It started as soon as I got on the high school bus. Did they think I needed to be told what I looked like? I had growths and coffee-coloured marks all over my face and body. It was a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis type 1. No one else in my family had it — just me.
But then, what did she know? Like many women lucky enough to be born beautiful, she couldn't have understood how it feels to go through life bearing the knowledge that you've fallen from an ugly tree and hit every branch along the way. Until the age of five, I was blissfully unaware of how my looks were going to affect my life. Of course, starting school changed all that.
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I remember the day a girl told me what all the other girls were saying about me in my fourth grade class. She also confessed that none of the girls who claimed to be my friend actually liked me. They said I had big ugly yellow buck teeth. I had no idea!