1. You are not alone in the way that you feel. Everybody has “ugly days” – even someone who you consider the most beautiful person on the Earth has woken up certain days and hated the way that they looked in the mirror. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone.
2. Yes, they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And it’s wonderful to surround yourself with people who make you feel beautiful and accepted and loved.
3. …But your beauty is not validated by anyone else. Not even the most loving, supportive, and well-meaning person. It does not matter who the beholder is. You do not need a beholder to be beautiful.
4. You are beautiful in your own right. You are a person who has never existed before. You are unique and special. You are bringing a little more goodness into the world just by being brave enough to be yourself.
5. No matter how much weight you lose, or what your body looks like, or how hard you diet and exercise, there are always going to be days where you don’t feel great about yourself. It’s a never-ending game. So although you might think that true happiness will come when you look like this or that, it won’t. Chasing physical perfection will only make you more depressed, because it is impossible, and no one will ever achieve it.
6. But chasing health? That will bring you more joy than you can imagine. Forcing yourself to run so much that you throw up and forbidding yourself to eat what your body needs – just to fit into that one dress – will only leave you feeling exhausted, depressed, and ill. But exercising and eating right, with the purpose of keeping your heart and your mind and the rest of your body healthy, strong, and lively, will make you feel more beautiful and more alive than you ever have in your life.
7. Ten years from now, or even five or even two, nobody is going to remember the time you had some bad acne or were carrying around an extra twenty pounds. What people will remember is whether or not you were a kind, honest, and genuine human being.
8. The things you hate about yourself are sometimes the things that other people find the most unique and fascinating about you. My sweet, beautiful younger sister is very Irish-looking and has a ton of freckles all over her face, which she hates. But these freckles honestly make her even more beautiful and unique-looking than she already was. It’s the first thing people notice about her, and one of the things that makes her so memorable.
9. No matter how high your self-esteem is, you’ll probably have an occasional fat day or a bad hair day or an “everything I own looks hideous on me” day. And that’s okay. Go easy on yourself. We’re all human beings, and sometimes, coming to terms with our inevitable imperfection can be difficult, especially in a world where we’re made to think that our worth only comes from physical attractiveness. Just remind yourself to get out of your own head, and to ignore any thought that are trying to tell you you aren’t good enough.
10. Being loved can make you feel more beautiful. But it does not make you beautiful. It does not make you worthy. You have inherent worth. You have inherent beauty. You. Are. Good. Enough.
11. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but myself and most people I know will always remember the person who smiled – so much more than the cold, objectively beautiful person.
12. If the people you surround yourself with are making you feel bad about yourself, there’s nothing wrong with you. They’re the problem. You should never have to prove your own adequacy, especially physically, and especially to your “friends.”
13. That being said, there is a difference between separating yourself from toxic people, and knowing when you’re trying to project your own insecurities onto others. Always maintain your own self-awareness so that you know the difference.
14. Each one of us is a work in progress. We will look and feel different today than we did yesterday, and than we did two years ago, and five. And as long as you’re focused on becoming the best version of yourself, and growing with each and every day, you will never truly lose your beauty.
15. Although it’s nice to feel confident about yourself, looks fade. Putting all of your stock into what you look like is just a lost cause waiting to happen. It’s better to love yourself for who you are, but to focus more on the kind of person you are. Because as long as you’re always working on yourself, you won’t lose those character traits that you’re most proud of.