I’m back! I really want to hit on self-esteem and body image today because both are things I have struggled with since I was little. I know many others struggle with it as well. When I looked in my mirror yesterday I had positive thoughts about my appearance which doesn’t always happen. When I looked at my reflection I saw beauty and I loved the feeling that came along with that. It made me think about all the times I have looked in the mirror in the past without seeing that beauty. I usually describe myself as pretty but not THAT pretty. I call myself “average pretty”. Maybe I am “average” to some but there are others who see me as more than that and I am working on becoming one of those people. I hate the days when I look in the mirror and think “Wow, I’m ugly” because that’s a terrible way to start the day. There are some days where I get so low about how I look I genuinely start to believe I’m not pretty. I find all the flaws and focus on them. I compare myself to other girls and their body types and shapes. I think things like “She’s prettier than me because she has long legs” or “She looks way better than me because she actually has boobs.” Ridiculous right!? I don’t need longs legs or big boobs to look pretty but those were my thoughts.
In my opinion, those thoughts have been engraved in my head because of the society we live in and what society deems beautiful (as if beauty has to be constant!). When I was younger I was told: “Guys will only like you if you have a big butt or big boobs.” No, I have not spent my life worrying about what guys think of me but I heard that when I was just starting to date. It terrified me because all of my friends had boyfriends. Why didn’t I? The thing I noticed was they all had bigger boobs and butts than me so I believed what I was told. That was the first big thing that made me start thinking I wasn’t pretty enough. The second thing that really got me was people constantly telling me “You’re too skinny.” I know, who complains about being skinny? It’s not that I’m complaining about being skinny but I have been told that over and over again and it’s not always said in a positive way. It’s said in a way that implies being skinny like I am is ugly. I got all these crazy things beat into my head and I started to believe them and every now and then I fall back into those false beliefs. You know the craziest part of everything I just told you? I heard all this stuff while I was in middle school.
High school wasn’t much better for me in the beginning. I dyed my hair red for the start of high school in an attempt to give myself a makeover. I loved it but of course, that came with the classic redhead jokes. I tried all sorts of different things with my hair throughout high school in an attempt to “stay pretty”. I remember for our high school PE class we went swimming for our last class of the semester. I brought the cutest bathing suit I had and I felt good! Then I walked out to the pool where all the other girls were and I walked around with my towel the whole time because all I could do was compare myself to them. There was one girl in particular that everyone was fawning over. I didn’t look anything like her! If she was the definition of pretty, I definitely was not. It hurt me. I know no one set out to intentionally ignore me or anything like that but I was in such a bad place with myself and how I looked that is was way to easy to fall into those thoughts and truly believe them. I had no self-esteem when I started high school and I know I wasn’t the only girl experiencing this. I think a lot of girls’ deal with this and I think more should be done to show that we are ALL beautiful. I think society needs to quit filling our heads with crazy nonsense about what beauty is because a lot of girls, like myself, take that to heart even when they don’t want to.
Today I know beauty is unique to each person. Everyone has a different idea of beauty and that’s how it should be. It shouldn’t be strictly related to what is shown on TV and other media. I have two really good friends to thank for helping me find that self-esteem and beauty. They came along in my junior year of high school and have been around ever since. They gave me that little boost of confidence that I needed. Today I know that I AM beautiful. I also know that I still have days ahead where I’ll forget that or fail to see it. The difference now is that I have the strength and knowledge to pull myself back from that. So yes, I have a small butt and boobs, I have acne, I don’t work out and I don’t wear makeup. None of that matters though. Shape and size do not matter. Makeup does not matter. Acne does not matter. What others think does not matter. I can’t compare myself to anyone else because we are all unique. There is no constant when it comes to beauty. I am beautiful and so is everyone else and I am ready to face any negative thoughts I may face in the future related to my appearance.