Carol Harrison

''You were bloody gorgeous!'', I said, as I looked at a picture from twenty five years ago.

If only I thought it at the time. I had so little confidence, was always finding flaws. Hair, too fine. Nose, too big. Lips, too thin. ''If only I could loose a couple more pounds'', even though I was a size eight.

Why oh why, no matter how beautiful I looked, deep down inside I never felt 'good enough'. An ugly duckling, longing to be a swan.

The other day I met a lovely woman around my age, in the ladies while putting on our lippy; as you do.

''Oh my god, I hate getting old !'', she said. ''I look in the mirror these days and hardly recognise the face staring back at me.

I told her my story, the twenty five year old photo. ''I'm exactly the same'', she said.''

'I've always hated the way I look. Hated being a size sixteen starved myself for months just to drop a couple of pounds. Hated my hair!'' All through my teens 20's, 30s, 40s. Then I got cancer', she said, 'Now putting on weight means that I'm healthy, and having hair at all, is a bonus.''

It made me feel sad and ashamed. Then I felt angry, angry at all those lost years of youth that so many beautiful women have used up not feeling good enough.

So, I have made a pact with myself. Tomorrow I will look in the mirror, see the face looking back at me and say;

''You are bloody gorgeous!''

I may not believe it entirely. But at least it's a start!

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