Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Of Roses and Noses

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______I am about to tell you all a story--a story about appearances. A story about a nose. A story about my nose.

______I promise it won't involve boogers, or dust mites, or other unmentionable nasties that adhere to nose hairs.  And I promise that it's not about how my nose is actually a creature that detaches itself from my face and scuttles through the night, meticulously sweeping the shadows for prey to feed upon.

______Because you don't need to possess that type of sacred, awkward knowledge.

______You see, my nose didn't used to have this crook on it.  It used to be nice and straight, and up until the day that it was not nice and straight, I didn't think much of it.  During the times which my nose was properly level, there was a kid on my bus who frequently reminded me that my ears poked out of my hair in a really weird way.  I had a huge crush on him and his freckles and curly copper hair, and so I hated how he thought my ears poked out.

______To make myself feel better about his opinion of my appearance, I justified, "Hey, as long as my nose is straight, you can't really tell that my ears poke out of my hair."  In my mind, my nose made everything about the rest of my appearance be reduced to a completely neutral state, and as long as one part of me wouldn't magically grow a few cubic millimeters overnight, my life would be all right, and the balance would remain at zero.

______This story takes place in the seventh grade.  I was in gym class, and our class was outside on the football field.  A concrete stadium and a chain-link fence patched with sponsor posters crowded us in.  Clouds stretched across the blue canvas sky like wispy cotton balls, and a hot breeze whistled through the stadium.

______For such a decent day, you wouldn't think my aforementioned face theory was about to be completely obliterated.

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______In the center of the football field, some of the "cool" guys began a frisbee tournament.  Other students were jumping rope on the sidelines, lazing on the grass (and quickly springing to their feet when the coaches noticed their lack of physical activity), or circling the track and gossiping about who's dating who, because that's totally the most important topic in middle school.  I was throwing a frisbee back and forth within a small square of girls.  The gym coaches decided we didn't need to run the mile like we did most Fridays, and that alone made class swell that day.

______Of course, all good things must end.  Or be cut short, in my case.

______After tossing the frisbee to one of my friends, I heard a bustle of boyish shouts and screams.  I turned my head and saw a radiant red something flashing toward me; it was growing larger and redder, and I kept watching it, absorbed by it, and not at all questioning whether or not it would hit my face.  What was that thing?  Whatever it was, it would definitely hit my face.  It was coming right at me.  Yup, gonna hit my face, any minute now.  My gaze was as fixated on this red object as a pudgy police officer's at the donut counter.  I wouldn't budge.  I don't think I had time to budge.  Why didn't I budge?

______Wham!  A red frisbee smacked me in the face, and a flash of silver infiltrated my vision.  I heard a slight cracking noise echo from my nose to my forehead to my temples, and I flopped down to the ground quicker than a soggy pancake in a downpour.  My face felt a little bit fuzzy and numb.

______My nose fizzed and throbbed for a moment, and my friends circled around me, mouths and eyes wide in response to my frisbee-battered nose.  Glancing to my right, I saw a group of guys pointing at me on a tilted horizon, and some were grinning nervously (did they think it was funny?), and others looked a bit concerned.  Even to this day, I don't remember who they were, or even their faces; they all looked like clones in their drab grey and black gym uniforms.  Each one dispersed quickly after I met his gaze.

______I managed to pick myself up with the help of one of my friends, and the gym coach ran over to me and instructed my friend to accompany me to the restroom to clean myself up.  My face and nose were beating red, and of course I cried a great lake or two, but after I sponged the blood off and patted my face dry with those scratchy, cardboard colored paper towels, I was back to normal.

______Sorta.

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______I thought my nose was still going to be in tip-top shape other than some temporary bruising, and that the nosebleed was but a nosebleed; however, a few days after the hectic frisbee incident, I became dreadfully aware that wasn't the case.  Turns out the frisbee changed the blueprints of my nose.  Some cartilage shifted due to the red frisbee, the one which greedily bore into my face, of all the targets in the world.  From the front, my nose leaned to the right, and from the side, it protruded outward like a camel's hump.  I felt extremely bird-like and self-conscious about this change in appearance, and felt as if a permanent pimple had sprouted in the center of my face for all the world to see.

