I Can't Convince Myself I'm Beautiful

I had to recently design a workshop involving high school girls and the concept of self-perception and beauty. One activity in particular required the girls to look directly into a handheld mirror and confidently tell the eyes of their mirrored reflection that they were beautiful. I dare you to try this, because let me tell you it is not easy.

Which leads me to wonder, why is it so difficult for women to admit out loud or even believe within the hidden confinements of our hearts that we are in fact beautiful?

I know for myself, just hearing the word makes me uncomfortable, never mind trying to accept it. I believe this very well may be a difficult concept for many women to grasp. The idea that although they are not blown up in the latest magazine editorials or runner up for America’s Next Top Model, they are too beautiful and deserve the right to be.

I once wrote in a journal of mine “I can’t convince myself I am beautiful” and although I have come a long way from that exact feeling, I still and perhaps always will struggle with this word. I used to hate my smile, but have recently grown to admire the distinction that makes it all my own. My petite figure used to make me crave breast implants but after many years of trying to fall in love with the skin I am in, I have confidently reconsidered.

What I discovered thus far in my elongated journey to self-acceptance and even love is that maybe my concept of beauty has been skewed into something that is not real. That in fact, true beauty is hidden behind the many insecurities and imperfections we try so hard to conceal.

I think much of my self-hatred came from the battles I struggled with within myself. The pain I felt underneath the confined layers of makeup and designer purses helped cover up the hidden tears and bruises I was hiding along the way. It is not easy to share these past insecurities out loud, but either was it to admit I was beautiful.

What I’m discovering is that no-matter what I am unraveling about myself, good or bad; it is never easy if it is real