In these past few weeks I stumbled across articles on bullying in my FB newsfeed, a topic I never gave that much thought because I hadn’t gone through such severe bullying nor did any of my friends or family. It just isn’t something that I’m familiar with, which is probably why I couldn’t relate to Mean Girls on a level that others did. ‘Others’ being those who start forums on movie websites with comments on how their high school experience was similar to that in the film.
But then I thought of when I was younger and was really insecure. It was an age where everyone else’s opinion mattered more than my own. All of you know about the infamous lip jokes because I poke, pun intended, fun at them too. There was a time where it really bothered me, being called ‘upside down mouth’ because my top lip is fuller than my bottom. Being told not to eat certain foods because they’d make my lips bigger [I actually believed that.] Not being able to eat lollipops at school like everyone else because it would make my lips take up more than half of my face. The only reason it bothered me was because everyone else, namely female classmates and family, would go on and on about it like I was some abnormal space alien. I even went as far as to not wear any lip gloss on my lips because my uncle did a double take and asked, “Did you pump your lips up at the gas station?’ I was only 12 years old at the time but I remember that so vividly, I guess that just goes to show how much it affected me.
To make matters worse [for a 12 year old that is] I had a huge crush back then on my now husband. And of course was too insecure to say anything. I had a bad habit of covering my mouth with my hand, especially when I’d laugh. I really don’t know what’s worse, having your hand cover your mouth for the majority of the day or removing your hand from your mouth only to reveal lips disproportionate to ones face.
Thing is, before all of those comments I actually liked my lips. I liked that they were different. I even liked my bug eyes. I remember asking my grandma if she liked how she looked and she said yes, when I asked her why she said, quite matter-of-factly, that it’s because God made her look that way. Now I know a lot of people say that there’s nothing wrong with cosmetic surgery, but I wonder what makes people unhappy with their looks in the first place. Whether we just wake up one day and decide to find fault with ourselves or whether it’s because of what other people tell us or because of what we see on TV and in magazines. And then realization hits, that because we don’t look like that then surely we must look like creatures from the black lagoon.
I got over my insecurity though, maybe I got tired of lying and telling people that I got stung by a bee and my lips just stayed that way. Or maybe I got to the point where I just didn’t give a damn, especially since I was only 12 years old and lip reduction surgery was out of the question. But what I noticed is that those girls couldn’t say anything anymore, because it was obvious that it didn’t bother me like they wanted it to.
I don’t know what I would be like if I was still as insecure as I was back then, but I doubt I would have turned out to be the opinionated and verbose person that I am today. And hell if I’d want to be anyone different, pouty lips and all.