The Broken Mirror

Note: I actually wrote this two and a half weeks ago in a fit of tears and I’ve been contemplating whether or not to post it since then. I tossed around the idea of password protecting it for a while and decided on just putting it out there. Hiding it went against what I strive for: sincerity.  And though I realise posts after the excitement of the wedding competition should probably all keep riding  the wave of the upbeat (and don’t worry, I’m okay, and said upbeat WILL return pronto), as I’ve mentioned in blog posts prior, I’m not one to pretend everything is sunshine and unicorns when behind the screen, it’s not.  I may be shooting myself in the foot and alienating readers with this, but I’m hoping, contrary to what I’ve sometimes seen around the blogosphere, people might be drawn to the genuine rather than stories about cupcakes and puppies.  But if this does push people away, I apologise in advance. I just have a really hard time sugar coating things when being real is so important to me.

This brings me to the issue at hand. Remember the List? Of course you do; I’ve been writing about my endeavours to tackle it since before it went public. I was talking about it earlier this week with someone, and I started worrying about the items that were going to be rather more difficult to achieve than others. Anyone can start exercising, or make smoothies, or floss. Anyone can make new friendships, or do karaoke, or learn to speak publicly with enough dedication and hard work.  But what happens when something on your list seems to defy the way you’ve lived your entire life? I panicked a little when I revisited Number 12: Stop Hating How I Look.

How can you change the way you feel about something when the reality of it stares you in the face on a daily basis? What if I suddenly wanted to like, I don’t know, rap music, or root beer – things I’ve experienced, disliked, and subsequently formed an opinion on.  I wouldn’t magically be able to start appreciating them when I already know I’m not a fan. I feel like it’s the same with how I look, as painfully awkard and superficial as this sounds. Every day I look in the mirror, or at pictures, and I think how repulsive I am. I want to Photoshop my nose because it’s hideously huge and I don’t understand how the rest of the world doesn’t see what I see.  Every time I sit across from someone I worry if they’re secretly looking at my face and seeing what I see when I look in the mirror. Ugly. I was trying to explain myself to this person and found myself breaking down in tears at the thought of getting my wedding photos back – being completely natural and happy on the day, only to get the photographs back  in a few weeks and be appalled at how awful I looked.  In all honesty I’m dreading being the centre of attention and the subject of every photograph because I feel like every snapshot is another piece of evidence in the case that proves how unattractive I am.

This person asked me if outward appearance was important to me. If, in my list of goals for how I want to live my life, physical beauty or lack thereof was ever part of my equation.  Every fibre of my soul wants to say no – because I know I would never judge someone based on how they look.  But the reality is that a large part of the rest of the world does.  There are countless studies on the human face in relation to partnerships, career opportunities, satisfaction with life – and every study proves that those who are considered to be more attractive do better at work, have higher salaries, larger groups of friends, and more satisfaction with their lives and relationships than those who feel, or are considered to be, unattractive.  I know with everything I am that outer appearance doesn’t matter in the slightest, but I also know the way in which the world works.  I genuinely feel uncomfortable in front of people, not just because I’m afraid of public speaking – and that’s something for which I’m able to take steps to tackle – but because I fear everyone in front of me is thinking the same thing about me I do.  I can’t help but feel if I had plastic surgery, and looked how I want to look, that worry and self consciousness would disappear and I would be free to enjoy life, to be in front of people without fear and just do a better job, to be less afraid of getting out there into the world and making a difference, achieving my potential.  How I feel about how I look is holding me back. But unlike social anxiety, it’s not something over which I have any control.

Anyone who’s been reading me for more than a couple of weeks will know I’m a huge advocator for taking control of your life. If you don’t like your circumstances, have the strength to dive in there and actively shape them into what you want them to be.  I let fear and negative self talk rule my life for far too long – you all know that, and you know I’ve been jumping at everything I used to be scared of in the hope of becoming stronger for trying.  I want to be comfortable in front of crowds? Jump right in and start practising instead of hiding on the sidelines. But the goal of being able to not see myself the way I have for so long – I don’t know where to even begin. I don’t know how to change a thought pattern – which sounds so hypocritical, considering I’m the biggest advocate for changing your thoughts in order to change your life. This person told me she doesn’t want me doing something drastic like surgery because she’s “seen me take the hard path before, and this seems like the easy road.”  She wrote me a message earlier in the week:

You have transformed your life in ways I could never imagine, overcome huge struggles and you’re a better person because of it. I’m so proud of you. This is why I’m challenging you to once again take the difficult road of self-loving that I’ve seen you undertake time and again these past few years. I guess the reason I don’t see the need for you to resort to an extreme tactic to fix this ‘problem’ is that I’ve already seen you overcome so much that I don’t see how you can’t overcome this as well! Think about everything you’ve overcome… and I know it seems hard, maybe impossible, to see yourself liking the way you look, but just think, a couple of years ago would you ever have talked openly about your fears, would you have gone outside without makeup on, or seen yourself speaking in front of classes of people week after week, being on the radio, befriending STRANGERS… you probably never would’ve seen yourself loving those either! Don’t you see? Everything you’re feeling and saying now is just a repeat of what you’ve already overcome! With the same hard work and dedication you’ve already put into your life, you can overcome this as well. That’s why I don’t see the need to resort to such drastic measures, because I’ve seen you conquer challenges before and it’s made you stronger. I know you can get through this as well.