______It seemed as if every one of my facial features somehow redirected any onlooker's attention to my nose, pointing a glowing neon sign toward it labeled, "Ali's Huge Nose--This Way!" This crooked nose was a new exhibit introduced to the art gallery that was my face and it wouldn't be removed anytime soon, no matter how popular it was not.

_____ Upon the realization that I would never have a straight nose again, seventh grade me dubbed my existence null--I now not only had stick-y out-y ears, but I had stick-y out-y ears and a crooked nose.  What a bummer.  I was woeful and did everything in my ability to counteract the appearance of my nose, paying special attention to everything I decorated myself with.  Collars on shirts would redirect attention to my ears like a turn signal.  Certain necklaces could have the same effect.  Glasses were okay, but only if they were rimless.  Wearing my hair up was a big no-no; when my ponytail was parallel to my nose, my nose would seem to stretch in size, creating an unnaturally lengthy ponytail-to-nose ratio.  Hoop earrings?  Doubtful, because large things only make you notice other large things, don'tcha know?

______Everything I wore became a potential enemy, and all thanks to my nose.

______I suppose things remedied themselves over time, though scars will always remain scars.  Eighth grade me didn't much like my nose, though ninth grade me was a little more okay with it, and soon I grew weary of trying to conceal its appearance through cleverly planned outfits and hairstyles.  I could only do so much, and there were only so many different things to wear with my nose at that time.  Eventually, I forced myself to forget about it.  Forget about the nose, forget about it completely, ignore it in the mirrors, ignore it in when I glanced down and saw that nose-blur in my line of vision.

______They say mentality is half the battle; if you can convince yourself you don't care about what something looks like, just like if you can convince yourself you can speak in front of a couple hundred people without imagining what each person is thinking of you, you'll probably begin to believe it.

______They were right.

______It took me a long time to tolerate my new nose.  But somehow, nuance by nuance, that tolerance shifted into acceptance.  One day, I woke up and decided the way it looked didn't bother me.  Heck, I sometimes even liked the way it looked.  Something went right with my frisbee-induced nose job.  As I aged, my facial features seemed to develop around my nose in a decent manner, and it became less and less a centerpiece of my face, and more and more a mere piece of it.  Just another facial feature.  A nose and nothing more.

______Today, I have a strange fondness for my off-kilter nose, kind of like the strange fondness one may have for tattered books that are stained with time and a musky scent.  I yucked at my nose for so long, yet somehow it ended up being a flaw I was satisfied with.  Maybe not from every angle, maybe not every day, but I'm definitely coping with it better than seventh grade me did.

______And that boy with the hair and freckles?  Well, let's just say that his curls don't bounce like they used to, and his freckles are less comparable to chocolate sprinkles on a dainty cupcake and more like raisins on a crumbly, month-old cookie.  A very moldy cookie.  With worms and grubs and other gross, wiggly things festering in it.  That's been stomped on and regurgitated by a half-dying armadillo.

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______Is there something about yourself that took a long time to accept, or that you're still struggling to accept?

Dress: Free People (I got it for $39 at Nordstrom; originally it was $128, yeah!)
Necklace: c/o ShopBevel
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Socks: Target
Rose earrings: Charming Charlie
Hair: my momma did it because she is perfect

42 comments:

Katie Aman said...

OH MY GOODNESS the armadillo line had me laughing so hard!! I love how you described that boy. Why do we tease each other so when we're in school?
What an interesting story about your nose! I would have had no idea, it looks like a rather beautiful one to me :) I have a similar story with my right eyebrow. There is a rather noticeable line of hair that won't grow because I fell out of a high chair when I was a baby. Kids used to ask why I plucked my brow so funny and it would annoy me. I rather like it now as it gives me a bit of character!

I love this beautiful dress! The socks were a perfect unique touch, and the first thing I noticed was how beautiful your hair is! Such a cute little chic bun!

Carolina Neto said...

cute look

fashionpassionomg.blogspot.com

Jacqueline said...

what a good story...i hated my jaw and got teased by older boys for having a big chin... man, ppl suck... it's a lovely outfit too.

Lauren said...

I totally have a crooked nose too, but it doesn't have a cool story like yours. I was just born that way, and it's not that noticeable, but it definitely gives me a good side and a bad side. I'm glad you've come to terms with yours!

