Learning to Love Myself

I know how hard it can be to not look like them. Whoever the “them” may be on your campus or social media feed, it may seem like it would be so much better to be like them or to look like them. But that’s where you’re wrong. You should be you.

Individuality is a hard characteristic to find nowadays, especially in this age of social media in which everyone wants to look like everyone else, and everyone is fighting to see who can get the most likes or comments on their post. All in what seems to be some pointless, neverending cycle of asking yourself “How can I look more like that?” or “Wow, I wish I had her clothes.” I cannot lie; I have asked myself these questions numerous times. I’ve even bought some trendy clothes, hoping that I would look just a bit more like the girls I envied. All of this was to no avail. I’m different, from my tall height to my olive skin tone to my messy, unmanageable hair; there was no way to really look like my “beautiful” counterparts.

Hundreds of dollars and a new wardrobe later, I’ve finally realized that there is so much about myself that I should love. There are characteristics about me that people see and think, “Wow, I wish I looked like that.” I never knew this until it was pointed out to me. This helped me learn to love who I am. I just had to find the things that I loved about myself and enhance them. My hairstylist was the biggest help in my journey. I went in with no idea of what I wanted and she knew exactly what to do. I also bought some unique clothing pieces on a website. Unique pieces that I absolutely fell in love with and that felt like me.

It’s an ongoing process. I’m still learning to love myself, but I can proudly say I have gotten much better about it. I’ve learned to love my tall height, which seemed to be a burden at first, but I’ve realized the benefits of being able to reach into kitchen cabinets. I’ve learned to love my skin color and my hair, which I inherited from my Filipino father. I’ve even learned to love my imperfections, the things that make me feel even more self-conscious because I’ve realized that every girl has these sort of “imperfections.” Stretch marks, moles, freckles, birthmarks; they are all a part of being who you are and remind us that everyone is -- and should be-- different.