You have probably asked a friend to delete a photograph because you hated the way you looked. You have probably caught your reflection in your laptop screen and glanced away in disgust. You have probably placed a snapchat filter over your face because you believed your real face was too flawed to post.
You have probably run late for class or work or an appointment because you were in the bathroom for a little too long, fixing your eyeliner or re-curling your hair for the hundredth time because it didn’t look good enough the first time. You have probably called in sick (or at least considered it) because you felt too insecure to leave the house.
You have probably called yourself hurtful names without thinking twice. Ugly. Disgusting. Unattractive. Unlovable. You have probably treated yourself worse than you have treated exes, worse than you have treated backstabbing friends, worse than you have treated the people you claim you hate more than anyone.
You have probably grown used to treating yourself like crap — but it’s time to stop.
Never talk to yourself like that again. Never use negative words when you look into the mirror. Never waste time criticizing yourself when you could be uplifting yourself. The next time you feel self-conscious, draw your focus away from pimples your foundation does not seem to cover completely and pay more attention to the shine of your eyes, the curve of your lips, the pieces of yourself you consider pretty.
Never shake off compliments again. Instead of disagreeing when someone tells you how nice you look, let the words sink in. Dwell on them the same way you dwell on your own personal insults. Whenever you start to feel bad about yourself, list off the compliments you have gotten in your head. Remember the way other people view you is not the same as the unhealthy way you view yourself.
Never delete photographs of yourself again. You are going to want to keep the memories of laughing aloud with friends and posing in your swimsuits. When you’re older, you will wish you had more pictures saved. You might even look back on snapshots you cannot stand to look at now and wonder why you were so hard on yourself. You will see the beauty the current you cannot.
Never question your worth again. When a relationship doesn’t work out, do not blame the way you look. Blame timing. Blame bad taste. Blame anything aside from the size of your stomach and breasts, because you are beautiful, even if no one has reminded you lately. You are beautiful, even if that is the last word you would use to describe yourself.
Even though you are going to struggle to change the little voice in the back of your head, promise to never call yourself ugly. Never tear yourself down. Never make yourself feel worthless. Place the days of insulting yourself behind you, because you deserve to feel comfortable in your body. You deserve to accept yourself — and maybe one day you can even learn to love yourself.