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  • "It's strange; you reach an age... and you look worse than ever, but you like yourself more." Friends predicted that eventually I too would make peace with my looks. If growing up is giving up, the possibility of surrender only redoubled my steadfastness. Peace, surrender, war. I certainly was at war.

    My right eyebrow arches higher than my left. I work to hide it through careful shaping, penciling and trimming. My expression is quizzical regardless.

    It was never the thing I hated most about myself, but then again, it was hard to pinpoint exactly what was. My entire face is off kilter, down to the placement of my ears and the shape of my nostrils. I am the only one who has invested enough time looking at me to put this into words, but the overall impression is readily attainable. I put it down to wonky, asymmetrical and 'less attractive than...' Although most people would nicely frame it as 'quirky.'

    The energy spent in bringing myself up to par combined with the frustration tied to the futility of the task resulted in self-hatred that raged deep into my twenties. My displeased face etched more unflattering lines into place.

    Recently, mid-morning routine, I paused to evaluate my eyebrows. There was no surrender, no peacemaking. I had simply embraced them as fact. My face was just as off as ever, but I recognized it as at the very least signature, possibly even beautiful when lit by joy. It was a small victory, but no less felt.
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