“That was life altering,” Kudrow tells The Saturday Evening Post. “I went from, in my mind, hideous, to not hideous. I did it the summer before going to a new high school. So there were plenty of people who wouldn’t know how hideous I looked before. That was a good, good, good change.”
This change in Kudrow’s appearance was greatly affected by her experience in junior high school. After two of her friends decided they no longer wanted to be friends with her, she knew a transformation was in order.
“That happened in seventh grade when we moved from sixth grade to a new school. So they knew some people, and I didn’t. Eventually they just got tired of me being a tag-along,” she says. “They said, ‘For your own good, you need to see what would happen if we weren’t here.’ It was really brutal. Very hard.”
Needless to say, Kudrow had a pretty rough experience in middle school. She says, “It was just mean. And all of junior high felt upside down to me. It was not, like, the nice people who were popular; it wasn’t the most entertaining people — it was the meanest people who were popular. … When my friends dropped me I was asking my parents, ‘What did I do?’ And my father would say, ‘F ’em.” His answer to everything. And my mother would say, ‘You can’t do that.'”
Ultimately it was Kudrow’s family who rescued her during those hard years. Her older sister Helene, who is seven years older than she is, would come spend time with her younger sister so she wasn’t alone on half days when the other kids would hang out together.
“That’s extraordinary to me,” Kudrow recalls. “It was just very generous of her to be so sensitive and aware, even though there was nothing anyone could do.”