Dear girl, being beautiful is not a tax you pay for being a woman. You do not owe the world beauty; you are not a painting to be put on display.
You are here to learn; you are here to love. You are here to live every day in a way that makes you feel alive.
I’m sorry that the world has confused you. I’m sorry the world has made you feel that your value can somehow be measured on a 1-10 scale. Because the truth is, you are powerful beyond measure—you are magnificent regardless of your reflection.
This summer, I hope you jump head-first into the water without fear. I hope you connect with the little girl that lives within you, the little girl who didn’t know what it meant to be anything but perfect.
I hope you choose to leave beauty behind.
Understand this: the short story is that you will never be deemed enough. There will always be someone prettier, someone who stands taller beside society’s tilted tape measure. The only validation of your existence, the only true path to liberation, the only way to live without the weight of the world, is to fight for self-acceptance. Maybe it will be a daily battle; maybe it will happen all at once. But one day, you will wake up without the need to conceal or reveal, without the need or desire to be anyone but the wonderful, authentic you.
Call her beautiful, and she’ll smile at your well-intentioned words. But just like a mirage, it will leave her wanting; it will leave her with nothing to hold onto.
When you choose to leave beauty behind, you open yourself up to life in all its wonder. You give yourself true freedom. And isn’t it time to give yourself what you’ve wanted all along?