The family says that my nephew Migs is turning out to be like me- vain. But it's quite inaccurate. When I was his age, I was invisible. Other boys were taller, more fit, had better, more conventionally handsome faces. The expectation for me was that I should do well in school- which I did anyway with an effortlessness that belied the fact that I was only choosing to excel in the things I liked. Who cared about math, or Filipino?
I also (secretly) wanted to be the school crush, which I actually was, for about a year, a strange one, when I was elected Class Adonis in all but one class. But it had been so fleeting that before I could revel and bask in something that I thought I never could have, I was found out to be more than just the standard pretty face and the following year, I was Mayor in a couple of classes and Vice Mayor in some. Boring.
And I think that's the essence of attractiveness- it should be natural; it should be confirmed unfortunately by others and not by your own pronouncements. And it's also, sadly, always fleeting unless embedded in something more lasting than a face that starts to shift with the years.
I never did find out what people saw in me in that one memorable year but suffice it to say that I've been chasing it all my life, because really, beauty- especially the kind that makes you go out each day with clean clothes and a positive demeanor- is something to aspire for.
I think Migs will be alright, but I would hate to be in his shoes. This generation sucks. Migs hates his nose which is perfectly fine but it's challenging to convince him of that when 'normal' today is how you want things to be.
There are a number of things about myself that I would have changed as well but I've discovered that three things do the trick- exercise, prudent eating (on most days) and clothes.
Here are some I'd like to have in my wardrobe if I was a twelve-year-who-could-pass-for-16 and with access to my adult income! (Migs would have picked these as well).