We are hard on ourselves. An entire beauty industry profits off of our lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. The industry doesn’t want you to love yourself.
Who do you want to be? Well, you can be anyone. You want boobs like Scarlett Johansson? There’s a push-up bra for that. You want curves like Beyonce? There’s a bubble-butt work out for that.
Tanning beds, makeup, pimple creams, perms, butt pads… No amount of those things can make your pretty. They might make you feel pretty. They might get you noticed by employers, the opposite sex or construction workers (ha construction workers are now a different species altogether). But they don’t make you pretty.
They cover you up and hide you. They certainly can’t make you love yourself or, more importantly, be content with who you are.
Personal Journey to Being Content With Myself
I started shaving my legs in fifth grade. My mom didn’t hand me a razor and teach me what it was to be a woman or anything. The other kids started making fun of me, so I asked if I could start shaving. I do have wooly mammoth legs.
When I got to middle and high school, younger, no-filter type kids started asking me why I had a mustache. I remember being a helper on a bus full of children, and one of them pointed at my upper lip and shrieked that I had a mustache so was I a boy? I stared blankly at the little gremlin and decided it was time to start waxing the stache.
One time, while in college, I was sitting at a lunch table with a group of friends. I was wearing a shirt that didn’t cover all the way to my chin (which was my norm), and this stupid ass boy pointed directly at my chest and said, “What is that?”
So I looked down and, seeing nothing, said, “I don’t see anything.”
To which he intelligently responded, “Oh, is that hair on your chest?”
Dead. I was literally mortified. When I got back to my dorm, I looked at my chest in the mirror and I had like three tiny hairs. I immediately plucked them out, shaved my whole body and plucked my eyebrows for good measure. You better believe I was back to my turtle necks the next day. My self-confidence plummeted.
It’s kinda funny now. I mean what kind of stupid idiot says that kind of thing to someone? He had to have been totally clueless about women in every way. (Also, he and I were pretty good friends, so I hope he reads this one day. I forgive you, my friend, and I trust you aren’t so stupid anymore. After all, you’re married, and I’m assuming you found out your wife has hair on her body.)
Anyway, throughout my life I have dealt with my self-image in one of two different ways. I either dress like a bag (sweatpants and a hoodie with no makeup and hair in a dirty ponytail), or I go over the top (full face of makeup, a two-hour hairdo and a carefully planned, stylish outfit).
I’ve never carried myself in either of these ways because I like myself. I do it because I don’t. Right now is probably the closest I’ve ever been to dressing the way I want to out of place of liking myself. And the only reason I am to this point is because I try to remember these six things.
6 Things to Remember About Who You Are and Why You Should Love Yourself
1. Why Do You Love Babies?
You love babies because they exist. They’ve never done anything special. Usually, they do gross, not pretty things, but you love them anyway. Babies are an opportunity for goodness and light. They have potential, and we love them.
You are the same way. You exist and that is darling. The opportunities are endless for your life. You have potential. Love yourself because you exist. Love yourself because you can do good in this world.
My husband has helped me understand this. Jordan loves me because I exist. He doesn’t care if my legs are hairy or my hair is done (granted he did tell me one time that my hair was so crazy it was almost stylish). He loves my insides. Loves me for who I am.
2. Media is a Big Fat Liar
Pretty online is not pretty in real life. Everyone has an unflattering angle, even the size-zero-model girls. Everyone has bad days, selfish thoughts, and boring parts of life.
And we don’t all have access to professional lighting. All those pictures that look amazing – it’s the lighting. Your dingy, normally lit bathroom just won’t ever make your face look as good as someone in a professionally lit photo.
3. How Many Ugly People Actually Exist?
Ha, I know this kinda sounds like I’m saying, “don’t worry, you’re not ugly.” And your saying, “Wow thanks, so glad I’m not ugly.” It doesn’t sound like a great complement. But it is.
Think about it. Most people are not ugly. Most people are 100% normal looking. I don’t know a real percentage, but in my experience, 80% of people are not gorgeous and are not hideous. They are just normal and that’s ok.
And a lot of the gorgeous people aren’t actually gorgeous, they just prep themselves for hours and hours to look flawless and symmetrical. That’s not beauty. Once they take all those layers off, guess what? They look totally normal.
I’ve really only met a couple outwardly ugly people in my life. One girl went to my middle school, and, poor thing, she was ugly. She looked like Shrek. But most people aren’t like that. They may look rough or dirty or poor or unhealthy or overweight or anorexic, but they aren’t ugly.
4. Envy Sours the Heart
Envy is often associated with negative emotions. If someone envy’s you, they are that much closer to resenting you, which leads to dislike, which leads to hate. If you envy someone, you may find yourself going down that same path.
That’s why it’s always more healthy to just be content and love yourself. Love who you are and don’t worry about that girl with the perfect eyebrows.
Of course, if you have flawless eyebrows or perfect makeup or no blemishes, that doesn’t mean people will hate you. But if you’re insides aren’t pretty, they might.
5. Your Eyes are Big Fat Liars
You know those women who have like one tiny zit, and they complain about it for days? Have you ever been one of them? I think we all have.
The thing is, what you see in the mirror is simply not the truth. I don’t know why, but we have difficulty seeing ourselves for how we are physically. We might have all the self-awareness in the world, but in the mirror we’re pudgy, zitty, triple-necked, trunk-legged people.
Let me tell you something. Unless you are just freaking ratchet, other people don’t see you the way you see yourself. You look much better to them than you do to you.
Let’s reverse the example for a second. Short of someone have a clinical acne issue where their face looks like a brick wall, are you ever been phased by someone’s ache? No!
Do you give a second thought to someone who is 20 pounds overweight when they pass you on the street? No.
All that to say, no one is looking at you with the scrutiny that you are looking at you. Nobody cares about your zit or your extra weight or your frizzy hair (though I do have a pet peeve when people straighten their hair and miss a big piece in the back. Really? If you’re going to take the extra time to use that straightener, then you better pay enough attention to get rid of that ripple!)
Just don’t trust your eyes. They are liars. Love yourself despite what you see in the mirror. If you need a reminder that you are enough, I have something just for you! Drop your name and email below to get my free you-are-enough printable:
6. Who Are You on the Inside?
So if you can’t trust your eyes, what can you trust?
Trust who you are.
You know what I don’t do anymore? I don’t wax my mustache or pluck my eyebrows (or shave my legs most of the time). Why should I? Those things don’t make me any more beautiful. Now, I’m not a super feminist or anything. I’m not trying to free the tatas or whatever that campaign is to swing your boobies around in the streets. But I’m more focused of loving myself for who I am and loving others for who they are.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you look like. It matters who you are on the inside. Are you kind? Are you a good listener? Do you have pure motives? Do you love others? Do you create? (And create is a huge umbrella from solving math theorems to painting.)
Those things are what make you pretty. Your insides. Don’t let what society and culture says define your self-esteem and self-confidence. You are who you are, and that’s enough. That’s lovely. And if you don’t know who you are, find out, and love that person.
Don’t forget to pick up my free printable to help you remember you are enough!