It breaks my heart to see the way you look at yourself.
When we’re getting ready together, I notice how you shift your gaze away from your reflection in disgust, or avoid looking at yourself entirely. Likewise, I've taken note of all the times you've put yourself down for the way you look — which is frequently. It makes me wish that you could see yourself through my eyes, because when I look at you, I can’t help but smile. I don't see that pimple that’s been bothering you or your midriff under your crop top, I see the way your smile makes your eyes glow or how confident you look when you're doing what you love.
I know exactly how hard it can be to face yourself each day and focus on the positives, because I, and many other women, confront the same struggle every day. In a society where the media emphasizes perfection, it’s difficult for anybody to feel completely confident about their appearance — even the models you idolize. I just want it to be clear to you that you can be happy with the way you look right now, even if there was a time when you were thinner or had clearer skin. You have the power to choose how you feel about yourself!
I have watched you struggle through heartache, wake up every morning and have all of the pain rush back to you like a bad dream. I have watched you drown under impossible amounts of stress and nearly crumble under the pressure. Undoubtedly, you have been to hell and back, and to me you are more beautiful now than you have ever been. I can see the maturity and resilience flaming behind your eyes and am in awe of everything you've accomplished. Truly it is that integrity and grace that should shine through the light of your reflection in a passing window or in the puddle under your rain boots, for there is a pure and unadulterated beauty found in accomplishment and endurance.
I can say with complete confidence that when your friends and loved ones think of you, they’re not reminiscing about how hideous you think you look without makeup on. When we imagine being with you, we picture the hilarious girl who squirts water out her nose when she laughs too hard or the person whose singing voice can silence an entire room. One day, somebody will come into your life and tell you that everything you dislike about yourself is what they absolutely adore, and that's how you will know they are meant for you. For right now, there are many individuals who love you unconditionally, which should show you how special you truly are.
So please, from now on, I urge you to wake up every morning, look at your reflection and remind yourself that beauty is not measured by the size of your waist or the sharpness of your jawline, but by the way you think of yourself. I promise you you're worth the adoration.