In a world full of photo-shopped beauty that creates unrealistic expectations of what the human body should look like, it's easy to lose sight of how beautiful flaws can be. These days, people can sit behind computer screens and critique each other without really seeing the effect of their words. Magazines and media don't hesitate to tell us who or what we should look like. We've created an environment that makes it easy to look at our own perfectly flawed selves and hate what we see.
Our society is obsessed with outer beauty. It's important to be comfortable with what you look like, don't get me wrong. Love your body. Love the reflection you see in the mirror. Just remember that what makes a person beautiful are also the things that make up who they are: their passions, quirks, morals, etc. I'm going to embrace the cliche and let you know that what I'm trying to say is that beauty isn't only skin deep.
It's so important to love who you are. Self-love is so empowering. Love every single flaw on your skin. Love the curves on your hips and the junk in your trunk. Love the things about you that society tells you to keep hidden. Love the things that make you "geeky" and the things that make you "cool." Love the sound of your own voice. Love the things you aren't an expert at and the things you are. Love that certain topics get you excited or make you mad. Love you.
Whatever it is that you see in the mirror that makes you want to look away, don't. Keep looking, because it's beautiful. You're beautiful. Self-love is something I've struggled with since I was 11-years-old. I've gotten better at it as the years passed, but it wasn't until very recently that I realized what was holding me back: I was still listening to what everyone else had to say about me. I valued the opinions of everyone else, particularly the not-so-nice ones, entirely too much. While it's important to take others' feelings into account, it's even more important to remember not to mold yourself into someone you aren't happy with for the benefit of someone else.
Be you. Love you.
You can view the photo album of these women loving who they are here.