To The Girls Who Need to Love Who They Are,

First and foremost, I want you to know that you are not alone. I am also one of the many girls out there who fell into society's trap of feeling less than perfect. I was so desperate to find acceptance that I forgot to love myself for the quirky person that I am and recognize my self-worth. I know exactly what it feels like to wake up each day only to scrutinize the person I saw standing before me in the mirror. I know what it is like to look at a magazine or any social media page and compare myself to the girls who I thought were "perfect" or better than me. As sad as it sounds, in today's society, feeling insecure is more common than feeling confident. The insecurity and low self-esteem we have all fallen victim to needs to change.

To the girls who need to love who they are, I dedicate this letter to you. I hope that by hearing the words that I wish I would have heard years ago, will help you learn to love yourself the way you should.

I want you to think to begin by thinking to yourself why you so desperately want to fit into today's definition of perfection even though this idea is not meant to be easily achieved - if at all. Is it so that you will finally feel "good enough?" Is it to fit into a pair of size four or smaller jeans? Or is it because you want to be like the Victoria Secret models you idolize? Well, I'm here to tell you that whatever your reasons are, they aren't worth it. Striving for something as ambiguous as perfection will take forever and always end up being unfulfilled. But, there is one thing that you can achieve and it is pretty simple: learning to love the person you are both mentally and physically. There are a few key components that will help you start on your road to self-confidence and inner peace.

1. Do not let a number define you.

Yes, as overstated as this is, it's the truth. The number of your jeans whether it be size four or twenty-four does not matter. Neither does the number on the scale. The only number that should matter to you is how many people you can count on to always be there with never-ending support and love. Or the number of positive characteristics and/or qualities you can name about yourself.

2. Do not deprive yourself of the things you want.

Whether it be that cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate milkshake or that cute sundress at the mall. Buy it! So what if it isn't "healthy" or look the same way on you as it does on the model in the magazine. You are human and humans were created in every shape and size and meant to eat! So, take the time to reward yourself with the things you want from time to time.

3. Find at least one thing to like about yourself each day.

Rather than always standing in front of the mirror feeling self-conscious, stand there and find one thing you admire about yourself. It could be anything, just find one thing. Finding something positive about yourself will help you see that regardless of your physical appearance, you are beautiful just the way you are. But, above all else, remember the famous words of Colbie Caillat, "You don't have to change a single thing."

4. Stop selling yourself short.

You are incredible. There is nothing you can't do with a little hard-work and dedication. Some things may be a challenge like understanding math. (But, honestly, who will ever understand that?). However, it doesn't mean that you aren't capable because you are. You are far more talented and capable than you give yourself credit for. Try to give everything you do a fair shot and who knows, you may end up surprising yourself at the many things you've been able to accomplish.

5. Encourage other girls to love themselves.

As time goes on, society is only getting more unforgiving and unfriendly. The media is not helping this problem either with celebrities using Photoshop like an Instagram filter. It's time that we are honest with the person that we are and show the people around us that being who we are, even though we are flawed, is the way to go and far more rewarding. But, most importantly, it's time that we teach each other how to love and appreciate not only ourselves but others around us so that no one feels unappreciated. Isn't it kind of strange that is all the years we are in school learning a variety of things, we were never taught how to love ourselves and others?

So, to the girls who are learning to love themselves, please know that this isn't an easy thing to do and it won't happen overnight. Loving yourself will take time and there will be days where it will seem impossible. Regardless of how difficult loving yourself is, it will be worth it. One day you will be able to look in the mirror to see all the wonderful pieces of yourself and finally realize that you are amazing just the way you are.

Sincerely,

A girl just like you