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 nice dresses (like from the MECALA chic dresses collection) and 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.
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I’m starting to think that I am unattractive…….and that I’ll never get married. Men don’t approach me or tell me that I am beautiful. I only hear that I’m beautiful from my family members of course you’re supposed to tell me that I’m beautiful, your my family for God’s sake. I’m 27 and I fear that I’ll forever be alone and I’ve accepted it. My mom says that I’m going to meet the man that I am supposed to marry this year… (I know what y’all must be saying, it’s only February give it time) well yeah, January came and went and I didn’t meet him, so I fear that it will be the same this month…like I said, I already accepted that I’m not attractive enough to be in a relationship and I’m ok with that…I just wished I look like my Godsister, man at my age she couldn’t keep the men off of her, and now she’s married. I just want what she has. A perfect marriage…
Honestly- I do not think of myself as ugly (ugly people are yet to be created and won’t ever be). It’s just that you cannot avoid feeling as seen ugly by other people around you. As for me, I am a 22 years old girl typing from Italy who has overheard people calling her the ugliest and disgusting both for my face and (once grown into a teenager) body, people don’t like me neither for my ideas, faith nor do they want to be friends with me. People use me, and that is all which ever happens to me. Isn’t it normal to feel ugly a certain way when everyone of the boys (also girls actually) you met in your life thought it fun to says awful things about you (I am so lucky that I end up entering rooms the exact moment people are having bad conversations ’bout me and stuff)?
This made me cry a bit and I thank you so much for reminding me certain things.
I’m so glad this piece could give you a sense of ease <3 thanks so much for sharing!
I just found this and I’m so happy I did. After months of feeling bad about my appearance this helped me in more ways than I can even say. Not many things can make me emotional like this did. So, thank you.
And I am SO happy my piece could give you that sense of reassurance :) thank YOU for reading this piece and sharing your kind words. It’s so easy to beat yourself up over your appearance, but just remember it will never fully define everything we are in this world.
I’m from italy and i’m young, very young. In fact, i’m only 16.
People never actually told me that i’m ugly or insulted me but this didn’t stop me to bring my self esteem down. That’s because i’m different. I’m thick boned, really thick boned but not fat. It’s easy for me to hurt people even when i don’t mean to. The problem is that i’m curvy. I have large hips small waist and too big breasts. But it’s not enough for me.. Because even if i’m 16 all my friends have a boybriend or gave the first kiss while i didn’t. I tryed to give the fault to the fact that i’m goth, but i know it’s not because i’m goth only from this year and i feel sexy as fuck sometimes in black clothes and with black lipstic on! The problem is in my brain and i want to face it but i don’t know how.
I draw very well, read a lot, write good enough stories, i sing very well and people often tell me that i’m a good listener and funny to bs around but i still can’t defeat this problem in my mind that i’m not slim enough…please, someone older can tell me how to? I don’t want to feel that way anymore
Hi :) I cried while reading this. I’m new at my school and the standards of beauty to most people there, is the polar opposite of mine.
I’m having a hard time to cope up and be comfortable with them and their labels of “beauty”. After reading your article, I’ve decided to stick to my own style and be proud of it. If they don’t consider me worth their time because of my style, it’s not my concern anymore.
Thank you so much for reminding me the things that do matter.
Jen! I am SO happy I could give you that validation. It is so tough not to conform to everyone else. But just know that your idea of beauty is truly beautiful and being anything you’re not isn’t pretty, it’s just searching to be understood. And that’s human :) But hang in there, and do you girl. You’ve got this :)
I’m 14. I’m a baby. I developed very fast. People think I’m like 17. People don’t understand I’m a kid and compare me with other older girls like she has a better body than you, you’re ugly. You’re fat. I don’t consider myself fat at all tbh. And bring my self esteem all the down. I honestly want to enjoy being a kid/ teenager. And stop putting so much peer pressure on me. Yes of course i have my “wow i look good” days put makeup and dress up. But all those comments from my family just bring me down 90% of the time.. I don’t feel beautiful..
