Sometimes, life is terrible. You wake up, look in the mirror, immediately wish you hadn’t, and go through your general morning routine to dispel your “ugly.” You slap some makeup on or take a shower to try to cover up or wash away your unattractiveness, and begin to head out the door to start another day. But before you leave, you may be lucky enough to glimpse the worst possible thing to see in the morning: your family. And, if life is feeling really ironic, it may cause you to run into the person you try to avoid the most at sunrise: your beautiful, non-bedheaded, fresh-looking, annoyingly perfect sibling(s).

Brother

Unless you’re an only child (lucky you), we all know what this is like. I myself, am subject to this torture on a daily basis. (I have to deal with seeing this every morning. —->)

At some point, we all need to come to terms with it; we are the uglier sibling.

This doesn’t mean we’re not attractive. We can dress up and put deodorant on and not look half-bad. But every day, we are standing in the giant shadow of our better-looking sibling. To make things worse, that sibling is almost always a people-magnet, and no matter how far we move out of the way of the excited crowds that they’re attracting, we can never quite seem to make it out of their shadow. They make being cute look easy, like all you have to do is smile and be friendly……….and yet, when we try, our smile comes out as a creepy grimace and our version of friendly turns into sitting and eating in a corner.

Look. It’s okay.

My goal in writing this is to provide a step-by-step process by which we may accept and overcome our crippling DNA defects that our parents decided to bestow upon us. Here is the five-step breakdown of how we can come to terms with, and even be proud of, being the uglier sibling.

STEP 1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Look, you’re uglier than him/her. Might as well face it, because he/she is basking in the glory of beauty and popularity whether you like it or not.

STEP 2. SIT IN THE DARK FOR A WHILE
You could make a list about all of the things you could do if you were as attractive as them: talk to your crush, go out in public, succeed in life, etc. Take this alone time to ponder the possibilities of how life could be.

Example: “If only I was pretty like my sister, then maybe people would like me more.”

STEP 3. TURN ON THE LIGHTS AND OPEN A WINDOW
After all that stuffy darkness, you need fresh air. If you have ever actually thought that being good looking might actually get you more friends (as said in the above example), then you better throw open the window like you’re Rapunzel trying to make enough room for the Prince to get through. On your way to the window, you might even pass a mirror; be brave and glance into it for a second.

STEP 4. GRAB A CRYSTAL BALL
Visualize yourself somewhere in your future, succeeding.
Wait, what was that word?
Oh, yeah, succeeding. As in you’re going to succeed in life even though your lax bro brother or Barbie sister is currently cuter than you are. Crazy right? I know.

STEP 5. ACCEPTANCE
So you’re less attractive right now. Your sibling has more friends, hooks up with more people, and generally glows more than you do. But can they write as well as you? Can they sing as well as you? Can they draw, do math, or play the baritone sax as well as you? You have your strengths, they have theirs. But here’s the secret to being the uglier sibling; your strengths are more long-term. Soon, your brother or sister’s partying and happiness will cause a beer belly and facial wrinkles.

We uglier siblings on the other hand, have always been in our siblings’ shadows, and therefore have never seen the sun. Our skin is freckle-free, and, since we eat at parties instead of drink, we won’t have that beer belly. In fact, we still have time to grow into ourselves, and maybe, just maybe, some dormant allele in our DNA will kick in later on in our lives and we’llbecome the more attractive sibling.

We have the advantages, there’s no doubt about it. However, having been in Step 2 for most of our lives, most of us haven’t recognized that yet. Flip the switch, open the blinds. Feel the sun pour in and step out of that shadow. Over our unattractive years, we have become masters of patience….so just wait a little longer, ugly siblings; our time to shine will come.