To all the girls whose life has been a constant battle of wanting to believe that they are beautiful versus to beating themselves up day by day, please read this. I cannot convince you that you are beautiful, but I only want to point out some of these statements and then you can decide them for yourself.
I know how the world has acted towards you. The world has branded a lot of us as ugly since we could even speak. We were not let to defend ourselves or to explain ourselves. As soon as the world sees that we do not look as the “it girl” look, we are quickly disbarred and put on the pedestal. We are not allowed to voice our opinions or to be considered as worthy. We are considered lower than those who are said to be beautiful compared to us.
You have been facing harassment since you can talk or think. You have been said that no one would love you because of how you look. When you hear words like that being said to you, you wonder, is it true? Is it true that no one will ever love me? You even wonder that, “Am I not beautiful? Am I not, really?”
At first, you deny it. You keep on defending yourself to the point where people keep on mentioning that you are not beautiful over and over again. You keep on trying to fight back and to stand up for yourself because that is not the truth. But you feel tired. You finally succumb to those statements. You finally breakdown and even cried. You cried because you have finally accepted and internalise those words. You regard it as the truth.
As you stare into the mirror, you find yourself looking with disgust to that reflection in the mirror. You began saying, “I hate you! Why do you have to be so ugly? Why can’t you look like those models or celebrities?” Not only that, maybe you begin harming yourself. You perform acts of self-harm to numb the pain. You begin to react as if everyone hates you. You began to perceive that any act that is negative towards you is an act of rejection. And I do understand. I understand how rejection hurts so badly. I know you think that way.
You begin trying to prove your worth. You try to find a way to deal with the pain, outside from the self-harming behaviour. You begin to drink. You seek love from the wrong people. You open yourself up to those who took advantage of you for their own gain. You begin to use medications. You try anything to numb it out. At some point, when it gets too hard, you try to end it once for all. You have the thoughts but you do not want and could not follow through because you are afraid. Because you still feel that at least pain lets you know that you are alive. s
The life that you used to think as really wonderful now feels like nothing. You feel as if there is no purpose for you to live. You feel as if everyone around you do not understand and cannot see through that open wound. That tear in your self-esteem and self-worth. You began to see that everyone is happy except you. You began to see that you are miserable. You are the only miserable person in the world. You feel drowned although there is no water around you. You feel as if you could not even get out of bed because why should you? Why should you just go out there and spend another day feeling like crap? No sane person would do that, wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t it be better to just isolate yourself from everyone else? Wouldn’t it be better if the people that have known me to not feel my pain? You feel confusion because at one point you want people to know about your pain and to rescue you. On the other hand, you do not feel that they would understand what you feel.
You fear that they would make it all much worse. You fear that instead of being there for you, they would judge you. Sometimes, the people closest to you are the ones that hurt you the most, don’t they? They have that power to hurt you the most because you love them. With love, comes the power to either pull you up or bring you down. You are hoping that they can bring you up. But what if they are also debating or having difficulty to view themselves as beautiful? What if they are also struggling with insecurity and self-esteem and they end up confirming what we do not want to hear all along?
But my darling, you should know this. They are wrong. They are dead wrong. You are beautiful. Gorgeous beyond measure. You are amazing.
You see, our world is a strange place. It is strange how people could base or define what is beautiful only through physical look. What is stranger is that there is only way to say if someone is beautiful or not. It is so strange. I realise that people need to make money, therefore they created a standard for the consumers to follow. They created a standard of beauty so they can sell their products. I understand that. But, don’t they understand the damage that they have caused to us? Don’t they realise they are causing millions of us body image issues?
I wonder why is it so hard to say that there are so many standards for people to be beautiful. I wonder why do we have to put that value as being the most important value as a woman: our look. Why can’t people see skin deep? Why can’t they create a beauty standard where it would look at our personality, our traits, and our talents? Why can’t they see that everyone is beautiful in their own way?
Beauty is not only about being a size 2. Beauty is not only found with girls who have skinny bodies. Beauty is so much deeper than that.
When will we start valuing people as who they are and not with what they have? When will we start seeing soul instead of faces? When will we start enforce self-love and self-acceptance? When will we learn to be self-compassionate towards ourselves and to be compassionate towards other people? When?
I understand how frustrating it is for you dear. I know that. I, myself have experienced what you have been through. I have been through periods of depression and there were times when I thought that if I end my life, all these pain would be gone. But thankfully, I recovered. How?
Well, I will share these lessons with you. You need to realise this first and foremost, no one can save you except yourself. Yes, only you can do this. Unfortunately, a lot of people themselves are still struggling with their own anxieties and insecurities. They themselves have been raised to never feel good enough. They have been feeling insecure for the longest time. They project their fears towards those who feel confident. Do not put your hope in those people. Understand that this is your journey. This is your journey to love yourself for who you are. Yes, you do have flaws, I know that as well. But know this. Your flaws are a part of you. You do not need to look like those celebrities to be called beautiful. You can be just you. None of us are perfect darling, none. We all have body parts that we do not like. We all have some aspects that we wish we could covered up. But it will feel tired to do all the time.
