Every girl at some point in her life looked into the mirror and cursed herself for that not so perfect nose, flat or curly hair, big or thin lips, skin tone or texture, bulky body or lean thighs, she gazed and found flaws after flaws, she gazed and found resentment for her own reflection. She gazed and said aloud to herself, "How she is not good enough". She gazed.
So what is this idea of beauty that girls are hounded with ever since their childhood? Why a young girl aged 5 or 6 feels the need to put on makeup, dress like her mother, imitate her, and grow up to become like her. She unknowingly believes in her head pretty and beautiful is not what she is born with, it can only be achieved through the cosmetics her mother wears. A young girl grows up to become an insecure adult. Competing and comparing, judging herself and her being through the contorted lens of society, all of this for what? To post those fancy pictures online? or to get the man she always desired? or to feel good about herself because somewhere she is convinced "she is not good enough".
Now as an adult she is struggling to put up a smile when she sees another woman with a perfect hair or body type, she is struggling to be happy, while deep within she carries resentment for that woman and for herself.
Is this young girl turned adult to be blamed? Or her mother who too was once a young girl learning from her mother is to be blamed? Or maybe the cosmetic industry who ensured that women hate themselves for their not so perfect looks. Or maybe the society consisting of our friends, our colleagues, our family, and oh so dear social media ensuring day in and day out for how to remain meek, doubtful of our own being. Maybe.
It's time for us to understand that our mother' didn't put those insecurities on us, they too were the victim of society and its beauty standards. It's time to forgive them and ourselves for falling into the trap of societal expectations regarding beauty or our physical being. It's time to tell the young girl that she is beautiful in those freckles and flaws. She doesn't need to cover her beauty with layers of toxicity. This is not to say, stop putting makeup, but to assert the importance of being in love with the woman in the mirror once those layers come down. To love her unabashedly for who she is than what others want her to be. To forgive and nurture her being, which is so unique and beautiful. To know, "she is beautiful" and no one in the world can make her feel otherwise. No one.
This is to the young girl in you and I wanting to be loved and appreciated without being corrected and judged. This is to the adult in you and I struggling to fit in, meet those expectations, cursing ourselves for who we are, but NO MORE. I say, no more.
"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder", let this beauty be seen and accepted by the beholder: by you. Let the world pushing its ideas, expectations down our throats don't stagger us anymore. Let us fight through this storm the one within (the bigger the mightier one) and the one without by beginning with small steps, by beginning with small doses of self-acceptance.
Here I bring to you some of the ways in which I accepted myself, and I believe, you too, if you want can live the joy of being in love with your BEING.
Yes, they work. They do. Begin every day looking into the mirror and speaking loud to yourself: I love you. It may be very difficult, but keep trying, keep pushing. Smile as you acknowledge your reflection, as you acknowledge yourself.
Forgive yourself for being so hard on you. For hating your body just because someone told you, and you believed 'you were not good enough'. Forgive yourself for believing in the lie. Forgive all those people who religiously wants to make you feel otherwise. Please remember, how and what people say is a reflection of who they are, it is never about you. So forgive them. They need help.
3. Inculcate a habit of smiling and being happy in life
That happiness once practiced will become a virtue and it will reflect through you. Smile.
4. Gratitude works like magic
It really does! not only for self-acceptance but in every aspect of our life. Remember to say thank you, always.
5. Before hitting the bed look again into the mirror and thank your body for helping you thrive through the day
Acknowledge the cells in your being who are working to keep you alive, keep you breathing. It may sound strange, but try to just thank one person who is there with you: your body- YOU!.
With this, thank you for reading and I wish you all the best in this journey of self-acceptance
About the Author
Pragya Singh is flying in her own la la land of love and togetherness. Wanting to see a world where women happily support and believe in women. Because hey, in women, we believe.