Finding Beauty (Literally) in Who You Are
I’ve always heard that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but I never really understood the expression. Sure, people define beauty differently. But at the same time, there is a type of beauty that’s considered universally beautiful and to insist otherwise is a lie. In my mind, that means having a clear complexion, enhanced with natural flushes of color, plus thick eyebrows and long eyelashes.
My lack of such qualities has always made me feel insecure—like what I offered was not enough. But one day I wondered: Who exactly am I trying to please? I kept looking for signs of approval from people on my appearance by repeatedly asking, “Do I look OK?” and being disappointed if the reply wasn't satisfactory enough.
Then I realized that I don’t have to please anyone with my face. I wasn’t created to simply be appreciated for my physical features. I have creativity, humor, and so many other qualities that make me beautiful beyond my looks.
Loving yourself is hard, plain and simple. This is a journey that should be continuous and constantly evolving. Learning to love yourself and finally loving yourself is not selfish. Thinking about yourself first is not selfish. Caring about yourself is not the least bit selfish. And finally, being confident is not egotistical.
Change your life to do what will make you feel happier inside; this happiness will manifest itself in your demeanor. Don’t spend endless hours figuring out what’s “wrong” with you. Embrace what you like about yourself and carry it with you. Even if it’s that little freckle on your lip. I began my journey with deleting Instagram, as I felt the app exposed me to unrealistic expectations, especially with the prevalence of Photoshop and Facetune. I was comparing myself to people on my feed, people who might’ve altered their photos to fit society’s expectations. I needed to learn to stop comparing. Someone’s attractiveness should not trigger your own insecurities.
I accepted that I am different, and everyone is different. So, why do we try to look so much alike? I love how different I am now, but it was a long time coming. I love how I was made and I value the features I have gotten from my parents and their ancestors. My face carries history; that, in itself, is alluring.
If I am happy with myself, another person’s opinion shouldn’t affect my self-confidence. Everyone is dealing with their own insecurities (even your favorite celebrity, promise!). So let’s lift each other up and embrace ourselves. Conforming to society's standards feels like settling. We do not want to settle.
By Rosemarie Dimata, 17