Dear Dr. Wallace:

I’m 14 and consider myself to be an ugly duckling. I’m not too bad looking, but I’m very skinny and my shape is flat as a board. I’ve always loved the story of the ugly duckling that eventually turned into a beautiful swan. Then I read about actress Julia Roberts, who claimed she considered herself an ugly duckling in high school! She said she was such an awkward young girl; she didn’t even get invited to her high school prom. Is that true? I hope so, because it gives me hope.

— Anonymous,

Naples, Fl.

Dear Anonymous: Yes, Julia Roberts who is obviously a beautiful (and highly successful) swan these days, has described herself as being an ugly duckling during her younger years — somebody who never fit in.

And she’s not the only one. Stories of such transformations are plentiful. Please read the following letter:

Dear Dr. Wallace: I’d like to address my letter to all the girls who lack self-esteem or who consider themselves to be “ugly ducklings.”

When I was a young teen, I was the original ugly duckling. I wore thick glasses, had mousy brown, scraggly hair and was one hundred percent flat chested. Since my parents had limited funds, I wore a lot of clothes from stores operated by Goodwill Industries or the Salvation Army. I was the typical “Second-hand Rose.” I had few friends and at school I was taunted and teased by my classmates. That was many years ago.

Last year, I attended my 10-year class reunion and nobody recognized me. Why? Because they were expecting an older version of the ugly duckling dressed like “Second Hand Rose.” Instead, this beautiful woman with a terrific shape wearing stylish clothes showed up. When I told my former classmates who I was they were shocked, and in some cases speechless!

I can’t tell you the number of guys who had been “big man on campus” who came up and talk to me while their wives gave me an icy stare. I loved every minute they stared. Some of them were with the “in” crowd — cheerleaders, student leaders and even the editor of the school newspaper. Several single guys asked me for my telephone number and were disappointed when I told them I was soon getting married.

That evening was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. So, for all you young ladies who may consider yourself “ugly ducklings,” don’t fret. Slowly but surely, you will all become beautiful swans. Mother Nature makes sure of that, so never stop believing in yourself and keep the faith.

— Santa Fe,

NM.

Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.