I don’t hold the same beauty that the girls my age do. I don’t look the way that I sometimes wish I did, though I know if I changed a single aspect of my physical self for superficial means, I would not be satisfied.
There’s always a blog post from a young teenage girl, probably insecure in herself, about how society has this unattainable idea of beauty and how in reality “even those we find to be the most beautiful don’t feel beautiful themselves”. I believe that it’s true. I’ve experienced it when complimenting ladies I’ve found flawless who respond with a genuine surprise to the fact that someone would see them that way.
I don’t think of myself as ugly but I know I am considered unattractive in the general regard. I know that my skin is flawed, my face unproportional, my eyes are squinty, my nose too big etc etc. I know my body is squishy and funny looking. I know that I am not perfect. Everyone knows that they are not perfect, yet somehow this understanding that no one can obtain this societal idea of pure beauty and flawlessness does not deter ladies and gentlemen from still striving for that.
I think I am beautiful because I know who I am. I know my heart. I know what I want to achieve in my lifetime. I want to help other people feel less alone. I want other people to incorporate self acceptance in their life so they no longer have to struggle – at least as deeply – with jealousy and self deprecation and low self esteem. I don’t mind that gentlemen at my age have never really found me to be attractive. Even those who I feel somewhat began to know my heart, I don’t blame them. I understand most people love based initially on physical attraction. I simply don’t have that draw.
It’s taken me awhile to see this and to be okay with this. Just recently I finally have seen myself the way I think majority of the world see’s me, physically. I’ve always heard that the way we perceive ourselves is much more attractive than we truly are. I knew I wasn’t a real looker, fairly moderate, with a few features I like, but nothing special. Nothing astounding. But to really see myself in my worst and most vulnerable light…that changed me. It humbled me. It hurt me. But it made me happy. I no longer lie to myself. I no longer get surprised and disgusted when I accidentally open the front facing camera and see the worst angle of myself, because it’s honestly not far from reality. Or when trying to get one good picture of myself and among the ten’s of photos I take, only one of them I think looks actually like me. When in reality, all of those ten’s of photos that I delete in an instant are true representations of my physical self, while the one good one I see just happens to be at the perfect angle with the best lighting that my brain somehow reads as that’s actually me. It’s not.
It is vain to focus on this idea of how the world perceives me, and I understand fully that this is a first world problem at it’s peak. Why be so focused on it? I’ve gone 18 years with everyone seeing me the way that I really am. I didn’t blow anyone’s face off with my horrendous mediocrity. So, why all of a sudden is it this a life changing experience?
Well, that was a stupid question. It’s obvious as to why. I’ve never perceived myself in any other way. I’ve never seen this “ugly” side. Well, I have in “bad” photos, but I just chose to deny that that was truly a representation of myself – which, is quite foolish.
It was a forlorn experience at first. I hated it. It just confirmed all the cruel thoughts in my head. That’s why only a handful of people associate with you, majority of them being those that have to. That’s why you’re alone. That’s why people don’t stick around. You simply aren’t pretty enough. You simply aren’t attractive enough. Sure, you have a sense of self…but ANYONE can develop that. ANYONE can develop inside. You can’t just develop a prettier face. People caught on that who you are is as good as it gets, and they aren’t all that impressed.
It’s frustrating too, to have these thoughts. If I joke about them or express them it’s “Oh no! Don’t say that!”. But why shouldn’t I? Because my honesty with myself makes you uncomfortable?
I get it. It crushes me when my friends and the people I love (and just about anyone else) talks poorly of theirself. I instantly want to explain all the ways that they are wonderful. When I do this, I try to express that they are normal in having these feelings and thoughts of self deprecation, but that they should not listen to them or take them as whole truths. In adolescent years, I especially think these thoughts are at their most cruel.
However, I find it absolutely logical to exclude myself from that mindset. To me, my thoughts are a reality. They are not my mind lying to me. They are truths which I have developed through years of self observation. I think that may be the cost of self acceptance; You realize in all ways which you are medicore.
I already feel better after expressing this. I tend to promote self acceptance as much as I can, so when the moment strikes that I express something which is self depreciating, that comes back to haunt me. I don’t think people really understand that this is me incorporating self acceptance in my life. To accept that, despite what 7 year old me wanted, I won’t be on America’s Next Top Model, I won’t be the prettiest girl on planet earth – and that’s just fine. I don’t need to be admired by someone in order to feel okay about myself.
I am comfortable with not being outwardly extravagant. I think this comfort has contributed widely to my ability to no longer speak ill of the ladies who I was actually jealous of, or to feel like I am less of a woman because I’m not as physically appealing as someone else. I feel exceptional in the ways which matter to me, and I work to constantly improve them. I accept what I feel are the truths of myself without letting it have a negative impact.