We live in a world that’s allllll about image. You have to look a certain way, dress a certain way, take pictures a certain way, and do things in a certain way just to fit this standard of beauty and popularity. Well I’m here to tell you, SCREW THAT! I was once a victim of trying to fit a certain mold so others would love me. I can say from personal experiences, if you’re living your life to please others, you are doing it all wrong.
You may see me now and think “Oh, she thinks she’s cute and has it going on!” and you are 100% correct! This isn’t me bragging, but simply celebrating myself because I remember the days of when I had low self-esteem, and I’m eternally grateful that those days are behind me.
I’m 100% African-American (as far as I know), dark-skinned and petite. Growing up, guys never looked my way (unless it was for help with their homework because I was a nerd as well). As I began middle school, I started to pay attention to the type of girls that the guys were noticing. They were of lighter complexion and “thick”- aka something to grab on as opposed to my scrawny behind.
I remember those days of looking in the mirror begging for God to make me pretty and using soaps to try and lighten my skin. Crazy right?! This went on for a few years until I finally hit 10th grade, and realized I was being absolutely ridiculous. All these years I spent glorifying and trying to achieve the look that society considered beautiful when I should’ve spent those years loving, learning and accepting myself.
Once I made up my mind that I would never look down on myself again, my life did a 180! Those days of looking in the mirror wishing I were prettier were replaced with days of looking in the mirror and thinking, “Dang Jess, you’re looking pretty cute today!” I started to admire my melanin filled skin and looked at is as a gift from God, and would post positive affirmations on my mirrors and read them aloud each day.
And do you want to know a secret? As soon I started to fall in love with myself, other people begin to love me for me too. Those same guys from middle school were now trying to talk to me, LOL! People also began to tell me how much they loved my chocolate skin and how pretty I was.
The best part of all of this was, I no longer needed their compliments! I had reached a point where I loved myself so much that I didn’t need the validation of others. Don’t get me wrong, we all like to be told we look good every now and then. But if you need those reassurances to make you feel assured, then PrettyGirl, I suggest you do some soul searching. No one should make you feel better than YOU. You are a biggest cheerleader and biggest supporter.
Once you learn to genuinely love yourself, the universe will reward and send outside love your way as well. How you feel on the inside reflects and resonates to the outside. If you’re feeling negative, then you will draw negativity but if you’re feeling like sunshine and unicorns you will attract nothing but positive vibes.
Remember, no one can beat you at being you so look at it as a gift! You are one of a kind so don’t fall victim to the world’s standard of beauty. Because what fun would that be if we all looked the same?
If you’re battling with loving yourself, check out some more of our Self-Love September posts! And trust and believe you’re not alone.
If no one else told you today, you’re hearing it from me: You are beautiful, fabulous and the world needs your gift! Get out there and kick butt! ❤
Jessica Tee, Founder of The PeekABoo PrettyGirl Foundation