty was defined showed me I was an ostrich, and not a swan. I decided to hide behind a pen and keyboard, and to pour my words out to the word where it didn’t matter what I looked like.

Oddly enough I was an adult, a mom to five incredible kids, aging gracelessly when I really learned to love myself. My appreciation for my body grew out of an appreciation for how easily it could betray me. Suddenly I saw myself as an important vessel that was essential to bigger and much more important things than my own vanity.

I wanted to be able to walk and move and do more than just watch my children grow, I wanted to grow with them. I learned to love the moments I moved without pain. The days my face didn’t looked weary and low. I looked at my reflection and wanted my face to show tenderness and compassion.

The world is a bumpy place and life can knock you ass over teakettle so many times you have trouble catching your breath before tumbling again. I wanted people feeling thrown and embattled to look over and see hands stretched out through my eyes.

I’ve been lifted up and dusted off by complete strangers. People who saw struggling in me and wordlessly communicated “I see you and you are not alone. It gets better.” I began to shed my down and let gorgeous feathers replace them. I stretched my neck towards the sunlight and like a swan, set sail.







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Blogger, life enthusiast, queen of chaos. Author and star of #closertocrazy, and Hairbeast Productions. I live in north central Massachusetts on a tiny misshapen, entirely accidental farm. Life is always an adventure! Available for freelance writing and social media Brand Building consultation Contact me at to discuss projects and fees

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