I think in order to feel beautiful you need to define and realistically decide what that means to you. From there, I think you’ll be unstoppable :)
Well that pretty much made me cry. Its touching. I really needed to read this
I’m so happy to hear this resonated with you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my piece!
that was really beautiful, you made me feel like I had a sense of worth when I didn’t think that it was possible. Thank you.
Thanks for posting this, it made me think (and cry) a lot.
I’m 14 and to be honest I think I’m quite unattractive. But the thing that annoys me the most is that some days I look nice. Some days I look in the mirror and I’m actually happy with what I see but then the next day I look again and I look bad again. I know it’s impossible for your face to change overnight but I still feel weird or even jealous of myself yesterday (I don’t think that makes any sense but oh well) because I want to look like what I looked like the day before in my head. So although I haven’t come around to fully accepting my looks yet, this post definitely helped me a lot .
I’m 23 and I can relate to you so badly it’s as if we were the same age. I’ve never known how to express this feeling, the feeling of being jealous of myself. I look at pictures of me last year, in 2012, in 2008, in 2003, gosh, in 1993 that’s the year I was born and I feel so jealous and I never realized that this was jealousy. Thank you so much for writing this comment.
This is kind of sad and kind of happy. Literally this second I finished applying makeup thinking that it would make me feel pretty. It didn’t, so I googled “how to think I’m pretty” and got to this page and I’m crying a lot so my makeup is all gone haha. Feels kinda silly. I look at myself in the mirror and I see a scared teenager although I haven’t been a teen for over three years now. I see a 12-year-old looking 23-year-old. I see everyone who passed by me, who I wish had looked at me but didn’t. I see the face I had every time my friend got called beautiful in front of me and I got called nothing. I see the boy who yelled at me saying I had a long nose. What I don’t see is the girls who are called beautiful. The girls everyone stops and stares. I feel so mad and so sad that even today, after having gone through so much, this is still an issue to me.
Hi there, I had to comment because I relate so much to what you said.
Right now the skin on my face is burning slightly from scrubbing make up off.
I don’t normally wear any but applied some tonight to see how it would look.
It didn’t make me feel beautiful and staring into the mirror for so long while applying it just made me zone in on all my flaws. A “12 year old looking 23 year old” is exactly what I tell myself I am. I can’t tell you how many times I’m mistaken for a child age 16 or younger.. I feel whenever I try to look like an adult woman it fails and just looks awkward. When I was in middle school a boy looked at my friend and said she looked so pretty and perfect “like barbie” then turned to me and said “And you’re just…Ugly”. Most of the time I don’t feel hideous, I feel decent. But certainly not beautiful. And it makes me sad that in my one and only life I’ll never know what that feels like. To not have so many worries and insecurities. I understand how you feel 100% and am working through it every day along with you.
I’m a new mom! Dealing with beauty! Today you words, your emotions, and compassion has affected me completely! After given birth I weight 200 lbs. I use to be 140 lbs. So maybe you are able to see where I come from! Tonight at 2:33 am I felt ugly, not liked, and not beautiful! I typed on Google “how to feel beautiful again” and your link was the 4th one down! Your title grabbed my attention! I clicked and reàd with tears rolling down my golden olive cheeks! Those inspiring words made me, ME!
Thank you Ella ……..
number 1 link in google which popped up when i typed ” how to tell your husband you don’t feel pretty” i guess its not about him at all after all…
This helped, I’m 34 weeks pregnant , I used to be a skinny little thing a few years ago 115 and in three months I went up to 180 , I got stretch marks in the oddest most seeable parts of my body, I never grew out of acne, and since I’ve Been pregnant I’ve just gained more weight and More acne, I feel so gross from the heat , have allergies with a nice red nose. My fiancé won’t touch me anymore. The affection has seem to have died , and he is bored with me, I can’t even get a conversation with him anymore. Yet he is the most sweetest caring soft person I know. But the way I feel with him is silently killing me inside. I know I shouldn’t need assurance from him to feel beautiful, but sometimes it’s just hard and it gets lonely, he is all I have in the world and soon to be baby.
I was feeling so low tonight but after reading this I feel so much better. I hate reading long texts but this time I made an effort to read everything you have written. It’s beautiful, thank you❤ *hugs you tightly*