It’s a Shame You’re Enormous, You Have Such a Pretty-Face...
Wellness & Beauty

It’s a Shame You’re Enormous, You Have Such a Pretty-Face…

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Ah… pretty-face syndrome.

It’s a blessing and a curse.

Although, of all the cruel things ever said to me the one that still reverberates in my soul took place at a summer camp where I worked after high school graduation.

A young girl name Twyla, with a gift for saying everything inappropriate, was hanging on me with a multitude of other smelly 11-year-old girls.  Some pawed at my waist long hair, others asked questions about boys, high school, French-kissing, getting to drive, and how I was able to achieve such an even tan.

Unfortunately, since I divulged my tanning trade secret of baby-oil, iodine, and basking in the most treacherous UV intense hours of 2pm-5pm, I am probably reasonably responsible for an outbreak of skin cancer among 36-year-old women from the West Texas area.

My bad.

But as Twyla tugged and braided a long, thick, strip of my “Sun-In” bleached locks she said something that has stayed with me ever since…. “You are like a Barbie Doll, you are so beautiful, well… except for your terrible chin acne.”

Record scratch.

Pride goeth before the fall; self-esteem goeth immediately after you meet Twyla.

The other girls gasped.  They quickly covered her “uncouth” statement with a wealth of compliments.

Their efforts were futile.

It was out.

Too late to take it back, too great of a wound to bandage shut.

 




 

The truth was my acne was a miserable and ongoing battle.  Unbeknownst to Twyla the talking head, I had missed school, sat in my car and sobbed, and worked extra shifts at Lerner’s in the mall to pay to have my face sandblasted and suctioned.

Alas, my chin was usually heavily masked with layers of concealer and foundation as it just wouldn’t clear up.  From harsh antibiotics, skin peeling ointments, and poisons to radiate it, my skin was my Achilles heel.

And please, don’t comment with pity… I am not asking for solace.  More, I am rekindling a moment in time that has lasted a lifetime.  The little girl knew know better than harsh honesty.  My acne is a semi-distant memory… however, when anyone asks now how I look so young I proudly boast, “Chin-acne, nothing says fountain of youth like a pubescent break out now and again.”

But recently as I sat across from a dear friend who sobbed into her non-fat, super skinny, hold all the calories, double, triple, vegan, twice on Tuesday, extra hot mocha latte… I remembered Twyla and choked.

My friend, who agreed to let me tell her story, had recently been cut off at her plus sized calves by a fellow church choir member’s “passive aggressive” remark… “I am certain you don’t want to do the solo in front of the congregation, I mean, you have such a pretty face, but you are soooo obese.”

Passive aggressive my size 14 butt.

Aggressive.

Hateful.

Ugly.

Twyla was 11, this attacker was no less than 48 with the fleshy-stretchy jowls of a 60-year-old.

Had my friend been gleefully unpleasant, or lacking a bit of decency perhaps she would have slain the bitty with some clever banter about the ugliness that is projected when someone is jealous of your angelic voice.  But that is not who this friend is… Thank you, Jesus.

Instead, she passed the opportunity to praise and handed the spotlight to Cruella, killer of dreams and puppies.

And it cannot be undone.  There were no words that I could say to talk her off the permanent ledge of believing she was beautiful….but.

Ugh.

The dreaded but.

I am sorry but…

I  love you but…

You are gorgeous but…

Gag.

 

[clickToTweet tweet=”He is for the broken and the broken-hearted. He came not to condemn. He sees you as perfected.” text=”” username=”jamiamerine”]

 

Here among the walking wounded we are not only victims but predators.  Lord, I know I have made this mistake, whether on purpose or not, at some point.  Sure as sunshine, I wonder who I hurt? I grieve that my words somehow left a permanent scar on the back of someone whom I either loved, hated, or both.

Jesus, your mercy is all that I have to cling to.

When I am down for the count, broken and broken out, you are my strong tower.  While I cannot undo the hurt that I saw on my breathtaking friend’s face… You can.

I can tell her she is glorious, that the first thing that I see when I look at her is her beautiful smile, naturally curly hair, and radiant soul.

But the attack lingers.  The enemy picks at the freshly formed scab and the hurt never stops oozing.  Battle ready, it is not I that can’t muster the strength to combat his lies… it is my Knight in shining armor who does it best.

The world in its folly, measurements, weights, and scales seek to knock me down and keep me there.  But the truth of who I am in Christ cannot be denied.

I won’t lie to you.

I wish I was thinner, firmer, and smoother.  I don’t love me like I am.

But He does.

He is for me.

He is for my success and He is for my progress.

He is for those who say stupid stuff and is gentle in conviction… and He with those who are stumbling to apologize.

He is for the broken and the broken-hearted.

He came not to condemn.  Make no mistake that is NOT HIM who is listing your shortcomings.  He sees you as perfected – the promise fulfilled in the sacrifice, death, and resurrection of the flawless Lamb.

The hurt might fade, the memory might be distant but the Lord that created you, who died for you while you were still a sinner, is smitten with you and sees nothing but His darling.

Never does He speak the words, “I love you but…”

Only does He ever purr…. “I love you still… my precious gorgeous girl.”

