How Losing My Eyesight Changed My Perspective on Appearances

I am ugly, hear me roar!

One good thing about losing my eyesight is that nowadays everyone, to a certain extent, looks to me like a model. I can’t see the blemishes they might be self-conscious about, the spinach in their teeth or the overgrown nose hair desperately in need of plucking. I guess you could say I’ve been Shallow Hal-ed. Even better than that, it also means every time I look at my own reflection, I look fabulous! Unfortunately though, it’s not a two-way mirror.

Generally I can tell if my outfit doesn’t match, or my hair is untidy, but it is not uncommon for me to leave the house with my top inside out. This is not to say that I am careless with my grooming. I agonize over my choice of outfit, engage in the endless cycle of plucking/waxing as do many women (and men) the world over, and I must admit that I’m a tad obsessed with my hair and nails. I’m not completely vain though; I regularly go out without make-up on. Although this has more to do with laziness rather than not caring.

On a side note, you wouldn’t believe how often people say to me, “You’re so lucky not to have to bother to look good.” Don’t I?

I am a person who turns heads. I don’t try to draw attention to myself (no really, I don’t) but unfortunately when you look as “unique” as I do people tend to stare. I doubt they do it maliciously though. It’s usually just because they’re curious and possibly because they lack basic manners.

It used to really bother me. As a child I would notice the staring — how could I not — yet I could never quite work out what the fascination was. Naturally if I asked anyone why people stared, no one actually said “it’s because you’re funny-looking” and I never realized. It was a very confusing time.

I am in no way suggesting that anyone needs to be unnecessarily mean to children, but sometimes a little bit of hard truth can be helpful. Otherwise they end up like the poor souls you see on “The X Factor.” You know, the ones who have always been told by their loved ones that their wailing sounds angelic, only to be shot down in flames by people without the rose-covered ear drums on national TV. Thank goodness I never had the desire to audition for Australia’s Next Top Model!

These days the staring doesn’t bother me. This is mainly because now I can’t see it happening (another perk) but also because now I actually don’t mind how I look. Yes, being stared at is annoying and at times can get a bit uncomfortable, but if you’re with me and I don’t notice it, you don’t need to either. Pointing it out is not helpful. If it makes you uncomfortable then I’m sorry, but that’s your problem not mine.

If you want to help, feel free to tell me if I’ve got something in my teeth, snot hanging out of my nose or something in my hair. I can handle people staring because they think I’m ugly, but spinach in my teeth — now that’s just embarrassing!

Read more on Inner Musings of a Funny Looking Kid.

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Thinkstock photo by As3D.


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