You're Hot Even If You Don't Know It

I realize my emotions and experiences do not reflect everyone’s, but I’ve always found other’s personal anecdotes helpful, warming, or inspiring. I’m hopeful that this may offer those feelings to some of you, too.

My feelings during my tween years and beyond were typical of a mid-puberty girl--I held a deep-rooted belief that I was ugly. Middle school was painfully awkward; with braces, acne, frizzy hair, and powder foundation a shade too light for my skin tone, I felt like an ugly duckling. The three painful, hormone filled years passed, I got my braces taken off, and I learned how to do my hair and makeup successfully. I look back at my freshman year of high school as the year I “blossomed.” There suddenly seemed to be a common agreement among my male peers that I was pretty, and at 14, this was all the validation I had always craved. (Sad, I know. Thankfully, I’ve grown a lot since then! #bless)

Nevertheless, I still didn’t believe I wasn’t somewhat ugly or unattractive.

The distinct difference between my middle school and high school (or current) insecurities are that of simply being self-conscious about my hair, face, or the way my jeans fit at age 12, to holding the belief that my body isn’t skinny enough, fit enough, toned enough--good enough at age 17. I’ve learned that this is really normal for most women, even through their 30’s and beyond, and I think that’s a really disheartening truth. But I’ve discovered something recently that changed my perspective on how I look at myself.

From the time I was 14, I have hated my body. I went on my first crash diet over holiday break of my freshman year, and the yo-yo dieting, detoxes, and 30-day ab challenges soon filled up my free time for the remainder of my high school years. I strongly believed that I was fat. Here’s the thing: I wasn’t. My body, even in the moments, days, and months I felt the most unattractive or ashamed of it, never looked bad. In fact, I looked good.

Looking through old photos of my young (slightly too skinny) self, it broke my heart to know that I hid my body and genuinely believed that I was fat. I looked good! What was I so worried about? Then I thought, I don’t want to be thirty and wish I liked my body in my twenties. One day I’ll Iook back at photos from now and think the same thing. I’ll think that I looked good. While considering pictures of my past self, I recognized that there is a strong chance that I look good now, too.

Don’t get me wrong, this didn’t magically solve all of my insecurities, but it introduced me to a really eye-opening perspective. One day I’ll think I look great, so why not try to think that today?

 

Hating your body has unfortunately been normalized for many women, and it can take a lot of work to undo that damage. Imagining the way your future self will look at your past self can be one small step towards greater body positivity.

Essentially, you’re hot even if you don’t know it. Live up your beauty!!!

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