I'm Beautiful and So Are You
- 11 Posts
- Age 19
How comfortable are you in your own skin? Are you really being true to yourself? The profundity of those questions shook me to my core a few days ago. That’s when I turned eighteen.
So, the hours leading up to my birthday were spent in pensive consideration. I made peace with a lot of things - but two questions lingered in my mind.
How comfortable are you in your own skin? Are you really being true to yourself?
Self-acceptance has been one of the hardest lessons for me as a girl growing up. It might just be hard for you too. Only 4% of women consider themselves “beautiful” and only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word “beautiful” to describe themselves.
I find this statistic extremely surprising - especially when 80% of women can see the beauty in other people, just not in themselves.
It’s scary to think about. But up until a few months ago, I would’ve been in that 80%. I remember being mesmerized by the beauty of random women I would see. Yet, I never felt that mesmerized by myself when I looked in the mirror. I think the comparison had a lot to with the self-deprecating view I had of myself.
I was never thin enough. My hair wasn’t straight enough. My skin wasn’t light enough. It’s only now, looking back, that I realize how influenced I was by white people’s perception of beauty. Even though I live in a predominantly black society here in Jamaica. Young women in my country often struggle to love themselves for who they actually are. Much of what we think constitutes beauty is a societal construct.
When it comes to myself, I speak in the past tense about my self-acceptance issues, because presently I’m working each and every day to just be alright with who I am. Heck, I’m falling in love with myself every day. Loving yourself in a world that makes billions off our insecurities is an uphill battle. But it’s worth every second of it.
I think it’s wonderful to be able to be you. And be unapologetic about it. There’s no pressure to conform to what anyone thinks you should be, there’s no need to smooth down your edges to fit someone else’s mold. There’s a special kind of freedom in growth. Learning about yourself and appreciating the little things about you go a long way in creating inner peace.
For me, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m allowed to be me. I can step outside without a full face of makeup, and still be pretty. I don’t have to starve myself to get the body that I want. I can set all the relationship standards I want to. And most of all, I don’t have to justify and explain everything I do.
I can be who I am.
You can be who you are.
I think it’s one of the simplest, but also one of the most complex things to understand. If you’re struggling to come to terms with who you are, here are a few things that you can do:
Every time you feel yourself shrinking back in fear because of what you feel goes against the norm or because you don’t fit in, think this: “I can be, and I can be happy being me!” Repeat it until the feeling goes away.
Stop comparing yourself to other people. We’re all individuals - we’re all separate and different.
Make it a goal to love something else about yourself every day. Spend some time with yourself each day to learn about who you are. It’s a beautiful experience.
I’m nowhere where I want to be when it comes to self-love. I’m a still a work in progress. It’s a slow process, but as Confucius once said: “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop.”
When was the last time you loved yourself?