I remember peering into the mirror and wondering why my forehead looks different than my sister’s. I figured it pretty late – almost in 9th grade – it was because I had like an “M” shaped hairline and my sister has a tiny forehead. Add to it her thick and long mane and my thin and short(er) hair.

The list doesn’t end there. All my cousins were, well – well endowed and I got teased mercilessly. They are all fair, including my brother who doesn’t even need to be fair. Come on, he is a guy! I am the only one dark. And not to mention dark skin tans easily. Double whammy!

And a smart alec at school once said “oohhh your sister is so pretty!” And a cousin once said “let the tea steep, just like your complexion”. Imagine, what that did to me (read does to me).

But I was thinner, so I’m still thinner. Yayyy!!! And I’m taller!! Double yayyy!! Actually the tallest amongst all cousins.

But that is no cure for small, nondescript eyes. No long lashes, no peculiar color. That is also no cure for short nails and fat fingers and feet like a washer woman’s. Sigh! My husband’s engagement ring fits me (thankfully not in the ring finger but it fits in “a” finger anyway) and I wear wide toed shoes :/

I may be able to dismiss some of it now, but I was scared what my baby would look like. I wondered if it was a girl, would she be at least as pretty as my niece. Or will she have to live with a prettier cousin too :X I wasn’t worried about anything if it were a boy. It was a girl and yes, she is pretty. And very pretty to me! But I still wish she didn’t have my hair or my feet 😦

I shouldn’t have had to worry about all these things growing up. Kids can be mean to each other and so can be the grown ups. I heard my aunts giving fairness tips to my mother for me. I heard both genders snicker behind my back about how “thin” I was. I still feel dark, not so beautiful and not enough. Add to it prematurely grey and with a wall to wall carpet of my falling hair. I took away all the mats from my bathroom – let us just say it’s easier to clean now.

What I do does not matter, what I’m capable of doesn’t matter. All that matters is what I’m not – because of things that I don’t and didn’t control. I’d feel that I’ve reversed the damage, if my pretty daughter grows up without putting another girl down for her physical attributes. I’d stand avenged.