I wish I were beautiful.

How much easier life would be.

How many more opportunities I would get.

How many more people I would attract.

I wish I were beautiful. In the real way. The way strangers judge me. With the clear skin, the flowing, flawless hair and the tiny waist that everyone marvels at.

I Wish I Were Beautiful but I am not supposed to admit it.

With the smile full of naturally white teeth. The eyes that always look bright and awake. The humble grace that makes me approachable.

With the radiance that gets me noticed on social media and the attitude that makes everyone love me despite your beauty.

But I am not.

I am pretty enough, I suppose. I don’t have too many complaints, really. But I wish I were beautiful.

Beautiful like I was in my teens, when I was too distracted to appreciate it.

Beautiful like I was in my 20’s, when I was too young to appreciate it.

Beautiful like I was in my 30’s, when I was too cocky to appreciate it.

I am in my 40’s now, climbing towards my 50’s and getting to that place where I feel obtaining the word beautiful is much harder.

I used to be able to fix my hair and put on make up, look in the mirror and feel pretty. Now, though, it seems the make-up creates a patch work quilt of various colors, wrinkles and dark spots from years in the sun. I moisturize every night but the dry patches mixed with random pimple scars, that are still appearing at 44, create a distracting pattern that just makes me look older. Add to that the roundness of my body since kids, the sag of the breast and the marks that scar my abdomen and thighs from pregnancy and I am a living road map of what life is.

I know that I should be proud of my body and the story it tells. It is how we women are supposed to think. Some days I am. But on those days that I flip through Facebook, seeing women my age with tight tummies, tiny thighs, clear skin and flowing hair, I wonder what happened to me that I didn’t get to be so lucky.

You can tell me to work out. I do. Religiously.

You can tell me to eat right. I do. Mostly.

You can tell me that I am beautiful. I’ll agree. But I will know better.

In this day and age of a push for positive body images. A push to raise little girls to own their individual beauty, no matter how it shows, and to raise little boys to see that beauty is more than skin deep, it is somewhat shameful that I feel this way. It’s like I am allowing the media and the images I am innundated with every day to shape my self-esteem. Something I would strongly work with my daughter’s not to allow to happen to them.

We are not supposed to admit it. Not even in the privacy of our own minds.

But if I am honest. Really, really honest. If I could say these things without the backlash of comments that I should know better.

I would admit it.

I wish I were beautiful.