Don’t you just hate to see yourself in the mirror? Don’t you hate being reminded that you haven’t lost those 5 pounds you’ve promised you were going to lose the year before, the boring brown eyes you’ve inherited since birth, the reminder that you’re still as short as you remember, the evidence of having those crooked teeth and an awkward smile, the skin you want to cover because of its color and the marks, your acnes that make you loathe yourself even more because you aren’t perfect. Don’t you just wish you were anyone but yourself?
I remember losing the pounds because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. People made me feel like I wasn’t worthy to be enough for anybody else. I’ve tried to change a lot of things about myself. I wanted to because I felt like I needed to. I thought I needed to change to feel like I am needed— like I am wanted. I hated the scars on my body. I hated the stretch marks that ran from my hips to my legs. I hated how small I was. I hated my belly fat. I hated my hair and its weird curls. I hated my face because it wasn’t as beautiful as any other girl out there. I hated my chest because it wasn’t big enough for me to be called and seen as a lady, not a girl. I hated my habit of eating. I hated that I wasn’t flawless and as pale like others out there. I hated myself because I wasn’t as skinny, as thin, as tall and as pretty like any other girl.
I felt ugly. I felt unloved. I felt unworthy.
My eyebrows weren’t on fleek. My nose isn’t that pointed. My skin tone is too uneven. My fashion was outdated. My views were too innocent. I constantly felt like I always lacked something in whatever way and it made feel much worse about myself.
I hated myself because I couldn’t love myself.
Each time I look in the mirror, all I saw was the flawed lady I knew to be. The flawed lady I only knew to be. How can somebody love someone so imperfect and lacking like me?
I hear it every day, the insults, the names and the jokes. I laugh and I smile because at first I think it’s okay and it’s nothing. And yet I find myself writing this, expressing am emotion I have buried many years ago. It has resurfaced once again. This time, I have decided to put my thoughts into words. I shrug everything off like its nothing but during rare days like these, I cannot help but find a tinge of truth in all those words meant for me.
“Maybe they’re right,” those are the three words that destroyed my being. My low self-esteem wasn’t noticeable. I doubt people around me had an idea I felt that way but people don’t always seem to be who they are on the surface. Maybe nobody knew but it is okay. It was my battle anyway. It was my own war to fight. It was my own demon I tried to defeat. It was hard. During the chaos, I lost myself. I personally didn’t want to own who I am. I wanted to be better but not a better me, a better somebody.
I kept losing. Depression was eating me. It engulfed my soul. Chewed my morals and gulped my sanity. I was losing focus on who I am. I could not recognize myself and I wasn’t looking in the mirror anymore. I was just sitting there and laughing amongst my friends while my face crumpled deep inside as it stared at the distance, trying to figure out who I was.
My hair’s a different color so why are they still laughing? My heels are high enough but why are they still staring? I’ve covered my face with make up but why are they still teasing?
I’ve changed almost everything about me so why haven’t they changed?
For the first time in a while, there I was again, standing in front of the mirror with a different hair color, tear-stained cheeks, smeared make up, sparkling heels and a new dress but I still saw her. She was still there, the girl I hated so much. The girl I tried to forget. She was there, in front of the mirror staring back at me. She looked more broken than before. She looked paler. Everything about her was dull but now I could remember her. I kept staring back at her as she sobbed in pain over and over again.
It was only then did I realize how perfect that girl was.
She wasn’t skinny nor was she flawless but she was still beautiful. Her marks and scars were the tattoo of her beauty. Her awkward smile, crooked teeth, uneven skin tone and thin eyebrows set her apart amongst the many others. She wasn’t gorgeous like how she wanted to be but she was exotic in all the ways no other woman could ever be.
I realized that that girl I hated so much was the same girl I also loved so much. Her flaws wove her beauty. The flame of her soul carved her entire being. Every inch of her is etched into the universe, contributing even more to its beauty.
And this is how I stopped hating looking at the mirror. The girl in the mirror is me and I love her.