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Hey, Her Campus readers, I'm going to tell you a secret: I sometimes struggle with body positivity and feelings of negative self-esteem. I internalize everything, which means that if someone says something negative about me/to me, I will replay it in my mind about 50,000 times, remember it forever, and then think about that one small moment in time when I felt small.

This also happens if I am unsure about wearing certain clothes (read: crop tops, skirts, shorts); if I do end up wearing the clothes, a feeling of insecurity will stick with me throughout the day. To combat this, I have begun to do things, and remember pieces of advice, that have helped me to stay positive about my own body and my overall appearance, so that when feelings of insecurities do come along, I can fight them off in an instant.

If I am self-conscious about a part of my body and am unsure about wearing some clothes that wouldn't hide that insecurity, I try to face my fears and wear it anyway. I heard once that Eleanor Roosevelt said to “Do one thing every day that scares you;” this wisdom has compelled me to stray out of my comfort zone so much — both in terms of things that I wear or how I present myself, and in everyday activities that would normally make me feel uncomfortable. Reminding myself that I only have one life and that others' opinions (or how I think others will react to me) will not determine the life that I lead has been paramount in securing my success towards a healthy self-esteem.

Also, I often remind myself that pretty much no one cares about how I look. This isn't high school with judgmental popular girls or jocks who only care about your looks — don't get me wrong, there are some judgmental people out there, but in reality, most people aren't whispering about how you look or turning their heads to stare.

The only person who can determine your beauty is YOU and how you feel about yourself. Wear what you think is sexy. Put on makeup, or don't put on makeup, do whatever makes you feel great. Though, my only advice on this latter regard is to remember not to feel like you HAVE to wear makeup to look “normal” or “pretty.” The beauty industry makes a lot of money off making women think that they don't live up to society's standard of beauty without makeup.

Image source: Pexels

But sometimes, it’s hard to feel that you're not as pretty without makeup. Whenever I struggle with insecurities or feelings of ugliness without makeup, I remember what my parents would (bluntly) say to me in high school. I always wanted to wear makeup and wear what everyone else was so that I could feel prettier, but every time, they would say something like this: “Who cares? Who cares if you wear makeup or not, who cares if you have a different style than everyone else?”

Of course, I was never allowed to wear makeup and, basically, everything that the popular girls in my high school got to indulge in was strictly banned in my household, so, at the time, I resented these words. Then, I didn't realize what an impact my slightly-strict upbringing would afford me. Now, though, I'm so grateful that my parents raised me to not care about how others perceived my general appearance and to know that I am beautiful for who I am. Because it became normal for me to not wear makeup and not care if I wore the same things that

And, so, I will leave you with these parting words: Who cares if you don’t fit in with society’s standard of beauty? Neither do I and neither do 98% of the people around you. What matters is that you feel confident in your own skin by just being you and reminding yourself that you are gorgeous (because you are!).

Image source: Unsplash

Cover photo source: Pexels

Melissa is currently an English major at the University of California, Davis and, in addition to this, she is pursuing a minor in Economics. Melissa currently has a part-time job on campus in addition to writing for hercampus.com. You can follow her on instagram at melissa_hosking
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