When I was younger, I wanted desperately to be the kind of woman that people noticed for all the right reasons, if I were to be noticed at all.

I wanted to be a muse. The kind artists wrote of, painted, and photographed.

Now, I’m lucky if I go out to do anything. I’m lucky if I get to go out and dress up and look pretty. I’m lucky if I ever feel pretty at all. No amount of likes on a selfie can change my mind even if I wanted it to. It is seldom that I look in mirrors and am satisfied with the result. The days I do feel satisfied are usually days I spend a lot of time to look that way.

My husband always tells me he thinks I’m gorgeous. I wish I believed him more often than not. I don’t always find myself “beautiful” or “sexy” or even think I’m close to being “hot.” I’ve known myself to be “cute” if anything. A round face and my father’s big eyes to thank for that, but most of the time I don’t think I’m any of those things at all. I’m no Helen of Troy. I’m no Aphrodite.

I’m not even close to a muse.

I don’t know any woman who really loves the way she looks all the time, and I wish I could say I was an exception. Because I don’t want to be that way. I want to love myself and to see the beauty that others tell me I have. I want to be beautiful inside and out, and most of the time I’m not even sure I’m either of those things.

There are plenty of days I wish I was less “Marilyn Monroe” (as my father calls it) in my body type and a little more “Audrey Hepburn” in my features. I wish my hair was less frizzy and more manageable. I wish I wasn’t so childish looking, but more womanly so as to be called “beautiful” instead of  “cute.” I wish I could put on dresses and gowns and look like a woman and not a child playing dress-up. I wish I could wear street clothes and not be mistaken for a teenager or ignored by sales people because I look too young to be shopping without my mom. I wish people wouldn’t look so shocked when I tell them I’m married because I look “Too young to be married.”

I just want to be thought of as beautiful. A muse. An inspiration. A woman. A kind woman. Because most days I don’t feel like I can inspire even that much.


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