Broke is the New Black

“That girl needs some new clothes,” says one boy in my grade to another, without realizing I can hear. “Some very new clothes,” his friend agrees. I am in sixth grade and my father has been dead for one year. As always, I am wearing hand-me-downs: an oversized purple top, matching patchwork-print leggings and basketball sneakers. I’m about as interested in sixth grade boys as I am in fashion. Middle school is weird; it’s like all of a sudden I’m supposed to start wearing bras and makeup and shoes that aren’t basketball sneakers.

Two years later, I have grown eight inches and hips. I have glasses, braces, a report card of straight As, and all of the poise of Cosmo Kramer. It is at the end of the school year at my confirmation party that I have my first Cinderella moment. I am wearing a lilac silk sheath dress and shimmery pink lipstick with my hair done up in a French twist. My usual high-waters are nowhere in sight. I feel beautiful and it shows. The prettiest girl in school tells me I look like Barbie and my longtime crush asks me to dance. For the first time, I experienced the transformative effect of the right clothes.

Read the full article at The Huffington Post.

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