She used to turn away when her friends raised their phones to take spontaneous pictures of her. She used to shake her head and mumble about how she looked like a mess when someone complimented her. She used to take fifty almost-identical selfies before she found one she felt confident enough to post on social media. She used to hate looking at herself in the mirror, because instead of seeing her beauty, all she saw were her flaws.
She used to make jokes about how she was the sexiest woman in the room, about how she could have any guy that she wanted, but that’s all they were. Jokes. She never actually believed them. However, the jokes about how she was going to die alone, about how she was expecting to stay single forever, weren’t actually jokes. She meant every word.
She used to have so much trouble seeing the good in herself. She used to struggle to love herself.
But over time, she got tired of being self-conscious. Of changing outfits five times before leaving the house. Of checking the scale every other day. Of letting other people walk over her because she felt like they were somehow better than her.
Now, she is making a conscious effort to treat herself with kindness. To pose for pictures with a smile, even if she hates the way her teeth look. To accept any compliments that she receives, even if she feels like a mess that day. To look in the mirror and like what she sees. To call herself sexy and actually mean it.
Even though it takes effort to change the way she’s thought about herself since childhood, she is trying her hardest to stop comparing herself to other girls. She is trying her hardest to switch her inner dialogue from being nasty to being nice. She is trying her hardest to change the way she thinks about beauty and the way she thinks about herself.
Now, the confidence that she shows isn’t fake. It isn’t some kind of an act she puts on to impress boys or to fit in with her friends. Now, her confidence is real. It is authentic.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that her insecurities have mysteriously vanished overnight. They are still there. There are still days when she feels fat and wears something loose and black to distract from her weight. There are still mornings when she works extra long on her makeup to cover the pimples that have sprouted on her face. There are still nights when she lies about being busy to her friends because she isn’t in the right mindset to leave the house and socialize.
Loving herself has never been something that came naturally to her. It has always been something that she struggled with, but that struggle was worth every second, because she is more confident now. Now, she realizes how much she deserves self-love. Now, she realizes she deserves to call that girl in the mirror a friend.