It’s so hard to believe that our imperfections are in fact normal and common. It’s hard to accept that the “flaws” aren’t real, and that ugly doesn’t exist.
Society, media, and beauty industries have influenced us all our lives. We have grown to give into the lies that stretch marks need to disappear; that pimples are gross, and that only completely clear skin is attractive and beautiful.
We have constantly been fed falsehoods like, “you need to have longer eyelashes, “your eyebrows shouldn’t be so thick,” “your lips are too full/thin,” “you shouldn’t have a tummy,” “your cellulite is abnormal,” “you’re too thin/curvy,” and so on.
The truth is that we are never going to be enough for other people. We are never going to be perfect for the media and the beauty industries. But know this: we are already enough, and we are already perfect. And even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, someone will love you for who you really are. And you might even have a couple of people like that! People who don’t subscribe to unattainable standards, and instead know that you are perfect as your most authentic self. Look at your friends, your family, and the people you love. They look up to you. They love you the way you are. And you are stunning in their eyes.
And trust me, I know how hard it is to accept your own beauty. As a Middle Eastern girl who has eyebrows that are “too thick,” skin that is “not clear enough” no matter how much she works out or hydrates, and a body that is constantly judged, I know it’s hard to feel and believe that beauty is inherent no matter what.
But the first step is to realize that you are not ugly because ugly doesn’t exist. I may not look attractive to “X,” but I should be a goddess in my own eyes. On the other hand, if the people around you aren’t supportive and loving, dump them. Take care of yourself. You deserve to feel happy. And don’t compare yourself to any standard outside of yourself. The most important standard is to be a better version of yourself. That’s it.
We are all different, and we are all beautiful because beauty can’t be explained by a set of unrealistic standards that only apply to 0.5% of all the people on earth. Tell yourself you are beautiful, because no matter how many people say it, if you don’t believe it deep down, it will bug you forever.
One major thing that has helped me along my journey of accepting myself — and hopefully one day loving myself — is following and showing support for the women who look like me and make me feel represented.
Representation has a big say in the journey of self love, so find the people that represent you, and you might be inspired enough to represent others someday!
As a bonus point, I advise you to check out I WEIGH, a body positivity revolution on Instagram founded by actress Jameela Jamil and start from there. This Instagram is dedicated to tackling the outrageous beauty standards that women are held to in order to help women and men alike see how their value transcends “the flesh on their bones.”
“Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.” – Naya Rivera, actress and author.