tattooed woman standing in front of wall

Please Understand How Beautiful You Are

You are each beautiful, tragically so. You are the sum of your parts, but in that you are a striking testament to your story.

Your scars. Your lines. Your curves. Dimples where skin hangs just slightly sallow over bones, and freckles where maybe you wish they weren’t. But you are as beautiful as you are lovely, as bold as you are lovable, as you felt your first love, running reassuring fingers and lips over every inch that you said you could not get enough of.

You are more valuable than any dollar amount you could ever spend on this cosmetic, surface-perfecting world, or on the emptying fee you pay for a membership to a place which you will and should never belong because you are there for them and their approval, and not to fuel and love and empower your precious temple.

You are more than the late night, half-forgotten weekends you left in a blur, but so proudly displayed in digital pixels because you were there. And that’s important and worth bragging about, right? But in 10 years, what will you be remembering? The guy or guy that eye-fucked you and maybe went further that night? The people whose arms drunkenly wrapped around you, or whose lips bumped your face but only to say, “tonight was the best” or that they “fucking love you,” but wouldn’t be there in the morning when you were swallowed in your fears and regrets as you looked in the mirror at the girl or guy who was just a ghost of you?

Or will you remember the one who showed up even when you said you weren’t worth it, and cleaned you up and held you up. Because you weren’t perfect. For the very reason that you aren’t, and yet you are MORE.

You can wake up that morning and wash from your face and body the physical evidence of the night before, but you don’t need to, half terrified, post a photo of #nomakeup or #morningafter.

You don’t need their permission to be you at your purest, truest beauty. But for God’s sake, please give yourself permission. Put down that blade or that magazine or that damn cell phone that allows you to feel so worthless, because you are so worth it.

Blaming it on society is falling flat, because in the end we are society! But what does that mean if we don’t take responsibility for the very words we tell ourselves? What difference does it make if we don’t see the difference between a meal that we ate and a meal we nourished our body with? Or, the weight we lift versus the weight that we carry? Because if we make the team, maybe they won’t take notice of the fact that, indeed, we bat for the other one?

And in spite of the flag you fly or the cross you wear, the cross you bear has grown too heavy for just you to carry, when you’re so worn thin by trying to win and be bones and skin, or be built in muscles to strengthen only an ideal of what is considered progress. And you can’t even process the words as they fly across the screen. But what do they mean they know your secret? And what will they say if they know? Will you have to show all of the scars you’ve been hiding? Reminders of the times when you just didn’t cut it?

Put down the bottle or blade and walk away from the mirror that’s so one sided that you’re practically blinded by what you can’t see. Pick up the phone or the pen and remind yourself again and again and again that you are love.

You are beauty.

But even if she says you are so handsome, you won’t believe her because you still pay ransom to those voices in your head that told you: your choices were to change who you were or never be wanted. But you are wanted and loved, no need to be haunted. She loves your soul and the way you bite your lip when you’re happy. He noticed the way your smile slips when you see your reflection in a store window as you pass by. But tonight you are naked, curves and dimples in all the wrong places, but to him, you are perfect, because you let your guard down for a second enough to be yourself. And God, it was beautiful.

So, look again as you pass by the window and see through to the people you knew but tried to hide from. Send a smile, love, ‘cause you bet they’ll smile back. ‘Cause even if your smile was fake, it forced you to take note of the moment you lacked the courage to love yourself and be noticed. Your voice shouldn’t shake when you say “this is me.” It should resonate as you own it, and take back your identity past what you see on the social media or computer screen.

You are beautiful, and tragically so. You are the sum of your parts, but your parts are just parts until you give them value. The labels are just labels until you allow them to stick to your skin or your sickness lets them in to your mind and lets them grow. So don’t sow the seed of doubt, but instead, cast it out with the strength of a voice that says, “I am LOVE.” That voice is a choice to be love and not just loved, because no love will be enough until you learn to love yourself.

So reach out and then back in, feel the skin your beautiful soul lives in. Forgive him, the one that ever made you feel less, and don’t you dare forget to forgive yourself, too.

You are not weak, but stronger than anything that has tried to break you yet.

So speak it out loud, the permission to be proud, to love yourself and be. Healthy.

“The wealth of the industry of consumerist low self-esteem will be okay without me. I am not broken. I am free. Beautiful, Me.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a bit of everything awesome rolled into one anxiety and coffee-fueled human!