Although the title of this post sounds really solemn, that isn’t my intention at all.
I was just reflecting about how I’ve come such a long way over the past few years in terms of my self-esteem and confidence. I find it such a pity that so many beautiful people in the world feel so insecure about themselves, just because they have or don’t have certain body parts/skills/other things that society tells us that we “need” to have in order to be “pretty” or “accepted”.
I think one thing that really affects the way we see ourselves is really social media/the media in general. For me, a lot of my self-image issues stemmed from instagram and how a lot of users chose to present themselves.
There’s really nothing wrong with wanting to look your best or anything like that, because you are beautiful/good-looking/handsome/cute/all-round amazing and we all should learn to celebrate that fact about ourselves more! It’s just that one problem with such social media is that we often don’t remember that we’re literally only seeing what others want us to see.
We’re not seeing how these people normally look in their daily life- we’re seeing them from behind filters, makeup, really good lighting, specific angles, and all of that stuff. I think a lot of us don’t remember that and we look at the photo and think, “I’ll never be as perfect as he/she is”. That’s true. Often, it’s really impossible to achieve that flawless look in real life, because the people in the pictures themselves don’t even look like the people in the pictures! That’s why I really love the #5secondtransformation hashtag on instagram, where users show side-by-side comparisons of what they normally look like and how they look like when they pose for instagram/other social media sites.
Kudos to all these women! There were men as well, but sadly theirs were mostly videos and I couldn’t exactly screenshot the videos.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with posting pictures of yourself that you feel look good and show yourself in the best light. If I take a good selfie, I’m sure as heck posting it because hey, everyone loves to feel good about themselves!
Just remember that the pictures we see online should not be the standard we set for our own appearances, because we are all already beautiful in our own way, both with and without that filter, with and without that editing, with and without that perfect angle.
I thought it would be a nice idea to do a sort of “body-positive” post where I posted some things that society would say should make me insecure about myself, but with which I am slowly learning to accept and love as part of my ongoing growth! Hopefully this can also help others realise that:
- They aren’t the only ones struggling with these self-esteem issues.
- They can still feel confident and beautiful, even with these so-called “flaws”.
Soo… let’s get started!
So, as you can tell from the above picture, I have nowhere near perfect skin. And yes, neither do I have very bad acne, but my skin has still been a constant source of worry and anxiety to me for a really long time. Recently, it really started to clear up. However, I just kind of kept finding more and more things to find fault with. I no longer have really bad pimples/large whiteheads on my face, but it’s very rough and has big pores and a lot of blackheads, as well as being really oily. Then I realised- even though my skin was really much better, I was so down about it I could only see the negative points in it, preventing me from allowing myself to feel pretty/as happy as I could have been. If you don’t learn to love yourself as a person first, no matter how much your physical appearance improves you’re always going to find something negative about it to pull down your self-esteem. So don’t fret if you don’t always look like you have baby-soft skin- just try and accept that most humans on the planet never have and never will have it, and that’s the plain truth.
Hairy legs. It’s a forest down there. I’ve never shaved nor do I plan to (so much work), and honestly most people… do not seem to care. Other than myself.
Scars, cuts, bruises. We all have them. This is one that has been on my thumb for really long (I am a competitive sprint kayaker and I tend to get these abrasions) and I get teased about it sometimes. My friends like to laugh at me about how my hypothetical boyfriend won’t want to hold my hand (I have the same type of scars on my palms and fingers as well). This isn’t something that’s a really big issue for me, although I know it can be big for some so I thought I would share.
I kind of see scars as permanent reminders of things that I’ve been through, rather than unwelcome additions to my body. Every time I see the one on my thumb I think, “wow, look at how resilient I am to train so much to the point where I have that thing on my finger.” When I see the scars all over my legs, it reminds me of the camp I went to when I was fifteen and how I spent five days with my schoolmates literally in the tropical jungles- and survived. I guess you could say I see them as a “badge of honour” in a way?
My skin colour. I’m extremely tan, and I come from a pretty pale family on the female side. Plus, my culture tends to see “fair” the “ideal” female skin colouring. That’s my sister through and through. She has skin like a porcelain doll. This was not really a problem for me until I started comparing myself to her and realised how incredibly dark I was- which honestly is really stupid because I am a kayaker. I spend literally three hours in the sun twice a week, with four and a half hours on Saturday. I’m gonna be tan.
Let’s end off with this:
1) Things I’m insecure about and how they make me feel:
- Skin – imperfect, ugly
- Scars – gross
- Skin colour – “undesirable”
- Hairy legs – “non-feminine”, lazy
2) Things other people have told me that they like about me:
- I’m a nice person.
- They care about me.
- I’m fun to be around.
3) Things I value in other people:
- Whether or not they’re nice.
- When they’re kind.
- When they’re patient.
4) Amount physical appearance seems to matter to me and to other people:
- Apparently, not at all.
Final message: we’re all beautiful people, and our outside appearance can’t change that. Outward appearances are just embellishments to who we are as a a person.
So yeah! Those are the things I’m a little insecure about. Hopefully I helped someone feel less alone/better about themselves, and if anyone’s up for doing this as well please let me know! I’d love to read it.