I am beautiful.
When was the last time you told yourself that?
Thats what I would have told you as well not very long ago.
This is not an easy post to write looks are something very sensitive to me.
Maybe you are sexy and you know it but for me looks are something I had
to learn about.
Heres a little story about my beauty journey.
Once upon a time there was a little girl who didn't have a care in the world.
She loved her overalls and cowgirl hat. She would wear them everyday if she could.
Then came along this mysterious journey called "middle school".
She thought it would be so fun to be out of elementary school.
What she found out was that "play time" was over.
Hanging out was the cool thing to do.
Short, shorts and bras were all new and weird.
Girls wore strange markings on their faces and boys seemed to notice them.
This girl rebelled she wore a white shirt and shorts probably everyday.
She wore some sort of sports bra so she could fit in (although she definitely didn't need it)
Things were going great until this thing called Freshman year snuck up on her.
She was blasted by the world. All her friends called her a surf board. (flat)
She bought padding though she didn't like it. Her friends added strange markings to her eyes (that she actually didn't mind). But that was all she would allow.
They tried to get her to wear less clothing.
She stayed firm to staying modest.
This little girl was not a little girl anymore she was a teenager.
Which apparently means you have to be a woman
(I would say lady but most teenagers are anything but ladies)
This girl realized quickly that being whistled at wasn't a compliment.
She realized this creatures making strange calls to her were of a different breed
They hail from the land of Jerks-are-a-dime-a-dozen.
We will call these people simply "Jerks"
These Jerks were college aged boys at SDSU. At 14 years old I knew Jerks would whistle at
any girl. They were hardly ever sober and I always wished they would just stay on campus.
I hated walking anywhere near their houses they lived in.
It wasn't because this girl was doing anything particularly impressive to them.
It was all simply because I was a girl.
I didn't feel more beautiful by them "cat calling" at me.
I knew that boys did that because they thought a girl was "hott"and I knew I wasn't because
boys my age didn't even know I existed.
What I did feel was degraded.
I was all too happy to move away from SDSU.
I then moved to Idaho.
Boys started to notice me. Apparently modesty is common in Idaho.
I bought some high heels and welcomed this new attention.
I still only wore just eye makeup and still was pretty tom boy in every aspect of my life. I really only
dressed nice for sunday.
Then I took a fashion class.
All the magazines told me I should have a perfect hourglass shape (but still be skinny).
These magazines showed that I should wear nicer clothes to school.
Do my hair cute everyday (WHAT!?!?)
These magazines told me I should be taller
that I should want to be popular.
Oh and that my nose was not up to par.
So I tried. I changed out my flip flops for high heels.
Wore my nicer clothes to school
hung out with girls who were worried about appearances.
I wore lots of makeup.
(don't worry if you went to high school with me and don't remember this phase it didn't last very long)
I also was self conscious about my nose.
I quickly realized this wasn't me and dropped the act sort of.
you have to be cute enough to get guys to ask you out.
So I tried to find a balance.
But then I found another Jerk. They're everywhere girls!
This Jerk was sneaky.
He was handsome. He was very wanted and for some odd reason he took a fancy to me.
(for you younger folks that means he liked me)
I was really surprised. I paintballed on the weekends, snowboarded, played video games. I didn't wear a lot of makeup and I definitely didn't do my hair all fancy.
Needless to say I was not his typical girl to like.
I was flattered. I felt "pretty".
Then it started happening…
he wanted me to change.
"You should wear more makeup"
so I did.
"You should stop singing"
so I did.
"You shouldn't say that"
so I didn't
"You shouldn't do this…or that"
so I didn't
Little by little the "prettiness" I had felt had gone away.
I felt like I had to keep up some act.
Luckily he told me he didn't want a girlfriend and we parted ways.
Thats when I learned there are different types of Jerks.
I should throw this out there that this young man is a great guy and I hope he has no idea what he did.
He didn't know I went years not being able to stand to look at myself in a mirror.
He didn't know that it would be years later that I would sing again.
He didn't know that I felt like a horrible person because I said something "wrong".
I once cut my beautiful long locks off to do a risky pixie cut.
I went in full of confidence.
I came out excited about my new hair cut.
I went home and studied it in the mirror.
I decided I didn't like it. I was self conscious about it.
Then it happened,
I got made fun of.
Behind my back.
"looks like a boy"
I found out about it and it hurt me really bad.
are can be so mean)
I let what these girls were saying about me make me feel terrible about myself and my looks.
My hair grew back I left high school
actually cut my hair short again but this time
I decided I liked it. Maybe people made fun of me for it again but I didn't care I liked it.
One thing that I had a hard time getting over and still hate is acne.
I missed school several times because my acne was so bad I couldn't bear to go out.
Countless tears were shed many nights wasted to feeling sorry for myself.
I felt people would laugh at me and make fun of me.
I didn't feel "pretty".
I even had a 10 year old tell me I should try pro-activ.
Of course I had already tried it!!!
I couldn't help but cry.
I think my acne is what got me the most.
How could you be confident with a pizza face?
Luckily in college I became smarter.
I realized that society told us girls that our beauty is valued on whether boys think you are pretty.
(Or apparently what other girls think).
My wonderful mother told me I was beautiful everyday.
My reply was always "you have to tell me that you are my mom".
Something I didn't realize was that my mother knew that the rest of the world would be telling me I was ugly so someone had to tell me that I beautiful.
During college I slowly but surely became a lady.
A lady that snowboarded, drove a Jeep, and still could beat your butt at ping pong.
Then I met a man.
A real gentleman.
He loved that I snowboarded.
He loved that I didn't wear a lot of makeup.
He loved that I was good at ping pong and that he can't beat me…
(ok he would love to beat me at ping pong but he never will)
He loved everything about me.
He has taught me so much
He taught me to not let acne limit me.
He taught me what true love is.
He taught me not to care what others think.
He taught me to love myself.
Why is this so important?
Because how can we love others if we can't love ourselves?
How can we forgive others if we can't forgive ourselves?
How can we find beauty in others if we can't find beauty within ourselves?
I now can look at myself in the mirror and love myself for who I am.
I have acne scars on my face that may never disappear.
I have one eye brow that raises up and I can't raise the other one.
I have wrinkles forming and I am learning to embrace them.
I have stretch marks once glowing purple are now fading and becoming apart of who I am.
I have a body shape that is not the "ideal".
I am 5'4.
I have a nose that is definitely unique.
I love my flaws it means I'm real.
It means I'm living.
It means I'm trying new things.
There is more to life than looks
I don't let looks define me.
I am beautiful.
Not because people tell me I am.
But because I am beautiful to me.
I want to share this video because I think she is beautiful.
Not because she is beautiful in the way the world looks at beauty but because
she is real, she accepts herself.
She is confident and strong.
She is also my same age.
I give you Lizzie Velasquez.
If you haven't watched this video please watch it!
This same society that has made us want to become things we are not has also taught us if we
love ourselves and think we beautiful we must be conceited.
I am most definitely not conceited in fact
I will be the first one to point out everything I have wrong.
I am saying to feel comfortable with yourself kind of beauty.
To not be embarrassed of yourself.
How I look doesn't define me.
I'm grateful for a husband who can love the real natural me.
And doesn't expect me to be super fake.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Tell yourself you are beautiful find beauty in others.
Lets stop chasing this "ideal" of beauty we have in our heads that is all wrong.
Don't be afraid of mirrors or pictures of yourself because you aren't perfect.
Because your perception of beauty is in a magazine.
Be comfortable with you and others will learn to be comfortable with you too.
And will begin to see your beauty.
You are Beautiful!