Instead, free yourself. Free yourself from these demands that you need to fit a certain look for people to call you beautiful. Be you. Be unapologetically you. There are so many values that you can work on outside of your look. You like to paint? You like to read books? You like discussions about life? Go follow your passions. You should know that I have met so many people from different backgrounds. People may have different complexions but I could honestly say that all of them are beautiful when I could see the light in their eyes when they tell me how happy and how excited they are about their lives. Your opinion could differ from me but for me, there is nothing more attractive than a person who loves and who is grateful about their lives, no matter if they are going through tough times.
Yes, just because we have accept ourselves as who we are, it does not mean that people will be kinder towards us. Hell, the world would even be crueler towards those who love themselves. No one likes that confidence. Well, some people don’t. Why? They want to be like us but they feel so afraid to do so. They want to be able to be like us but their surroundings could shun them when they do so. They are those who carry so many anger, hatred, negativity and jealousy in their hearts. They are carrying the sadness because they could not be the person that they want to be versus what the world tells them to be. They could not or feel hopeless to fight the system that has been governing their lives. They conform into it and is secretly hoping that someone could help them to get out of it.
If you have ever heard of the saying, “Only the hurt, hurt others.”, I can say that it is true. I am no expert but I have heard people’s stories as it is my profession to help them out. I always came to this finding that only when people are unhappy with their lives are the ones who act negatively. People who are happy with their life rarely lash out because they are filled with positivity. They are filled with hope and optimism; it becomes hard (if not impossible for them) to spread negativity.
On that note, be happy. Happy looks good on you. Happiness is not always getting what we want, but it is for us to be happy with what we have and to be grateful of life. Stop comparing yourself with other people. They are not more beautiful than you. They are also not less beautiful than you. We are all the same. We are all dealing with a lot of difficulties in our lives. We are all faced with demands and pressures. We all have problems. We all experience array of emotions daily. So, why should you feel that other people’s lives are better than you?
Fall in love with yourself darling. Be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Try B to see yourself in a different light. Travel the world. Be open-minded. Hang out with different people from different backgrounds. You will began to see that you can find so many beautiful people and cultures, should you choose to open up your mind and heart. You will see that you, yourself is beautiful. You will realise that as you go all around the world trying to find something that is beautiful, before realising that you, yourself is a wondrous work of art. You are different? You feel you are weird? So what? We are all secretly different and weird in our own ways. It is fine. Be your own kind of weird. Isn’t life kind of boring to be the same with everyone else?
Put that smile on your face, you look good with it too. You have a great smile. You do not need to internalise other people’s reality with your own. If they choose to see you as ugly or disgusting, let them be. Let them fill their own lives with hate. Let them have a narrow mind. Let them live through life not realising that they are missing out of life because of that narrow mind. On the other hand, you should thrive. You should have your own definition of beautiful and embody it. Be your own kind of beautiful. Not a lot of people would understand but your simple act could end up inspiring others who are secretly seeking this message. You cannot save everyone, but you can save those who are ready to listen to you.
When you can love yourself in the way you should be loved, you will begin to see a change. You will finally begin to love life again. You will finally realise that your happiness relies on yourself. A good friend of mine once said that, “Why do you put something so beautiful into an aspect that could always change? Why do you put your happiness or validation towards those who can always change their opinions and their minds?” These statements woke me up. I hope they could inspire you too. You should know that this letter is not to judge or to tell you what to do. Not at all. I used to be you; I know how it felt like. Well, maybe not in a way that you feel it, but I have felt rejection and harassment many times and even until now. I had been lost too, I have been wondering around, wanting people to fix me. I want a quick fix. But I got to learn the hard way that it is not possible. I learn that our happiness has been there all along, inside of us. It can be hard I know. It is not easy to step out of our negative self-view and could immediately change it into a positive one.
It takes time. But should you need my help and anyone else’s, just know that we are here for you. There are people here who love you for who you are. We look at you and all we see is a magnificent beauty that we cannot describe. We just hope that you could look at yourself as one of the wonders of the universe one day. We do hope so.
We hope that one day our love can tear down that wall you have been making to keep people out of your life. We know that you only do it out of defense and to protect yourself from more pain. We understand it love and we do not judge. But we just want to let you know it can get lonely there. We wish that you would let us in one day. Until then, just know that, we love you always. Always have and always will be. You are a special person. We know that you secretly have so much love inside your heart. We just hope that you can share many of it with yourself too. Because darling, you are worth it. You are worth all the love and a beautiful life you are meant to go through. Never forget that.