Learning to love yourself is a hard thing to do. Our minds are conditioned at a young age on how to perceive ourselves and how to perceive others through things like the media and from school. A lot of people go down this path of perception that is negative and they struggle to love who they are and what they look like, but the thing is–there are more people who struggle with their image than we may think. What does this equate to? If you are struggling, you are not alone.
A few years ago, I struggled with my self-image. I really didn't like the way I looked. I didn't want to look at myself in the mirror, but at the same time, I couldn't look away. All I could think was "ugly." One day, I was going through my baby pictures when I held up my favorite one and I thought to myself "I was so beautiful–" that's when I realized I said I was...It made me think, when I call myself ugly now, doesn't that mean I'm calling this beautiful baby "ugly"? That was unacceptable. I hung the picture next to my mirror and I wrote, "Don't Call Her Ugly". Through hard work and a lot of comebacks, years later, I got myself in a place where I don't call myself ugly anymore. Now, I live comfortably in my own skin. I'll tell you, it was not easy. I still struggle. Somedays, I look in the mirror and still call myself ugly, but I always bounce back. I always remind myself not to go back to the dark place, it's not worth it and that beautiful baby doesn't want me to go back there either.
I posted on a couple different social media outlets and asked if the women out there who struggled with self-image issues would like to help me with my project. So many brave, beautiful and strong women stepped up to send in their favorite baby picture. I invite anyone who reads this to get your favorite baby picture or at least think of it and heed my message:
To those women who participated and to those in the world who are struggling: You are beautiful. You do not deserve to struggle, you do not deserve to think such hurtful thoughts about yourself. By calling yourself ugly, you are calling the baby in the picture ugly...is that what you want? You are no different from the baby in the picture. You are simply grown, but you are still that beautiful. I challenge you to do what I did with your baby picture, I challenge you to not call yourself ugly. You're not going to love yourself overnight, but take the first steps towards loving yourself someday. On your hardest days, keep coming back to the baby–think of the times when everything was simple and it was easy to be happy. You can have those days again. You just have to try.