Self-Esteem Tips for Anyone Whose Mom Says You Weren’t the Prettiest at Prom

In my last blog post, I kind of gave my dad a hard time. Yes, he did “LOL” at the fact that I’m unemployed, but in all fairness, the fact that someone like me (a person who’s terrified of breaking any routine) is suddenly completely free to do whatever the hell she wants… well, it just might be “LOL” worthy.

So, in order to even things out, I decided to write a post about something my mother did that was equally as disturbing for my self-esteem.

Join me as I travel back to the year 2008. My senior year, when Miss Independent was topping the music charts and Christian Bale’s Batman voice was still considered a bold move.

Prom was right around the corner and I knew exactly how I wanted to look. I was going to wear a black strapless Betsey Johnson dress, covered in sequins, with black Betsey Johnson pumps, criss-crossed around my toes.

As for my hair, I wanted finger waves, like a 1920s movie star, so that I could wear red lipstick and pretend I was Marion Cotillard.

The thing is, at the time, I lived on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and apparently, when you go to a salon in Kailua, Hawai’i, finger waves are too much to ask for… After being told that they didn’t know how to create this classic, elegant look, I decided to trust the professional hairdresser and let her create a Prom-worthy masterpiece.

The result? A rats nest with two jehri curls.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:

Yes, I sat in a chair for an hour+ waiting for THAT. Yes, I did pay $75 for it because my fear of confrontation is so strong that I was unable to tell the woman that my hair scared me more than the stringy shit that covers the girl in The Ring.

As you can imagine, my self-esteem at this point was pretty unstable. But, after six (or maybe ten) gulps of champagne punch (and a quick hair wash), I was feeling pretty good again. I was in my dress, covered in sparkles, and the red lipstick was working out to my favor. My locks, though not styled in old-fashioned curls, were falling nicely around my ears, and I had a nice buzz going.

I went to prom, danced the night away, and stayed in a hotel with a huge group (sneakily stealing a room for just a small group of us). #Sorry to everyone who had to sleep on the floor in the other room.

When I came home the next day, I was still in a post-prom high! After a briefly awkward chat about whether or not I knew there was champagne in the punch, my parents and I started looking at pictures together on the computer.

“You’re all just so pretty,” my mom said, which is something I hear often and didn’t surprise me, “but Cienna…”

I stopped and looked at her, curious about what she was going to say about my best friend.

“She was just so beautiful!”

Okay, that was fine. She was just pointing out that one of my closest friends looked really pretty at our final school dance. That was great! My mom was being the sweet woman I knew her to be. But then she went on…

“Like you were pretty and everything… but Cienna looked like a movie star!

“Okay?” I responded, because what else are you supposed to say when your mother, your own flesh and blood, the woman who birthed you (and watched Cheech’s Born in East LA to get through the labor) implies you that you not nearly as pretty as your best friend. Like, isn’t she, out of anyone in this entire world, supposed to love me most and think I’m the most beautiful girl ever? Isn’t that her biological duty or something?

Jumping back to present day, I’d like us all to think about how this moment played into my current situation. You know, perhaps if I’d had a little more support with my self-confidence, I’d be applying for more positions and would be employed. I dunno. Not pointing any fingers. Just lettin’ that sink in for all of you.*

So, what are my tips? Never trust a hairdresser to create “fun prom hair,” drink a little less champagne punch, and remember that your mother is only one person, and you’re still pretty even if she doesn’t think you’re as pretty as your best friend…..


*My parents are amazing people and I totally take responsibility for my own self-worth and trust me, I really dig myself. Just wanted to even the playing field so my mom doesn’t feel bad after I totally trash talk my dad ;p






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