IStock_000000673430XSmall(istock photo)

This post is going to be difficult to write.

This essay appeared in  Parents magazine a while ago. The essay is titled “Here’s looking at me.” It is an essay about growing up feeling like the ugly duckling who never outgrew that phase. It is an essay about a childhood spent worrying about looking like the most hideous kid on the block. And it is about what helped me grow out of the phase.. finally.

It is really interesting that I joined FB a while ago and friends started posting old childhood photos. I cringed.  But, I feel like I am at peace with myself now. (And no, this does not give you all a license to post horrid photos of me on FB.)

I hope you will read the story and leave a comment. It was a very, very personal and very difficult story to write.

The essay is now online — here.

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  1. Monica

    I think growing up we all (male and female) had moments of doubt.
    In last question of interview with Jane Hornby that I published today, I asked her who should play her in a movie, her answer: Anna Chancellor who played part of ‘duckface’ in 4 weddings and a funeral.

    A bientot


  2. Hey Monica, I will definitely check out your article. And I LOVE your recipes.

  3. Hello,
    I read the piece and it is absolutely AWESOME!!! is there a way I can find it online so I can send it to people?


  4. I really like it. Nice essay.

  5. My beautiful friend, there is NOTHING ugly about you and there never has been, I am quite certain. I want to read the essay because I was the same as a child, so concerned with what others thought of me, so sure I would never live up to any standard. I am really glad you are over all that because every time I read one of your posts or see a pic of your smiling face I’m reminded of your beauty. Hugs, K

  6. i so relate to your article, except that i always fatter than all the kids i grew up with… and growing up with caucasians, i immediately thought of being blonde-haired and blue-eyed as the ideal beauty. funny isn’t it?

  7. Nice essay!
    Mirrors are not easy objects to accept when growing up.
    I really enjoy reading your posts and recipes. Thanks for sharing so much.

  8. We always try to measure up and compare ourselves to others as teenagers. And it is an impossible task, as we perceive ourselves as lacking and inferior. The reality is not as important as our perception of reality, and there are few among us who can say that they are satisfied with the way we look even as adults.
    It took some courage to write this article, and I applaud you. The little “ugly” girl is hidden in all of us, even when the others see us as truly beautiful (just ask your sister or your cousins:).

  9. So well written Monica. I think all of us at some point go through this phase. I like the way you have made it sound so nice. This surely resonates with so many such memories..

  10. Monica, I find your work so inspiring and encouraging. I look forward to reading your essay.

    1. Thanks, Emily. Very kind of you. The essay is linked at the bottom of the post.

  11. I can certainly relate to the sentiment. Off to read the essay…

  12. I can imagine that beautiful essay was hard to write. I don’t think there’s a person, a woman, who has not thought herself lacking in something. Your talents are indeed beautiful, in mothering and writing.

  13. While here in America, girls are struggling to be called “skinny”. And yet here you are, one of the most beautiful people I know. I feel myself finally at peace with the way that I look and feel. I wouldn’t trade my forties for anything!

  14. I loved reading your essay. Always find your work inspiring …

  15. But Monica, you are so beautiful on the inside and outside! I hope you’ll tell yourself that each morning.

  16. I read this the first time you shared it with us from the Parents Magazine issue. It is timeless & it is beautiful! You are awesome and lovely, inside and out, Monica! What a privilege it is to read your essays and know you! You have helped me become a better person, a better writer, and taught me so many valuable lessons. Thanks for all these!

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