I get a fair amount of fan mail, enough that I don’t get back to most people. I’m more than a little sorry about that, and hope that all of you who send questions, enthusiasms, and remonstrations can understand.
It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s that you outnumber me.
But every once in a while comes a letter that is a bit different. This one from Annalisa in Colorado says things that lots of you have said, except with an unexpected twist at the end. I thought that maybe the rest of you might enjoy it.
Picture two girls, both pretty in their own way, but self-conscious to the point of believing themselves ugly. One girl is me; the other is Tally in Uglies. Tally and I both live in a world where there are pretty people, like models and movie stars, who make us feel ugly by their perfection. Tally believed that her eyes were too close together, her nose squashed, and her hair frizzy. Except for my long hair, I also used to believe I was ugly. After reading your book, I realized that true beauty is a result of our actions and not our face. You book moved me to act.
When I read Uglies, I could totally relate to Tally. I could tell she was a risk taker. I, too, wanted to take risks. Tally risks everything by journeying to the Smoke but realizes that friendship is more important than beauty. When she thinks, “If only people were smarter, evolved enough to treat everyone the same even if they looked different. Looked ugly,” (p97) I was moved. Tally got me thinking more about others than myself. I had seen pictures of girls with cancer who were bald, and realized I had no right to complain.
Around the time I finished your book, I decided to be a risk taker like Tally. I cut off eleven inches of hair, donating it to Locks of Love to make wigs for cancer patients who might believe they are ugly because of their baldness. This action made me feel beautiful inside despite losing one of my best features. I realized what David meant when he told Tally, “What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful” (279).
Tally taught me about sacrificing to help others and the importance of inner beauty. After meeting Tally, I hold my chin a little higher and stand a little straighter, because I know I am pretty, no matter what anybody says and no matter how short my hair is. Thanks you for teaching me what beauty really is, and for inspiring the confidence inside me.
So you can probably see why I wanted to share that. Hearing from you guys—all of you—really is one of the best things about this job.
I’m looking forward to seeing tons of you on the upcoming tour.
Locks of Love lives here, by the way.