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  • I look through childhood photos. I keep getting surprised, wondering: What am I wearing? How am I wearing it? What's that posture? and Why haven't I combed my hair?

    I'm the bigger one in both pictures. In the first one, I'm standing in our back yard, that not only contained the ship wreck you see to the left of the picture, but also a car wreck and an abandoned woodshed. I'm wearing a sweater in an ugly green color, neck too large, and uncombed hair. (And now I remember why I did't comb my hair: It hurts. And I remember that I still don't do it.).

    I have a clumsy look to the way I stand (I still do). You wouldn't guess that it's a Barbie doll I'm holding in my hand.

    In the other picture, my cousin is performing some sort of land skiing. I'm wearing an oversized tee and, telling by the belt, oversized pants. Just that it isn't a belt, it's more of a long rope. And it doesn't seem to be doing it's job either since I'm also holding the pants up with my hands.

    One could blame it all on my mother being poor, but I've seen more stylish kids in much poorer conditions.

    I just didn't have it. That sense of style. And I'm thinking scared; perhaps I, despite my profound beliefs, still don't?

    I suddenly remember being at a friends home, with some other girls from class. We were about eleven years old. They were styling each other in front of the mirror. I didn't quite join in, I didn't get what they were doing. One of the girls told me to sit in a chair, and asked if she could brush my hair. I said yes. When she was finished, she said "Look Jenny, you are actually really pretty!" and displayed me to my image in the mirror. The other girls agreed, and said I looked great.

    I didn't say anything, but I was really offended at the moment. I thought they were being mean, telling me that I wasn't pretty before. I thought they were wrong, and rude.

    And now, I just realized: they were right. I should have listened. I should have combed my hair. I should have been pretty. Is it too late?
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