It has been a very long time since I have written anything. Life for the most part has been good. Not everything by any means and there are some bad things going on. Right now though I would like to share some words of encouragement and wisdom to young women everywhere that struggle on a daily basis with their bodies and have self-esteem issues.
I’ll start off by saying, I was once where you are now. I dealt with this very thing for a good chunk of my life. It didn’t get any easier as I grew older. It became worse. No matter what I did, somehow and some way I would end up back at square one with hating myself. I didn’t want to look in a mirror, I didn’t want to listen to anyone telling me I was pretty or beautiful. I could never see what others saw in me. How can you when all you ever hear growing up is, “If you lost a little weight, you’d be beautiful.” Or “You should lose some weight because no one is going to want to be with a fat girl.” I heard it all. I’m sure a lot of you do too right? It happens more often than naught. Sadly, a lot of the time, this abusive behavior begins with those that are supposed to love us and encourage us before it starts at school. Other times, it’s the other way around and we find ourselves being bullied at school by our judgemental peers. Either way you look at it, it sucks!
I was never bullied at school. In fact I was usually the one standing up to bullies when my friends were picked on. Those hurtful words came from family. They still do at times. The difference now is…I’m stronger now than I was when I was 18 years old. It took me a very very long time though. Decades actually. It wasn’t until closer to the end of 2013 that I realized that I needed to change things. I have daughters that are growing up and become young women. What kind of an example would I be to them, if I couldn’t teach them to believe in themselves and to accept a compliment when given? I read an article by a Mother that year. I think I had shared that in a blog. Consider this an update since that blog!
My girls would tell me I’m pretty. My husband would too. Friends all over would say the same. Did I believe them? No, at one point I did not. Again, that boils down to not seeing what they see. By this point though I actually loathed myself. Looking in a mirror was hard. I would cry and I withdraw within myself, or I would become highly sarcastic towards people. My thank yous were empty words. No feeling behind, no sincerity. I thanked people, but didn’t believe them. What was that teaching my girls? I realized how much of a negative impact that was. Self-hate now is far worse than what we went through in our day and age. Now, kids turn to drugs, alcohol, and worse, self-harming.
Listen up girls. There was a time in my life that I wanted to die. I just wanted all the hate to end and I thought by dying it would end. The problem with that theory, it wouldn’t end. For me sure, I’d be gone, I didn’t have to feel that kind of pain any more. That pain though? It would last a lifetime for those that truly did love us. Our family and friends would feel that pain every day. They shouldn’t have to, and nor should you! Cutting yourself inflicts the same pain. It may take away your pain, but it still leaves a massive scar in our hearts. We don’t want to see you go through what you’re going through. We don’t want to see you be bullied and hated on because of the way you look. Each time you do this, it kills us too.
I wanted to change for myself and for my children. I was determined to do something. Last year, starting in January I went through a huge change. I started the year as a caterpillar and ended it as a butterfly. It’s a lot of hard work, but it is possible. It wasn’t easy, but it can be done. It starts with you needing to realize your own potential and self-worth. There will always be someone telling you that you’re not beautiful or that you’re fat. Those people’s opinion does not matter. I’m here to tell you, that you are beautiful no matter what size you are, no matter how you dress, and no matter what race you are. If you want things to be different, the hard work will start with you. YOU have to believe in yourself before you can accept anyone’s compliment. Drugs, alcohol, or even cutting, those aren’t going to help you. It will take it away for a short time, but the problem will always be there until you can find a way to deal with it in a positive and effective manner. The best part of this, you are NEVER alone. There are so many people that are always going to be around to help you. You have friends and family that love you and they will be there for you. All you have to do is open up and talk to someone. If you’re not comfortable talking to them, then find someone that can help. Call a help line, talk to a friend’s mom. Anyone you are comfortable with. I strongly encourage you to turn to your parents first if you feel they can help you and are not a part of the problem. If that is not an option…there are others. I will repeat, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
My journey began with changing the way I thought, the things I believed to be true. The look in my darling children’s eyes whenever they told me I was pretty…which is often! I made the effort to change the way I saw myself and to accept what others saw in me. The demons are there and they try to come up and tell me otherwise. I am much stronger now and I can push them away and ignore every little thing they attempt to tell me. I AM beautiful. I AM pretty. I AM sensual. I AM sexy. I am all of these things and so much more. If some people can’t see that, then I don’t need that negativity in my life and I’m done. They can’t hurt me anymore and they can take it elsewhere. Once you can get to this stage, the rest of it will be easy. A year and a half after I started my self-discovery, I can honestly say I am very happy with who I am and I am truly blessed with the people in my life that have been there for me through it all. People’s idea of beauty can go to hell. Tess Holliday is a great inspiration and her words are always with me…and they should be with you too.
#effyourbeautystandards is an amazing movement. Look into it and the next time someone tries to tell you differently, share those words with them. You are a rock star! Own it, live it, love it!