I am on a mission to love myself. Truly and completely. This means investing time to take care of myself- good face masks, taking care of my hair, taking all of my medicine and supplements. But it also means letting go of some things. Like straightening my hair obsessively, always ready to run from any water because god forbid I get frizz or my natural curls are revealed. Straightening my hair for three hours every week does not make me happy. Hearing people tell me how much better I look with straight hair does not make me happy. Confident, yes, but not happy. Those terms are not always mutually inclusive. Waking up earlier to layer on makeup does not make me happy. But a five-minute makeup routine does. So it stays.

I can’t love my short piggish little nose, my puffy wrinkly eyes, my visible veins, my stuck out ears, or my chubby face. I can’t love my disproportionately narrow hips or the cellulite at the bottom of my itty bitty butt. Not my hip dips, my frizzy hair, or my big forehead.

But I can love how soft and pouty my lips are, how straight the bridge of my nose is, and the shape of my cheekbones. I can appreciate the soft parts and hard edges my body has. I can love how long and (usually) healthy my hair is. I can love having dainty feet, and relish the fact that at 35 I will probably look 20 thanks to this relentless baby face.

Yes, these are all only physical attributes, but honestly? Nobody wants to hear what I think of my subconscious traits.

In the Instagram era it’s very hard to realise that the people on Instagram only look that good because of the insane poses. I can make myself look like that too when I jut my hip out and twist my spine so far it screams. It’s easy. What isn’t easy is seeing past these poses in photos, and stopping yourself from making comparisons. All you can do is identify what you do have, without posing or camera angles or contouring, and appreciate it.

Nobody posts their average photos online. Especially not when those photos bring in money.

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