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A lot of the time, it’s easy to see the good in other people. Sure, maybe not if you’re mad at them. But ask anyone and they could tell you a billion things they love about their best friend, from the way that they talk to the gestures they make with their hands. I think, though, many people have a difficult time applying the same love they have for other people toward themselves, and I am certainly no exception. Like many others, I grew up picking apart lots of little things about my appearance. One thing that helped overcome this habit was seeing beautiful people on the internet explaining the things they criticized about themselves when they were younger. 

People are too hard on themselves for so much more than just their physical features, but for the sake of brevity, I’m only going to focus on physical traits. I’ve come up with several features that I less-than-loved about myself when I was younger, but that I think bring life and uniqueness to me now.

#1: My downturned eyes

My eyes tilt downwards at the corners instead of upwards like my sisters’ eyes. It’s most noticeable when I smile. I think when I was younger, we used to call them “panda eyes” or “Eeyore eyes.” I love pandas just as much as, if not more than, the next person — but I did worry that the downturned eyes made me look sad or tired. But now, I just smile a lot more to signal to people that I’m not sad at all. That’s just how I look.

#2: My nose bump

When viewed from the side, my nose has a bump on the bridge. I actually think this is a common trait that I hear other people criticize about themselves, but nose bumps of any size are really pretty! Not only have I realized that it doesn’t actually look bad at all, but my nose bump also helps me keep my glasses (and now mask) up high on my face so that I can see well. 

Anna Shvets via Pexels

#3: My visible pores

Now, I’ve realized that my face kind of looks like a strawberry with small seeds scattered around the front of my cheeks. I love strawberries, so looking at things that way has helped me a lot, and I hope it helps you too if you also have strawberry cheeks!

#4: My rabbit teeth

I have a pretty prominent set of four front teeth that are usually visible when my face is relaxed. Some people call them “American Girl Doll” teeth. My teeth are relatively large and pretty box-shaped, but I think they help give me a more distinct smile, and maybe even help me chew things better.

Those are just a couple things I have (this is harder than it looks!). Try coming up with your own list, and hopefully you can feel even a little better about yourself too. But I’ve found that it’s OK if you can’t find beauty in every trait. Some characteristics just are the way they are. Like yes, I have stubby fingernails. I don’t think they’re beautiful or anything, but they don’t take away from who I am. Some things just are a part of us — not everything has to be beautiful or perfect.

Freshman in EECS at UC Berkeley
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