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Love, Jami

1 Corinthians 10:23 Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. 

You might also like: A Fat Girl’s Guide to Knowing Jesus and Dear Mean Girl….

 

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Be sure and check out my sister’s and my new Podcast, The Easy Wife 

And check out the sacred sticky Zazzle store!!!

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25 Comments

  1. I can totally relate to this post. I went through some pretty real mental torture in school. Weight was never a struggle for me until I hit 35 (I am convinced my mother caused it since she spoke it over me so many times…”just wait until you hit 35..you won’t be able to eat like that anymore!!”)
    Thank you for the inspiration you give and for sharing your story. Oh and thank you for the wonderful memory of Lerners!! I LOVED that store!!!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Thank you!!! Ahhh yes… Lerners

  2. Connie says:

    Thank you, Jami! I needed this today. I have heard some version of “pretty face, but…” almost my whole life. It has led to many days and nights of self-loathing and truly questioning why I’m here. Even at my ripe old age “40, plus shipping & handling,” the sting lingers and sometimes it is hard to rise above it. I hope you know how much your words mean to me, and how much you have helped rearrange my prayer time each day.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      I am so glad Connie. You are fabulous!!!

  3. When I was in the grade at the drop in with friends, another boy called me “Pizza face.” I remember it as clear as day…

    Those cruel words we have all heard in some way from some one- stick.

    Sigh.

    And another thing- I used to think “If only I could be thinner, I would be beautiful like God intended me to be. ” For years, I thought I was disappointing God because he gave me a beautiful face (long since aged and well- adult acne sucks) and I screwed it all up with my weight. I wasn’t huge, but I wasn’t model thin, like I expected myself to be.

    I’m so glad I grew up to learn the truth. His truth. And rest albeit haphazardly, in His adoration for my face, my body, my pimples, my wrinkles, and every possible wretched nasty mark on who I am.

    LOVED this message. Oh Jami- you are SO GIFTED.

    * I am probably reasonably responsible for an outbreak of skin cancer among 36-year-old women from the West Texas area.

    My bad.* <— LOL.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      #mybad

  4. I was in the EIGHTH grade… somehow that didn’t get in there. lol

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Love you so.

  5. You have no idea how much I needed this today! Thank you for speaking truth and making me laugh and cry! Hugs!!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Hugs back!

  6. i grew up hearing & saying “sticks and stone may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” What a lie that is.
    Words hurt, the cruel ones are rarely forgotten and we will dwell on them far more than any compliment.
    Thank you for sharing! Your words strip the veil off of lies and point us towards truth!
    Have a beautiful day!

  7. Haven’t we all met a Twyla! Just praying I can keep my tongue kind and avoid being the Twyla! Thanks for the authentic and transparent message!

  8. Bleh – I have been told some ugly things too and what made it worse was it was by fellow church members. Actually that is a huge part of my wandering adventure as a teen. Lost but now found! It lights a fire in my bones when it comes to kids going through this especially. Thanks for sharing, Jami.

  9. I have my pickings, but perhaps the best was from a man in a swimming pool in Taiwan (me the big white girl in a bathing suit and a swim cap) … “Why your body so big, your head so little?”

    It takes constant focus to take every thought captive.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Sweet Jesus… ugh. Lord, erase that memory. I am sorry for that hurt.

  10. Completely LOVE this post. Appalled by the lack of filter some people seem to have. I used to teach middle school and made it clear that just because it crosses your mind, does not mean it should pass over your lips… or fingers to text. But adults are often the poorest example. Thank you for sharing with honesty. Thank you for the grace of allowing this link up. Beautiful heart!

    1. jami_amerine says:

  11. Glenna McKelvie says:

    I have said, more than once, that I have the face that some people
    love to insult! Maybe because I am so transparent and the look of shock and hurt is written all over it! I had a woman boss in
    Albuquerque that begged and pleaded me to bring in my portfolio of published articles and stories. I didn’t trust her– she was the kind who was your buddy and friend one day and stabbed you in the back the next,.. so I kept putting her off. Finally she wore me down, and I brought it in, only to have her say, “This is nothing! Amateur! Why would you waste my time bringing this in? I have better things to do with my time! You are nobody!” I did not tell her then,.. but actually, I am someone. I am the beloved daughter of the living God and on his behalf I sincerely apologize to anyone I have hurt!

  12. Thank you for sharing this post – my heart-praying for all of you, and for the ones who “have no filter” as so many have said. Thanks for doing the link up and for always great content : ) Happy Friday!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Thanks friend.

  13. Rebecca says:

    A day late in reading….but my tears are on time…..

    and the memory of Lerner’s takes me back in a good way.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Love you.

  14. Rachel Ethridge says:

    <3

  15. I guess that’s the good thing about spending middle and high school being referred to as “hey ugly” at school or “the girl who looks like Susan” at church, and not having the support of your two much older sisters or your mother….you end up with the mindset of “This is me. You don’t like it? Fuck you.” Then you learn what actually does matter to you, and you move on.

  16. […] And It’s a shame you’re enormous you have such a pretty face […]

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