This letter is for the girl who walks down the hallway and covets the talent, physical features, or personality of another girl. This letter is for the girl who scrolls through Instagram seeing hundreds of "likes" and comments of compliments and emojis that her own posts lack. This letter is for the girl who stands in front of the bathroom mirror scrutinizing every part of her body with another girl in mind and asks herself why she doesn't look like her.
If you can relate to the above, please know you're not alone. I know exactly how you feel.
When I was very little, I had a lot of confidence. I was happy in my own skin, and I made sure to express that. It wasn't until I went to high school and became more serious about dance as a career that I began to doubt myself. I would watch myself dance in the mirror and wonder if I really had what it takes to be a professional dancer. I grew tired of looking at myself, so I began to look at the other dancers in my studio. I watched dancers with better technique and began to doubt my own. I began to feel that no matter how hard I worked in class, I would never be "good enough" to dance in college or perform professionally. I watched dancers with bodies that I thought were more aesthetically pleasing than my own, so I looked at myself and decided that was the reason I wouldn't succeed.
When I wrongfully convinced myself that I was undesirable and unworthy of a professional career, it wasn't long before I began to hate myself, which regretfully led to self harm. I would cut my legs believing I would never have a career as a dancer, but despite all of this, I kept dancing. Although I doubted myself every class, I couldn't stop doing what I loved the most. I was more afraid of quitting dance altogether than of rejection. As I worked harder and tried to improve with every class, I grew more confident in my technique and consequently, I stopped comparing myself to other dancers. I realized that the beauty of dance is that no two dancers move alike, and each individual has their own unique movement qualities. If I continued to compare myself and try to dance like someone else, I wouldn't be a dance major at an accredited university today with other dancers who are strong in their own beautiful technique.
Comparing yourself to someone else is a waste of who you are as an individual. If you keep trying to look like, act like, or dance like someone else, you'll never know who you are and what you're capable of. Instead, discover the qualities that make you different, because these are what make you special and beautiful. Be confident in expressing yourself. Before you know it, others will notice your beauty, intelligence, talent, humor, kindness, and all the other qualities that make you incredible. Don't forget that the first step is to believe in yourself instead of comparing yourself.
"A rose can never be a sunflower and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that's like women too." -Miranda Kerr