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I know you've heard it all before, but growing up ugly in America really does suck. Being obese, I was (literally) in the thick of it, and my cheaply-framed, plastic, bulletproof glasses didn't hurt either. By sixth grade my peers had figured out to make fun of me, and by eighth grade I had figured out that I wanted, I needed to escape. But I was too young for suicidal high-school angst trips, and much too young for later fantasies of leaving town forever or undergoing an amnesiac. Instead, I had absorbed a Nova episode about genetics, and decided on a perfect way to fix humanity so nobody would ever suffer the same flavor of needless pain that I had.

Simply put, I wanted all people to look the same.

Mind you, even then I grasped the power of diversity. I knew that if everybody had the same genetic make up, not only would we be vulnerable to disease, but our society would tend towards stagnation. Instead, I wanted only the external characteristics to change, leaving mind and body systems wonderfully diverse. It was no wish for a government-mandated master race either, I realized only evil could come of forcing people to do drastic changes against their will.

Instead, parents-to-be would voluntarily take a pill before conception, and the baby would be born physiologically mirroring all other babies born with the process. They would grow into smooth brown skinned, muscular, thick-haired, strong adults. Each of them outwardly identical but different, beautiful, perfect people inwardly. No child would ever have to grow up fat. No child would ever have the big forehead and dull eyes look. No child would have to walk with a painful leg brace or chew with a mouth full of steel. No child would ever again be called pizzaface, halfbreed, lardass, firecrotch, foureyes, or any other hateful word that can be applied based on appearance alone. I prophesied a net loss in worldwide hate, if only I could convince everybody it was a good idea.

Of course, later I figured out all the reasons my fantasy was stupidity, that's what growing up does to you. First, most people are very, very attached to the way they look, often times despite others' disdain -- they would never go for the idea. Plus, the same rule goes for children, everybody wants to see their kids get grandmother's chin or father's eyes or whatever. Also, genetics was nowhere near advanced enough to accomplish the goal, and probably never would be.

So, gradually, the thought disappeared from my consciousness, replaced by other things, more personal solutions to my problems. Still, every once in a while I see spiteful kids giggling and pointing at a three-hundred pound woman, or a little boy picking the pieces of his glasses up off the ground, and it suddenly reminds me. I think about how much easier life would be for everybody, how much less damage we'd all do to each other, if we all looked alike.

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