Kelsey Malone said...

My nose, my jaw, my chin. All of it really. My buggy eyes. My deep purple acne scars. They're all me.

Strangely enough, when I was much younger I thought my earlobes were huge (they are) and my rib cage "too wide." Kids are weird.

but yeah my big nose has been the source of the most grief. I won't always wear a ponytail either if it's not sittin' just right. We did one of those activities in elementary school where you trace each other's shadows to make silhouettes. I was mortified by how much taller and larger my Italian nose was.

We are always able to sympathize with each other it seems, dove!

Linda Greaves said...

Oh my word, Ali, you had me laughing, wincing, cringing, and scrunching my nose in pain right alongside you! Aha, so I take it your redhead crush is no longer a crush? Just a gander there, but based on your description at the end...hehe.
I know how hard it is to accept something about yourself. Although I suppose your's would be more difficult since your original nose was damaged. However, I liked your crook in your nose! What's important though is that you've accepted it :)
For me, there were (and still are) quite a few things that bug me. I've gotten a lot better about it though. Something I used to get so bothered by was my chin. Its so...prominent! I used to hate it as a little girl. It felt like a masculine trait, and I wanted to get rid of it.
However, it took a trip to the Philippines and being compared to my lola for me to accept it. I love finding connections to my Igorot roots, especially since I'm such an American-looking girl. So when people recognized I was related to my lola because of our same chin...well, it made it easier to accept :)

Trendy Teal

Sakuranko said...

Oh that was a funny and sad story too. But weel about your outfit ewally pretty dress and gorgeus shoes!

xoxo

Marika said...

Great dress, is perfect on you!!
Follow me on http://laviecestchic.blogspot.it
xx

Marika said...

Great dress, is perfect on you!!
Follow me on http://laviecestchic.blogspot.it
xx

Marika said...

Great dress, is perfect on you!!
Follow me on http://laviecestchic.blogspot.it
xx

Kiki Simone said...

really cute dress and beautiful earrings!

Kiki Simone
http://kikisimonefashion.blogspot.com/

Mollie said...

Mmmm...loving that dress with the layered necklaces!

Ashley said...

Oh lady, you have a way with words. Between you and Linda, I feel like I'm reading famous words from future famous authors:) Never stop writing please...everrrr!

I LOVE your nose. I think it fits your face perfectly. It adds a unique touch that just adds to your overall gorgeousness. Seriously Ali, you are gorgeous.
There are many things I have wanted to change over the years, including having a narrow face (I've gotten horse face a time or two), horrible skin, and being too hairy (yes, I had boys prank call me in middle school telling me to "shave your mustache, b***h....yes, that was a hard one to walk away from). As I've gotten older, I've also noticed that things just sort of start to fall into place, and I've become more accepting (and less hairy). Reading this just reaffirms my belief in accepting yourself for who you are and embracing your flaws!

I have this dress in pink and LOVE it! It fits like a dream and looks so pretty on you! I love your color choice and am so jealous you got it for such a steal!


xo Ashley

eQ said...

Lovely, the dress is soo cute :)

Energiq

Keit said...

Oh man, to be a teenage girl and to go through all of the crap life throws at you, it sucks so bad.
I think your nose gives you character and it is a great story to tell after all :D

I had a very depressing teenage years to be honest (but who doesn't?).
I used to wear braces and my parents dressed me up like a hobo. I didn't have a boyfriend till I was 17. I was that kid who was always alone and weird looking :D

Btw, this comment is long enough already, but I wanted to tell you about a friend of mine. He had a normal nose until few months ago when he had a fight with his girlfriend (they broke up, duh!) and she hit him in the head with her head and broke his nose. Now it's so weird looking, but I think it gives him charm :D

I love the cute dress and adorable sooocks!!! ^_^

Mrs C said...

Sometimes the defect on our face is the one feature that makes us attractive in whole. Check out Cameron Diaz's nose and she's gorgeous as a whole! And that Jennifer What-her-name, the star of Dirty Dancing opposite the late Patrick Swazey, she had a weird nose and went to fix it straight, she was not recognizable anymore after. Her nose was the charm actually, that made her unique. You look great, we all hate some part of ourselves at some point. I used to hate my Madonna mole on my upper lip (used to cover it with concealer which made it worst!) but now it doesn't bother me at all. The dress is GORGEOUS! You wear it well :)

GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)
http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

Debra said...

