All my life I’ve been called beautiful. Being the first child (and first daughter) of my mother, she ensured I always looked pretty. I remember as a child, she would buy me cute ball gowns and make my hair like the beautiful girls on the pack of the ‘Just for Me’ hair relaxer which I used.
As a teenager, I had a lot of attention from boys and men. I could hardly walk down the street without getting ‘toasted’. They always said I was pretty. I was literally a ‘head-spinner’.
Though I often got these compliments and this attention from men, I didn’t believe I was pretty because most of my friends in school made fun of me. They mocked my height (I am quite tall) and made snide remarks about my feet (I wear a size 13 women’s shoe). As if that wasn’t enough, the media too didn’t help matters. All the women on music videos were slim. They had really flat bellies and were usually fair skinned. I wasn’t anything close to that and so to me, I wasn’t beautiful at all.
I remember looking in the mirror one day and wishing I did not look the way I did. I wished I was shorter. I wished I was slimmer. I wished I looked like the ‘cool’ girls in school. I hated my height. I hated my feet. I hated my skin colour. I hated absolutely everything about me.
So that day, I looked straight into the mirror and called myself fat and ugly. That one statement set the trajectory for the mistakes I made later on in my life because when you don’t feel good about yourself, you end up trying to get validation from others. I called myself ugly. I told myself I did not deserve anything good. I called myself a mistake and a couple of times, I prayed to God to take my life. Why? Because I believed what others said about me. I wanted to be like others but I wasn’t so I hated myself for it.
Many times, we wish and try to be what others expect of us. What we fail to realise is that a lot of people take out their insecurities on others. So, because they feel inadequate, they take out their pain on others so as to feel good about themselves.
This is the very foundation of abusive relationships (this also includes friendships). You know those types of relationships where you are being compared to an ex? Or that friend that tells you you’re too tall or too short? These sorts of people have issues with themselves. Never allow such people pour into your life the poison they have within them.
Having lived this long and having experienced all that I have, I have come to understand that loving yourself, accepting who you are and just simply appreciating yourself (flaws and all) is the key to happiness. There’s nothing more fulfilling. Not only does it protect you from potentially abusive people, but it also makes you attractive. There’s nothing as beautiful and as appealing as a person who is confident. Because you are grounded in your identity and appreciative of your uniqueness, you carry an aura that attracts people of your kind and repels abusive people.
What am I saying in essence? It doesn’t matter what the media define beauty as. You do not have to look like the air-brushed slay queens on Instagram to feel beautiful. You do not have to be thin. You do not have to be voluptuous. You do not have to be perfect because guess what? No one is! You are the only one of your kind. No one, absolutely no one in this world will ever be like you. Celebrate yourself. Embrace your awesomeness. Appreciate your uniqueness.
Maybe someone called you worthless or maybe it is a name you called yourself. That can change. Look straight into the mirror and call yourself Beautiful because you are. God himself calls you beautiful. Don’t let this world’s definition of beauty snatch that God-given identity from you.
Raise your head. Walk tall. You are God’s masterpiece, skilfully crafted by the Almighty Himself and He doesn’t make ugly worthless things.
Photo Credit: Google Images