laura thomas //

Discovering Strength Through Vulnerability


I feel attractive when you rub my earlobes. Maybe it’s because it was the first part of my body that I learned to love. I was known for my earlobes in high school. Amidst busty, budding beauties, I stood out for my fleshy cartilage.

‘Lobera’ was my nickname, bequeathed to me by a dark beauty, known for her humor and chocolate eyes. She entertained the class by pointing out how velvety my earlobes felt, and asked for my permission to rub them whenever she needed a boost of luck.

Others laughed, and I did too. But really, I was flattered. I relished in the praise for something given to me that I did nothing to earn. And that gift, before anyone realized it wasn’t meant to be mine and took it away, it became my teacher; it became my lesson.

To knowing that I could feel confident about myself, even if the first iteration looked like superficial praise from others; it would come from within later. To knowing that one day I’d realize: beauty can be a coveted gift and curse, and, either way, is unearned. Impermanent. It just is, neither good nor bad.

To knowing that no matter how many layers of societal insecurities lay ahead of me, I could always rub my earlobes and remember the chocolate eyes looking deep into mine, loving the fact that I was there in front of her with earlobes that needed a rub. A heart that needed to be seen.

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