We live in a world of pretty people—just look around you, and you’ll see a lot of beautiful faces on television and online. The striking images we see can not only leave us staring in awe but can also cause us to create lies in our heads about our own appearances.
Beauty has always been a pain point for me because I’ve always felt like I lack it. I was never among the pretty girls in school, and the fact that guys never seemed to be attracted to me surfaced insecurities that a confident person like myself never thought she’d have.
Here’s a truth that you need to hear and that I need to hear: You are beautiful as you are. It doesn’t matter if your hair isn’t perfect (meet the frizz queen over here), your skin isn’t blemish-free (I thought adults never get zits, but I was definitely wrong), or the person you see in the mirror has what you consider to be flaws (I could list off plenty). That mirror is only a reflection and doesn’t actually reveal anything about who you are. You are beautiful. Declare it, and believe it.
I’d like to take you back to a moment I experience at a sixth-grade dance that left me feeling like the ugliest girl in the gym that night. I was standing with my best friend, who had just told some boy who wanted to dance with her that she would only dance with him if his friend danced with me. What I saw happening before my hopeful eyes was that boy literally dragging his friend across the floor to come dance with me. My heart sank and then shattered into thousands of tiny little pieces. He didn’t even look at me or talk to me the whole time we were dancing.
And I told myself that it was because I was too ugly.
I didn’t go to drastic measures to try to make myself look like a beauty queen after that (I still don’t wear makeup, other than lipgloss); rather, I chose to convince myself that I simply wasn’t pretty enough for guys to be interested in me. Ladies, please don’t let the enemy get in your head like that. I would love to trade all of the years and painful emotions spent telling myself that I’m not even close to beautiful for years of self-assurance. It’s still a struggle sometimes now, and I wish that it weren’t.
You know the scene in Mean Girls when Regina, Gretchen, and Karen are standing in front of the mirror pointing out all of the things they think are wrong with their bodies—and it seems to be something they do on a regular basis? Don’t do that. You’re worth more than a skewed reflection.
I know that it sounds trite to say that beauty is only skin deep and that it’s what’s inside that matters, but it really is true that beauty of the heart outshines anything that will ever look good enough to post on Instagram. And just because guys or other girls don’t fawn over your looks doesn’t mean that you aren’t stunning in your own way. Boldly walk with your head held high with the confidence that you are beautifully and wonderfully made, and you will turn the right head when the time is right. Write it on your mirror, say it aloud, and believe it with all of your heart.
You are beautiful.