An Open Letter To The Ladies Who Need A Reminder In Self-Love

An Open Letter To The Ladies Who Need A Reminder In Self-Love

You were born to be uniquely you.
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It’s heart breaking to consider how many of us girls are so hard on ourselves in terms of appearance. It is especially difficult when we think about how we were raised and what we have been taught since we literally walked into kindergarten.

In kindergarten, did we choose not become friends with people who we didn’t view as physically beautiful? Did we judge people based on their appearance? Did we look deeply into the way that people looked on the outside? Not from what I recall…

As kids, we were raised to be good people. We were raised to treat others the way we would like to be treated. We were raised to be caring friends and taught that what’s on the inside is most important. But when did these lessons and notions lose their significance? When did we forget that we were all individually born to stand out?

To the girls who don’t feel like they’re "enough," please sit down and listen closely.

We are all meant to be different, and yes, we are meant to look different from the outside. We are built with unique structures that make us who we are. Unfortunately, the generation that we are living in has an unhealthy misconception of what the ideal body image is "supposed" to look like.

Why do we all aim for the same unattainable physique? As there is so much out there that makes us the same, why don’t we find peace with what makes us original? We’re all guilty of focusing on those little flaws that no one else see’s, but why don’t we take some time to appreciate the little things that we adore within ourselves?

Some of the most intelligent, independent, and genuine women I know see and feel nothing but emptiness; they self-compare like it’s their day job and stare into their mirror for hours at a time, literally tearing themselves apart. I’ll admit that for a period of time I felt consumed by the flaws I see within myself, but I believe this is completely normal and common. Nonetheless, it irked me that “the way I looked” was bothering me so much as appearance is such a superficial variable.

The only way I knew how to kill this mental image was to take a step back and really think about my perspective. I thought about the qualities I appreciate and value most in people—what I see in my friends, family members, peers, and those who surround me daily. As I contemplated, I created a mental list and I found something in common with all that I thought about; nothing on my list had to do with looks. Since that moment, I decided I would no longer degrade myself for things that I do not find valuable in others. No longer would I be hard on myself for not getting to the gym due to immense amounts of homework, nor would I cringe at the way my complexion looked in sunlight, but I would learn to appreciate all things good within myself.

Just like we learned in kindergarten, its what’s on the inside that matters most. At the end of the day, your true friends will not remember whether you gained some weight in college. They will not recall the days when your hair looked like a full-on rat’s nest. But what they will remember is the way you were there for them on their worst days, the times that you put them first even when you were busy as hell, the moments when you understood them with every ounce of your being, the late hours of the night that you answered their phone calls-- and simply, they will remember you for you.

So, turn your head at the lengthy mirror, smash the scale, and breathe. Recognize and analyze what makes you uniquely you while taking time to see what attributes you appreciate in others, because before you know it, you might learn to appreciate yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Dear Moms, Stop Body-Shaming Your Daughters

Your voice matters the most.

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Maybe I am just really lucky. Maybe I won the jackpot of all mothers, but I didn't know it was that crazy for a mother to never make her daughter feel insecure.

It wasn't until I came to college that I realized that mothers body-shaming their daughters was even a thing. As I became closer with other young women I would often hear them saying how their moms told them what they could and couldn't wear, or they would make vicious remarks.

"You disgust me."

"That dress makes you look like a pig."

"I can't believe you would go out like that."

"Girls like you can't eat whatever they want."

"You're embarrassing the family."

No matter what I say to my friends, no matter how much I insist they are beautiful, your voice will always be in the back of their minds. Every single time they go shopping, every time they go out for dinner or post a picture on social media, they think about how you wouldn't approve.

This isn't to say that discussing a healthy lifestyle is off the table, but how you say things matters way more than you realize. Being a woman in college is hard enough. It is difficult to consistently manage all aspects of your life when you have 3 papers due by the end of the week and 2 tests on the same day. So maybe she puts on a few pounds, do you think mentioning that is going to make her less stressed?

As young women, we are constantly told that we are not good enough. We are shown what the ideal body and woman should look like. We are unbelievably aware of what our bodies look like and what is wrong with them. The last thing we need is for our role models to reinforce those unrealistic expectations.

I have heard the argument that you only "do this out of love", but love should never hurt. Is it really worth your daughter starving herself? Is it worth her throwing up after meals then binge eating? Is it really worth her starting to self-harm? Love is supporting somebody through the good and bad parts of their lives.

What you say not only impacts the way your daughter is viewing herself physically but makes her doubt other areas of her life. What you aren't seeing is that she is staying in that shitty relationship because you've made her feel like she'll never get or deserve better. She will quit studying because she thinks she will never be good enough anyway. She will let others walk all over her because that's what you've told her love is.

I am telling this because she never will- you are hurting her way more than you will ever help her.

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