Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Flowers and sky
Flowers and sky
Original photo by Brandy Muz
Style > Beauty

Loving Yourself and The Body You’re In

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

When I used to take photos of myself, I would stare at my face for what felt like forever, focusing on every part until it didn’t quite look like me anymore. My eyebrows seeming too bushy, my nose looking too big, my jawline warping like a funhouse mirror. 

When I looked at myself in a full length mirror, I would get sick at the reflection staring back at me. Knowing that it was my own. And hating that it was my own. 

I would spend hours debating on whether or not to post a picture I’d taken onto Instagram, feeling as though I wasn’t good enough to be amongst everyone else’s feeds. Even sharing myself with people who saw me every single day was difficult.

Everyone seemed so pretty so naturally, posing with their perfect smiles and wonderful looking bodies while I sat as I was. Born to be out of the beauty standard with a body that wouldn’t adhere to the cookie cutter definition of beauty. I felt unworthy of anything, so I really never posted my own face to social media. 

Self-love was hard for me. Because I didn’t like myself. Because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. 

I would go have photoshoots with my friends, and only hold on to a single picture I thought was adequate… if I even liked any that were taken at all. Standing to the side as my friends posted cute photos, watching my face twist before my eyes, knowing I wasn’t confident enough to feel like everyone else did. 

Somehow they didn’t take them right. Somehow the same background as everyone else made me look disgusting, spending my time making sure they looked fantastic. Standing to the sidelines of self-love, looking awkward when it was my turn. 

I cried when I got my senior photos back because I thought I was ugly.

My self-esteem was so low that I began to hate the way I looked entirely. Feeling as if everybody that glanced in my direction thought I was the worst thing they’d ever had the displeasure of looking at. 

People told me I was pretty, sure. But I swore they were only out to make me feel better about looking like the weird girl in every single Hollywood movie out there. Knowing that I was the one to be laughed at, and accepting it long ago. 

I wished that I could radiate confidence and embrace who I was without having to go through any drastic changes. Diets, cleanses, and altering my appearance seemed like too much effort.

Dissatisfied with who I was, I sat back and blended in. 

… Until the one day I sat down at my desk, and decided to get dressed up to simply attend class. 

I listened to my lecture in the background as I straightened my hair, playing around with fun colors on my eyelids, and putting accessories on. Something I’d done many times before had felt special as I looked up into the mirror. 

The person looking back was pretty. 

The person looking back was me. 

I don’t know what it was, but I liked the way I looked in that moment, and suddenly all the years of thinking I wasn’t good enough went away. 

I didn’t lose weight, I didn’t change my hair or even do my makeup any differently than before. But what I did change was the way I talked to myself. 

Affirming that I was pretty and hammering in that I was worthy, I stared back at the reflection I’d come to hate with a smile. In my dorm room on a hot September day, preparing to listen to a professor drone on for three hours, I told myself that I was beautiful. 

I left the building that day feeling light and airy, radiating the confidence I always wanted to flaunt. Feeling every bit of sunlight hit my skin as I did my daily tasks, I embraced who I was, and thought of myself as pretty. 

Because I wasn’t pretty like her, I was pretty like myself. 

When I got back to my dorm room after class, my roommate smiled from her bed and told me I looked good. Something about her compliment hammered in that it was possible to be pleasing to the eye without anything but my own mind. 

From then on I would get dolled up to go to class, taking time to snap a few photos of myself before I’d left, and grinning at the beautiful features I’d had all my life. Posting them to social media and feeling the love of friends who recognized my new outlook on myself. My own self-image building up every day as I told myself how gorgeous I was. 

Today, it still sticks. 

I’ve told myself that I’m pretty, and when I’m having an off day I look back at the photos in which I’m glowing, and know that we’re the same person. Every bit of the girl in those pictures is me even when I don’t feel like it’s true. 

Truly. I love myself and the body I’m in, from my pores to my toes. From my heart to my soul, I know my worth to my very core. 

And I can only wish that other people feel the same about themselves, because it feels great

Love yourself for all you are, every bump and every bruise. Because beauty can’t be defined in the size of jeans you wear, or the way your hair frames your face. Beauty is unique to every person – you just have to dig a little bit deeper.

Brandy Muz is an aspiring writer hailing from Saginaw, Michigan. She enjoys going to the gym, having fun with friends, and making people laugh. With her strength in stories, she hopes to spread joy by way of words.