Hey. Girl, look at that body (read this in the LMFAO “I’m Sexy And I Know It” voice). But really, you look beautiful today.
Yes, yes you do. This is an article for when your response was something like, “Wait, whaaa–?” followed by a jaw drop because you have no idea why someone would be saying this to you. I’m here to tell you that it’s true.
I get it. It’s easy for me to sit here and tell you that you are beautiful, and that you should see it in yourself. That you are so much more than what meets the eye.
I can understand why it’s just as easy to see anything but that. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when you see yourself every single day, sometimes it’s hard not to only focus on the parts of you you would have wanted to change or take away. You focus on the parts of you that you wish you didn’t see: Your cheeks are too round, your teeth are too crooked. You’re not tall enough. You’re a giant. You’re too curvy. You’re as flat as a board. You have big arms. You hate your thighs. You have freckles, birthmarks or moles you wish you could erase.
Or maybe worse. It’s not that you see yourself this way on your own terms, but maybe there’s someone or something out there that gave you a reason to feel this way. Maybe you feel rejected. Maybe you were lied to, cheated on, or put in a position where you felt as if you were just simply not enough. Maybe you feel like no one wants you. Maybe all the not-so pretty moments of your past have made you feel like the way you felt during all your hardships is all you’re ever going to be, all you’re ever going to amount to.
You see all of these things in yourself, and the little voice in your head calls each of these things imperfections, and you assume everyone else sees all of this in you too. And when you think of it in that light, you couldn’t feel worse. Because the only thing worse than feeling low about yourself is someone else seeing you at that point too, right?
Read this if you don’t feel beautiful today.
It’s OK to feel this way. You should never have to justify your feelings. But there’s a major difference between feeling versus being something.
Look at the palm of your hands. Look at the creases and the lines. Maybe your hands are a bit bruised up. Maybe they get shaky. Maybe you think they’re too small and bony, or too thick. Maybe your nail polish chipped, or your nails have gotten brittle from everything you’ve done.
As you see all these things, now think of everything you have accomplished in your life. Think of all the things you have handled, and know that in these things lies your strength. Remember that although there’s some things in our lives we will never be able to control, we have ourselves forever. Ourselves, and everything that comes with it: The good and what we would consider the bad.
It’s that “bad” part that sometimes consumes the worst of our thoughts, damaging our entire mentality, but while the less beautiful parts of ourselves do help to make us, so do the parts we do like. Whether many or a few, these parts make us individuals just the same.
Can’t think of anything? How about this?
How about how much you not-so-secretly love the way you sing to grandpa Frank Sinatra music in the shower? Especially when you are definitely not hitting the notes. Or the way you feel when you wear heels? (Before your feet go numb.)
How about knowing that you are a creation of a long line of history you may or may not know the full extent of. Maybe you’ve been bruised and hurt in the past. Maybe the skin you wear fits as an armor from everything you’ve been through. Now imagine the people of your past, your parents, your relatives: your family. Whether or not you know them, just imagine. If you’ve faced everything you have at this point in your life, just think of everything they have accomplished. Everything that has happened and in some ways for you. Like the story of your parents. You came from somewhere and whether you know that story by heart or whether it remains a mystery, know that somewhere, someone out there did what they could for you. And that the way they see it, you couldn’t have a single flaw in this world, even if you tried.
Now think of the one person you would do anything for, the way your parents or someone else out there has done for you.
For me, the first person that comes to mind is my little sister. I would protect her from the world if I could. So then I imagine, what if she saw herself as lowly as I have before? What if she felt she could pinpoint everything wrong with her? It would break my heart. Now let’s reverse the situation. If my sister saw me feel this way about myself, I think it would break her heart too.
We hopefully spend our lives surrounded by people who bring out the best in us. People who inspire us. People who think we’re stunning, even and especially when we don’t. And it’s what we’ve done with these people that make us beautiful. Like the midnight runs to 7-Eleven for pizza rolls and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to accompany our “Friends” binge-watching marathons. Like the times these people held our hand, whether it’s just out of crossing the street or because it’s the times we need to know we weren’t alone.
And that’s just it, we’re not alone. If you don’t feel beautiful, I promise you’re not the only one. But in turn, when you don’t feel beautiful, I can assure you there’s someone out there in this world of seven-billion-something people who see otherwise. Even if you couldn’t explain to yourself why. Sometimes it’s the mere oblivion of how you appear to someone else that in some cases is so beautiful. Like the the cases in which someone sees you so much more highly than you ever thought you could see yourself.
Remember who you really are and everything you entail. You are more than “thunder thighs,” wrinkles, and everything else a normal body has that the “ideal” body type pretends doesn’t exist. You are more than just the “bad” parts of you; you are the kind words and beautiful actions you give to others, you are a genuine smile, and best of all, you are the only version of you in this world. Think of all the times you did something that you would call beautiful. It’s as simple as the times you have opened the door for a stranger. Just remember all of that and know that you are here for a reason. And I promise that reason reads as the textbook definition of beautiful if you just let it.