Not up to your Standards?

Quote of the Day:

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”– Oscar Wilde

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Roses are not the only beautiful flowers out there

Growing up I was never the type of person to think much about beauty standards. I had always been a tom-boy for majority of my lifetime, I loved playing video games, loved sports, and always hated shopping and anything that had to do with dressing up and makeup. I was happy with just being me and I never seemed to stress out about pimples on my face or not looking a certain way for a long time. It was not until my sophomore year of High School that I began noticing my physical appearance more and more due to some silly rating game that happened on a website called formspring.com. High School boys at the time seemed to find amusement in rating girls from a scale of 1-10. It never caused anything controversial, and it never led to anything serious. But it did spark something in my head at that time that I did not realize it would affect me later on.

Although this rating game was only the start, it was not until the end of junior year and the beginning of senior year of High School that I suddenly felt pressured to look a certain way and care about the beauty standards of society. At the time I did not think I was being bullied, but now that I am older I realized to some degree I actually was. There had been a group of girls in High School that were not very fond of me and they felt like it was necessary to point out “flaws” they thought I had. I clearly remember this one day when I was walking up the staircase and they were all laughing in unison while staring me down and whispering mean comments about my body.  Now, I never found anything wrong with my body before, I had always played sports and I had always been healthy, so therefore I had always loved my body. Yet suddenly out of nowhere I was overwhelmed by all these comments that I was too skinny, had no curves, had no boobs, and no butt. At first I tried to ignore the comments from these girls, but it was difficult since I started not liking what I saw in the mirror anymore. It also did not help that social media platforms at this time were also exploiting women’s bodies in a degrading manner.

I spent hours looking at special diets, fitness videos, and spending money on push-up bras, and even considering butt pads (I know, ridiculous), because I had become that self-conscious. And trust me it got worse. After going through my first real break-up during my freshman year of college I had reach a new all-time low. I was left wondering if I had not been good enough or up to their standards, which made me even more insecure. At this point of my life I did not love my body and I did not think I was beautiful in any sort of way. There were days that I thought I was too skinny, or too fat, I never really developed an eating disorder but there were days when I felt fat and I basically starved myself. I started wearing tons of make-up in hopes that I would look attractive and feel less ugly. It was mentally draining trying to keep up with all my insecurities. I was so focused on how I looked that I came off as stuck up to some people in college, during those first two years I barely made any friends, since I was always in my own head.

My friends and family started noticing all these changes and all these unhealthy obsessions, and began getting worried.Yet I knew regardless of the support I would not be able to change. This was all in my head and I knew that I was the only one that could help myself. I googled how to be confident and even gave WikiHow a chance, I watched many TED talks, and sought professional help. I know some of these all sound silly but some did help and some did contributed to my change. Yet what seemed to work out the most was sharing my insecurities with others, and hearing their stories as well. I stopped keeping it all in and started sharing with people, and realizing some things in life do not matter. Life is too short to care about how many pimples I have on my face, or if I will ever look like those Instagram models . I only have one face and body for the rest of my life and I have to work with what I got. Although I am not saying I am 100% okay now, I am working on it and I am hoping and striving to be the best version of myself. I try to eat healthy, I workout, and I try to keep myself mentally healthy now too. I also surround myself with positive, loving people. I do love myself, and there is no reason why I shouldn’t.

When writing this post I felt better about myself because it has helped me reflect how far I have come with my insecurities and low-self esteem. I am sharing all these thoughts and memories not for pity but to help others understand that we can all get through it, and to also not share negativity with others. Everyone should have the right to love themselves and be accepted. There is no reason to put down others, specially about their flaws.”Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” always remember that!

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