Sometimes I write things about my weird-looking face

I have a big nose. If you feel like being euphemistic about it, you could call it “prominent” or “distinctive.” On the slightly more complimentary side of that, “striking” or “exotic” are options. If cruelty or comedy are your aim, hurl “schnozz”, “honker” or “beak.”

None of these words will change its size, curvature, placement or the fact that I greatly enjoy seeing it right there, jutting out from the center of my face.

This was not always the case.

Lately, a school of thought has sprung up, centered around the notion that people should reconsider how they talk to young girls. On the surface, it’s a fantastic, empowering thing, positing that young females are too frequently complimented on how pretty they are, rather than the things that count, like intelligence, creativity and self-reliance. I was never imperiled on that front. Not even close.

With a boyish bowl haircut and an outsized nose as the prow of my moon-pale face, I did not sail easily through the rites of womanhood. I was ugly and was told so, both in words and by omission. I remain unsure which was worse: being directly informed of my unattractiveness, or simply never being told I was the least bit lovely. Sure, it’s all skin deep, but it can sink in and leave a scar.

Read “Learning to love my big nose” on CNN Living

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