As a little girl, I used to have short hair all my life. I would be wearing my brother's hand me downs and everyone truly thought I was a boy. I never really fit in with most of the girls. I wasn't ungrateful, but even at the young age of six, I wanted to look different. Looking back at my baby pictures now, I wonder to myself why I ever wanted to change. I was just like every cute little girl.
When we moved to America, my insecurities really started to sink in. In my whole third grade class, I was the only girl with black short hair. I was the only one who had darker skin than the rest of the girls. Most of all, I noticed how chubby I looked compared to most of the girls in my class. It also didn't help that I didn't know how to speak English and I had no friends to sit with at lunch. Being all alone in my thoughts, I started to hate myself more and more, to the point that I didn't want to go to school. I missed my friends back home. We all looked the same, spoke the same language, and school uniforms do a great job at hiding the lit chubby that pokes out of you when you are young.
I became more and more aware of the different body types around me. Everyone I met here looked totally different than me. After a while when I looked at myself in the mirror, I would verbally tell myself I wasn't pretty enough. This carried on all the way throughout middle and high school. I would have some days when I liked how I looked and other days where I just hated everything about myself. It cost me my own mental health and happiness. Everyone I talked to thought I was pretty, I even had guys crushing on me, but something in me just didn't see it. It was a horrible self-destructive process.
It's hard to like yourself just the way you are when the standards set for the way you are supposed to look are set so high. You just have to accept what you have. It takes a long time to come to terms with the fact that you are pretty in your own way. As cliche as that sounds, that is what helped change my life around. It also helped that I had people around me who always reminded me I can rock anything I try on. Maybe my body weight is different than the other girls around me, but that just means I have curves. Maybe my hair is black, but my hair is also ethnic to my culture. A lot of people dye their hair to get to the color black. For me, it comes naturally. Maybe my skin is a little darker, but again, tanning has become a new obsession.
Comparing yourself to others around you is poison to your insecurities. I know it's easier said than done, but edited photos don't always show everyone's true colors. Be proud of how you look because you only get this one body. Treat it right. You need a healthy body to live a functioning life. You don't necessarily get that with how skinny you are. Loving yourself is a hard thing to do, but it's possible. It starts small. Maybe when you wake up every day to dress up for the day, give yourself some words of affirmation. You deserve to feel good in your skin. You were made this way for a reason. It might not seem like it, but trust me when I say that insecurities are simply destructive thoughts. What seems like flaws to you, will be amazing qualities to others.
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