Zooey Deschanel and Rashida Jones are both very beautiful women. Even if you’ve already reached the peak of Zooey-love and are nearing or have already experienced an adorkable overdose, you must still admit that she is lovely to look at. Which is why these photos of she and Parks and Recreation hero Jones that Buzzfeed posted today are really refreshing and wonderful–they remind me (and the overweight, horribly-coiffed 11-year-old that I once was) that it is possible to overcome an awkward childhood.
Initially posted on a Reddit thread called “Be nice to the ugly girls,” these images are pretty great reminders that, while it’s easy to look at the portrayal of children today (from the spray-tanned Honey Boo-Boo Child to the over-sexualized Chloe Moretz) and feel down on my own childhood pictures, which are full of round-faced smiles, atrociously frizzy hair, and hand-me-downs, I was not alone. We unfortunate-looking kids were not alone. We were many strong.
I remember the kids who had it going on, in the conventional sense, and the jealousy I felt. I was sure they’d have the most amazing lives, and I’d be an ugly duckling forever. Some people proudly show off their ridiculous (but cute) elementary school photos, but me? Mine look more like Jones and Deschanel–more awkward than adorable. As my younger sister put it, “when you were a chubby kid, your childhood photos aren’t cute. They’re just embarrassing.”
But hey! Zooey freaking Deschanel was kind of weird-looking and chipmunk-cheeked, too! And look at them now:
Of course, I don’t know either of these women, so I can’t speak for either of their experiences as children based solely on their photos. But Jones, the child of music industry elite Quincy Jones and actor Peggy Lipton, has spoken before about how it was difficult to fit in at a school with other famous kids, and how she was “chubby” when she was younger. Deschanel, too, has opened up about her childhood struggles with weight. From an interview in April with Marie Claire:
Though Crossroads was unconventional and nonconformist, it was still school, and Deschanel had trouble fitting in. At 12 she was “chubby,” which made her a target of bullies. “I was ridiculed,” she says. The low point came when a mean girl spit in her face. “I really don’t know why she spit at me,” Deschanel says. “I just talked to her. I guess I wasn’t allowed to talk to her. I remember I couldn’t believe it.”
Based on these small amounts of information, coupled with the photos (seriously, I wish I hadn’t destroyed most of the photos of me as a kid, because they looked a lot like these), I feel that I can safely assume that neither Jones nor Deschanel had an easy time of it. And look at them now! They’re both beautiful and talented and funny. And that makes me feel better. About pretty much everything.