Hi Ali! I also have a crooked nose. Oh it wasn't always crooked. It was the sweetest little upturned fairy nose that I was quite proud of. Until a "friend" accidentally knocked me right in the nose with his jawbone. Ugh! I saw stars. But I am ok with what has happened. It's only a nose and it still works. :) So see you are not alone doll. Have a good weekend!

Debra@stylewisebydebra.com

Rebekah Bradford said...

Thanks for sharing this story :) I can't imagine how awful that would have been in jr high :( btw, I love those socks with those shoes!

http://findingmyinspiration.blogspot.com/

Andreia Leote said...

Great Blog ♡

† http://www.missleotejournal.blogspot.pt/ †

Sandra Martinez said...

Hi honey!! I've just found your blog and I love it!!
This post is so original and fresh, i like it very much :) Lovely photos
I would like to know your opinion about my new post at;
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Sam said...

Hi Ali, how have you been hun? I really liked reading this very real and heartwarming personal story. I just want to say that your nose looks perfectly fine, no one would have ever guessed anything about what happened during the frisbee incident. We all have physical flaws we don't really like, but I think we place more focus on them then necessary and most of the time no one would ever notice those flaws. The dress is so pretty and love the cute shoes.

jess said...

Those shoes are awesome.

t said...

Cute look with the socks!

http://initialed.blogspot.com

LyddieGal said...

Oh middle school. Does anything good ever happen then?? I got hit in the face with a softball, but thankfully not in the general area of my nose.

I think your nose looks just fine though, and I'm glad you've accepted it. It's usually fun to share the stories of how we got our scars (much after the fact of course!)

Chic on the Cheap

Christina Chen said...

I never would've noticed that your nose had any issues if you didn't mention it! I could see a lot of interesting stories that could come out of it :) In fact, you should tell a new story each time about how you broke your nose... hehe. The next one should involve a panther and the jungle, but you should see what happened to the panther :)

I LOVE Your flawless style!! Your socks add such a unique touch to your outfits!! thanks for sharing!

Christy
Sunny with a side of...

FASHION TALES said...

What a story, gosh I would have never even known, it's fine and glad that you are confident and comfortable. We all have flaws. That black and white image is absolutely gorgeous! /Madison :)

Jo said...

OMG, you write like a novelist. Like those authors who are really adept at writing short stories. I love this story about your nose. Truly beautifully written.

I don't even think your nose look odd, Ali. It looks perfect like your appearance and your heart. Ok I sound like i know you well. Truth is, I don't. Yet from your writing, certain personality and traits would show.

I'm gonna follow you right now coz I'm in awed by your writing.

Carla Florendo said...

Darling your nose look perfectly fine! You're pretty just with that nose! and this outfit!

xo, Carla
misscarlaviolet.blogspot.com

Stacey Lui said...

I like the little story. I think everyone has 'flaws' (note the inverted commas) but they're what make us unique and different.

Super cute outfit by the way!

Closet Fashionista said...

I love that dress on you! And owww, that sounds sooo painful!!! I like your nose how it is, haha, so I think it was fate ;)
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Alyssa Molin-Graves said...

Your story was very amusing :) I'm sorry you had to go through the trauma of the frisby bopping you in the nose- but honestly I never would have known! Your face is gorgeous and I don't see a flaw on it ;) Funny how certain things take a time to accept and once we do it's like its no big deal anymore (maybe from time to time but not in general). I was born with a birthmark on my nose and some above my mouth/on lip and have always had that back of my mind self-consciousness about it, especially because it was more noticeable as a kid and I got lots of questions about it. As I got older I began using makeup to disguise its faded appearance- and when I acted like I had this "huge confession" and told my friends about it they were so funny. They were like "Alyssa, I've seen you without makeup and honestly have never noticed it!" It's true that it's mostly faded now but of course I can still see it- luckily I've decided now that it gives me a unique quality and I don't run to hide it anymore when my makeup smudges off ;)

~Alyssa
www.butterfliesonmars.blogspot.com

Claire Tyler said...

love love love the socks and brogues! looks so good, I might have to do this myself! gorgeous earrings and you look beautiful <3 x

iampolkadots.blogspot.co.uk

SunshineCitizen said...

