I had a wise anonymous person tell me on tumblr “There’s a vulnerability to being kind, but when you open yourself up in this way, you’ll find a freedom you may never have expected.” There is a definite truth to that. Putting goodness into the world can never hurt. It’ll make you feel good; it’ll make those around you feel good. And, in turn, you could be opening yourself up to new friendships. Not only will you be turning that moment of love for your appearance into something everyone can gain from, but you’ll also be warming your soul beneath the skin by being a wonderful human being.
Something else to remember is that no one else can make you love yourself. This is your responsibility. No boy or girl can ‘fix’ you by telling you you’re beautiful. Sure, it’s an amazing thing to hear, but, like I said, being body confident is all on you. I learnt that the hard way; you have to love yourself before you can expect anyone to love you back. By that, I don’t mean a person won’t necessarily love you because you’re not confident — although confidence can definitely be deemed as an attractive trait. What I mean is — in my own personal experiences — I have found that a lack of appreciation for myself can lead to damaging and triggering thoughts that ultimately lead to things not working out. In my case, I didn’t feel like I was in the same league as this guy, and although I never believed for a second it could lead to cheating, I did think that one day he’d realise that he could do so much better, and I didn’t want to open myself up to that kind of hurt in the long run. Obviously that was only one contributing factor in that situation, but you get my point: you cannot rely solely on someone else to love you. Nor should you allow your worth to be defined by someone else in the first place. You are your own person.
I also wanted to touch lightly on actively doing something about your body, whether that be through dieting or exercising, or both. Clearly I am no professional in this topic, but I think it goes without saying that you should remain healthy and not push yourselves too hard. I have started to complete a daily exercise routine, because I do want to try and lose a bit of weight. This is definitely something I am doing for myself, because I believe I’m carrying a few more extra pounds than I should be. I want to highlight that it’s important that you do these things because they make you feel good, and not because you’re experiencing some higher pressure from people in your life, or even society (because we all know society/the media can suck when it comes to broadcasting the ‘perfect’ body type and casting ridiculous expectations on women). You will get so much more out of healthy eating and exercising if you want to do it, and that is something I always take into consideration now. You lose motivation fast if you burden yourself too much.
Lastly, I want to stress that it is an ongoing process. I may have written all of this, but I am by no means on the other side. I am not certain there will ever be a point where a person can ever be one hundred percent happy with how they look, but there’s definite truth that you can change your attitude for the better. As you grow older — and this is something I’m finding — you come to realise that appearance honestly isn’t everything, and that life is far too short to be hating on and holding yourself back. And, as much as I sometimes find it hard to believe, there are people out there who are going to see you in a completely different way to the way you do. That’s something I have to remind myself constantly. You might think your friends and family or whoever are just saying it for the sake of it, but it’s true. We look in the mirror and we see all the things we hate, and we think ‘yeah, but I can see it for myself, it’s right there’, but that might be a feature or flaw someone else wouldn’t even notice. Or they might even love that one niggling thing about you. Think about that. And start loving yourself.