I was looking through some old childhood photos of myself yesterday and realized two things:
- I was adorable from baby to 12 years, and
- something went horribly wrong in puberty.
Perhaps "horribly wrong" is misleading - my partner claims I look cool and beautiful in the teenage pictures - but even he thinks that the child me and the teen me aren't the same person. They look too different. I mean, as a child, I had an impressive tan, straight white hair, and black eyes. In the next pic, I have green eyes, terrible pale and acne ridden skin, and dull, dirty blonde hair with natural corkscrew curls.
Bad news is that as an adult, I definitely look more like the teen me than the child me. Good news is that the acne cleared, the curls calmed down into waves, and some highlights make all the difference in the hair color. Also the green eyes suit me quite well.
To research why a cute child would become an ugly teen, I did some extensive googling and found out nothing except that hormonal changes are a thing and that facial bones grow just like any other bone in your body during puberty. And you might not want to have that baby face as an adult (looking at Haley Joel Osment here). Furthermore, the research took me down a rabbit hole of attractive celebrities who used to be ugly during puberty.
Indeed - the term longbottoming now exists, and it refers to a physical transformation from an awkward-looking teen into a stunning adult. (Named after Matthew Lewis, known for his character Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter series, who was a nerdy-looking teen in the movies yet became a handsome hunk just a couple of years later.)
Naturally, as the science-minded person that I am, I looked up every case of longbottoming in the history of the universe (aka the first page of Google Images) and found some common denominators between the cases. If you do these things, you can longbottom from an ugly teen into a gorgeous adult, no matter how bad the starting point.
Here's how to longbottom:
- Get strong (male) or defined (female) eyebrows, either by growing them naturally or with the help of a professional.
- Straighten your teeth.
- Get a defined jawline and defined cheekbones.
- Get a slight tan (a sunkissed look is best).
- Grow a stubble (male).
As a bonus, you can also get a good haircut that suits your face shape, and even enhance your hair color, although your natural color is probably the best fit. And if you use glasses, get a pair that suits your face shape.
(How you get all those things done is up to you to figure out.)
P.S. A couple of hours after writing and publishing this article, I remembered it's Neville's birthday today. What are the odds.