February 10th Blog- Self-Preservation is Learned Not Taught

I never thought of myself as beautiful, hot, cute, and whatever adjective you would describe attractive. I always felt as if I was skinner, my teeth were straighter, my nose was smaller, or my skin was clearer I’d be pretty. If I was pretty, people would love me. I would feel accepted. I would’t feel as sad as I always did.

Everyone has awkward teenage years but for some it hits harder then others. Braces, frizzy hair, a rather large chest, and at least 5 inches over most girls can make anyone feel self-conscious. I was made fun of, but who hasn’t? I tried to not listen to them but it creeped in on me but that didn’t matter. I was harder on myself then others were. I spent hours dissecting every tiny detail what was wrong with me. I know I’m not the only one either. Girls especially are instilled with this hatred of our looks. I have never met a girl who didn’t feel some anger about a particular feature or the way they looked in general. We are made to believe we should look a certain way because what we are told by everything in books, to magazines, to the big screen. Why do we do this to ourselves? I was rarely told I wasn’t pretty. I spent most of the age 13-on being hit on by men (some attractive, others not so much), loving parents who always told me I was beautiful, and friends who constantly reassured me that I was a knockout but it was never enough. I even have a way (to this day even) to completely shut down when someone gives me a compliment because it’s so instilled in me to believe they are somehow lying. Maybe, it’s deeply rooted by the thought that since I don’t get hit on by the type of men I want, that I’m not pretty. It’s a scary thought to think my worth is based on some ideal of a man but that’s what the world has taught me. I only matter if I guy I want, wants me back. Thanks, romantic comedies!

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In all seriousness, when I stepped away from a relationship with a man I wanted (and thought wanted me back) I began to reevaluate myself. I stopped thinking of myself that needed to be validated and began to think ‘hey maybe I can feel beautiful on my own’. I won’t lie and say it wasn’t a struggle. Hating your flaws for almost 15 years isn’t an easy habit to break. So I take it one step at a time. I do take care of myself physically (like everyone should) but I add in almost time just looking into the mirror telling myself that I’m beautiful. It sounds laughable but for the first time in my life, I believe it. I walk with confidence, I take photos of myself without cringing, and I smile a hell of a lot more. Sure, I have bad days but everyone does. I still pick myself up and make sure I take care of me because no one else will or should.

I wish all women could feel this rather then having all this hatred of our own bodies being shoved down our throats. Maybe, this is a step. Maybe, admitting that we are flawed but that’s what makes us who we are and just saying tiny, silly words can actually make us feel better. Maybe one day, our daughters or granddaughters don’t have to feel this way anymore because they will believe they are gorgeous inside and out on there own. On can only dream…
And I hope you can, too. So go tell yourself you’re beautiful because I guarantee you are.

Written by Lauren Ann

Lauren is a born and bred New Yorker who left her heart in London. A pop culture junkie with a serious addiction to music. Her work is featured on CelebMix and her personal blog.

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