Your story was so lovely to read and I must say that your nose is a very fine nose, if I ever saw one!
It's funny how I was somehow spared feeling insecure about myself appearance-wise, yet there would be plenty to not like about myself. As you said, it is in a way a great feeling to accept the way you look and actually grow fond of it :). Plus our little quirks are what give our faces some character. For example, I love the little wrinkles around a person's eyes because it tells me they smile a lot, a droopy sideways smile that has a little sarcasm in it, the baby hairs which stick out although the rest of a person's appearance is all put together :)

http://www.sunshinecitizen.com/

Sam said...

Hi dear, are you're on vacation now? Its going into winter here and we not looking forward to it too much. I just finished a design diploma and looking to study further. Thanks for your wonderful and insightful comment!

Hard Candyyyy said...

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Adora Mehitabel said...

Stunning outfit in every way! Love the polka dot sock detail with those shoes so so beautiful! Xxx

Imogen said...

Apart from the fact that I always love your outfits and your shoes are absolutely stunning, I adore the way you write, how there is always a little something extra to your posts. I really admire that. So many times I've wanted to do that on my blog too but I just can't find the right words. You inspire me.

Maddie said...

Very nice outfit! the dress is very pretty! :)
And your mom is the best, your hairstyle is awesome! :)

If you want you can participate in a giveaway on my blog! :)
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Nami said...

I love your nose. It makes you look like a beautiful Roman Goddess. Without the so called 'crook' in your nose, you would look like a Goddess from an unidentified galaxy. So the nose gives you you a higher rank in the book of ranks. (Bet you didn't know there is a book of ranks, did you?)
Your nose makes you be you and it is important to be you. No one else is more you, than you.
Love you, Princess Ali.
Queen Nami

Ivana Džidić said...

This was so fun to read...even and maybe because it contained uneasy memories...I was kicked in the face with a ball a few times during PE so I feel you pain...

In my case, I always had a crooked nose ( well not as a child because kids have kids noses - does that sound weird, what's that expression I'm looking for- it's not kid nose...? anyway the kind of noses that seem to be popular with celebrities and that you can get by visiting a plastic surgeon)

Long story short, I remember having problems with it when I was younger but not in a big way. I remember one bully made fun of me...but he did that with everyone...once he tried to attack me but since I was 176cm by the time I was 11 it didn't work out well for him:) I sort of kicked his ass.

I think we all sometimes have problems with our body image. For me it really depends on the day...I think the best thing is just find something on yourselves that we like and concentrate on that.

Interesting thing is that I've never liked guys with small noses...I've always liked men with Richard Gere type of "in your face nose"- this way there is no fear of poking one another, since we both have an impressive sized profile? Perhaps that was in my mind, somewhere in the subconscious part?

Jamie Rose said...

Haha awww! I really enjoyed your crooked nose origin story. I don't think it looks that cooked though! I definitely think we grow to accept our flaws (or what we see as flaws) as we get older. I was always teased about my height and despised being short for many many years. Now it's sometimes annoying, usually just fine, and occasionally beneficial!

Anyway, this outfit. It is fantastic! I love love your lace dress and those dotted socks you paired with it. Such a great combination! I'm loving your earrings too!

Katherine / Of Corgis and Cocktails said...

ohmygosh how you described that boy at the end. I went from kind of terrified for young Ali to laughing. Are you sure you aren't a creative writing major? Seriously. You are so descriptive. i don't comment on people's actual writing that much, but damn. You would make a great copy writer (which actually can be a kick ass job but doesnt sound that way)

ANYHOW. that's crazy how that happened. I never notice noses, and I love crooks like that. I have a slight bump, and i adore it. It makes holding glasses easier. Just think of it as evolution right?

That sounds so painful still.

I often get distracted and forget you are wearing adorable clothing by the by. But that dress - such a steal. Don't you LOVE getting things at a cheap price on sale. I feel super proud of myself.

<3 katherine / of corgis & cocktails