You yearned for your thirteenth birthday. On that day, you could finally announce to the world that you are officially a teenager. What exactly is the draw of being a teenager? Maybe it's the idea of more independence and adventure. Maybe it's the hope of going on a first date and getting that first kiss. Despite all of these exciting prospects, however, you quickly realized that the reality of being a teenager doesn't quite match the dream you had of it.
You never prepared yourself for the first time someone called you ugly -- and actually meant it. You never would have guessed that one day you would look in the mirror and hate what you saw. You never expected that you could feel so alone and misunderstood. The fact is, the best parts of being a teenager are often hidden beneath all of the uncertainty and insecurity. In all likelihood, the mirror has become your enemy and an ally to that voice inside your head that is always tearing you down. But here's the thing: You can and should learn to love the person staring back at you in the mirror because that person is beautiful and completely unique. It's not as difficult as it may seem.
Take control over that voice in your head. They're your own thoughts and you can change them for better or for worse. When you look in the mirror, force that voice to say something positive rather than something negative. You can see all your flaws staring you in the face because you know yourself better than anyone else. Practice looking at yourself the way others see you, and that voice will almost certainly find something good to say about you. In the same way you see everything that's good about other people, so do other people see you.
Believe people when they call you pretty. I understand how hard it is to listen when people call you pretty, I do. You automatically assume they are lying to try and make you feel better or to flatter you. Stop doing that. People tell you that you look pretty because you do. The fact that you think of yourself as ugly has no bearing on how other people perceive you. Learn to take compliments, especially from the people that know you and love you. They are sincere.
Understand the mean girl's motive. I know that there is that one girl, maybe several girls, in your life who takes every chance she can to make you feel bad about yourself. Perhaps she is subtle about it, making snide comments about something you're wearing or how you did your hair. Perhaps she talks about you behind your back to other girls and you overhear it. Whichever way she mounts her attacks, just know this: That girl struggles with the same feelings you do. Anyone who feels the need to constantly bash others cannot possibly have a good self-image. You might have much more in common with that mean girl than you think.
Most importantly, listen when people tell you that what's on the inside counts the most. You've heard people say this over and over again. You are sick and tired of being told that having a good personality trumps having good looks. But I'm here to tell you that it is 100 percent true. As I've grown older, I've come to realize that I value kindness much more than "beauty." I think my friends are absolutely gorgeous, of course, but that's not the reason I like them at all. Who cares if someone looks fabulous if they act awfully? You should be striving to make that person in the mirror someone who will bring joy to people.
Learning to love the person you see in the mirror is a struggle that every teenage girl experiences. But if you know what is most important in life, then that lesson is an easier one to learn. Understand that being considered pretty is not what life is about. If you make life about having good looks, you won't live a happy or satisfied life. Instead, be a true friend to the people who need it most and focus on all of the people in your life who care about you. They care about you because you are who you are, and they would hate it if you changed. When you look in the mirror, smile, because the person there is more than a beautiful face. Smile because the person there is a beautiful person.