How Can You Love Yourself When Society Tells You Not To?

averie woodard
averie woodard

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a girl. She was an average girl, average height, average weight, plain brown hair, plain brown eyes. Sometimes she had a sense of humor, sometimes she cried herself to sleep. She didn’t stand out in a crowd, she just went through her days, mundane and repetitive. She lived her routine and tried her hardest to ignore that she was nothing special.

But the surprise is, she was something special. Or, she had something special. She had this machine, and every time she stepped into the machine she could change whatever she wanted about herself. She could create something better than average, something spectacular out of herself.

She was told she had a little too much pudge on her stomach, so she stepped into the machine and flattened her stomach.

She was told her hair was ugly and looked like straw, so she stepped into the machine and came out with hair that shined brighter than the stars, and bounced like it had just come out of a commercial.

She was told her hands were short and stubby, so she stepped into the machine and came out with long, elegant fingers that looked like they could create the most beautiful music in the world.

She was told her lips were too small, so she stepped into the machine and came out with fuller lips, that looked as if they spoke the most beautiful words in the world.

But then she was told that she was too skinny, so she stepped into the machine and tried to add curves to her body.

But then she was told that her hair looked too greasy, so she stepped into the machine and tried to take away the grease.

But then she was told her hands looked too scary, like hands of a scarecrow, so she stepped into the machine and tried to make them shorter and less bony.

But then she was told that her lips were too big and took over her face, so she stepped into the machine and tried to make them thinner.

The girl lost herself. The girl forgot who she was and what she looked like before. She realized that no matter what, society will never be pleased. She realized that she will always be too this or too that or not enough this or not enough that.

She realized that no machine could ever make her perfect, because perfect is unattainable. She realized that she had gotten so caught up in her physical aspects that she lost who she was on the inside. She realized that she had gotten so caught up in what other people wanted her to look like that she couldn’t even find her own words anymore.

They were all tainted with the letters of another person’s cruelties.

So once upon a time, in a land very near to here, existed a society that put so much pressure on the physical appearance of people and the desire to be perfect. In a land very near to here existed a society that body shames for being too fat or too thin or too muscular or too fake or too plain. And in this society exist people who desire for nothing more than three wishes to change anything and everything about their physical appearance. And in this society exist people who don’t know the danger of this machine.

In this society exist people who have a far more powerful machine, a machine that has the power to turn the harsh, judgmental words into dust that floats away with a soft breeze. This machine, this mind that is inside of everyone in this society, can change the desire for a physical machine with just one simple push of a button.

Push the button that says you’re beautiful.

Push the button that stops shaming others for any “imperfections” in their body. Push the button that clears your eyes and lets you see the beauty that exists in every single person. Push the button that destroys the other machine. Push the button that drowns out the hateful words. Push the button that reminds you how ineffable you are.

Push the button that teaches you how to be infatuated with yourself, in all your beautiful glory.

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