I hear the words and I know they’re true. I know with hard work and determination anything is possible. But I’m stuck right now, in a place where I feel there’s no way of seeing things any other way. I know I’ve said the same thing before about old habits, old thought patterns… but this time, I don’t see anywhere to ‘jump in’. I feel hypocritical encouraging others to change their thoughts and habits, to step outside what’s comfortable and grow and come out stronger on the other side. Putting time and thought into something so negative defies how I strive to live my life, and I feel almost ashamed to be writing about something so superficial. I want to smack myself when I think of the good I could be doing with my energy, when I think of how lucky I am to live the life I do… but I can’t seem to shake it. Is this just another on the list of insecurities I’ve had for so long, another challenge that can be overcome? It’s not body dysmorphia – isn’t that just when people feel they’re overweight and lean toward anorexic type behaviours… I don’t have any problems with my weight. That’s a lie (see? I can’t sugarcoat things). I do. I’m 104 lbs right now and I still feel like a whale after I eat a big meal. But I don’t skip meals or throw up or anything. I’m just naturally small framed and consequently the slightest bulge stands out a mile.  To me – and so, in my head, to everyone else as well. I just want to be able to overcome it – all of it, not to be seen as attractive by other people, but to feel confident in myself so I’m not held back so much, so I don’t shy away from people so much, scared of what they might be thinking.  I want to be able to be comfortable and confident. I want to be able to contribute to the world and this seems to be the one destination to which I can’t see a clear path.

I’m sorry for the uncharacteristic downer. I’m so sorry to write about something so superficial but I’m not going to pretend these thoughts aren’t in my head. This is me, this is my life and my thoughts, ramblings, ups and downs, the lot. I appreciate if you’ve made it this far. I just needed to be honest with how I was feeling and get it down, and if people stop reading, or judge me… well, those who are only around for the good times aren’t worth worrying about anyway. I’m not looking for comments on this post… I just had to get it out. But if you could go vote for me over at Weddingbells today… I’d really appreciate it. You guys are wonderful. And I’ll be back to normal next post, I promise.

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76 comments

  1. It’s true what others have said, that you’ve come a long way and this is just another obstacle along the way challenging you. I know that there’s little point telling you over and over again how beautiful you are, as I’ve been in the same position as you and no matter how many times I try and tell myself it’s not that bad, I can’t see past certain things. I used to have such an enviable figure, but do to being on so many different types of medication I am now somewhat remenant of The Blob. I can’t exercise anywhere near to the amount I’d like to due to my heart issues holding me back, and my metabolism is totally screwed because of the GI issues I suffered for years, so no amount of dieting works. I’m meant to be in my bikini on my honeymoon in 6 and a half weeks, and smiling in a wedding dress just before that which will make my arms look like tree-trunks. Oh believe me, I can sympathise. But, life goes on! If people don’t like what they see, they don’t have to look.

    Remember a few years ago when I had the pinnaplasty? *cue people to read this and immediately think I’m shallow and superficial* I suffered 19 years of hating them, and most of those years being bullied, and eventually just bit the bullet. I wasn’t doing it for them, I did it for me, as I couldn’t even wear my hair up in Labs (which I was getting shouted at for) and not wearing my long hair up in the summer was felt awful!! It’s the second most painful plastic surgery you can have (rhinoplasty being the first) and believe me, it hurts afterwards! I was in pain for months, but the change in myself was noticeable the first time I wore my hair up. I changed for the better that day, and I’ve never regretted it.

    I don’t *necessarily* agree when people say it’s the “easy way out”, as it depends what it’s used for, and how much people resort to it! People who undergo liposuction regularly, tummytucks for a slight bulge, and undertaking numerous procedures after only a short time contemplating what they are doing are taking the easy way out. Some people are narrow-minded and believe anyone undertaking plastic surgery wants to look like a supermodel, but that’s not the case. Do I look anything like one?? Haha no way! Anyway, that’s my rant over for that bit.

    Aaannnyway.. So, long story short, we all have insecurities (me: wonky teeth, legs that have grown incorrectly due to dodgy feet, blobby tummy, tree-trunk thighs, stretch marks, cellulite, giant boobs…) but we wouldn’t be human without them! I will say again you are *beautiful*, and I personally wouldn’t change a thing about you, but I understand how you feel. No-one is ever going to be 100% happy with the way they look, but you’ve just got to embrace what you have and focus on the things that are good about you (I used to embrace my flat tummy, now I embrace my eyes instead lol). Accentuate these parts, and the stuff that you don’t like will just fade into the background!

    xxxx

    PS. I would kill to look like you! 😛

    1. And I would love to look like YOU!! I think you’re right – I have to actually spend time focusing on the good as well as the bad, right – and you’re right, if people don’t like what they see, they don’t have to look. And if they judge me because of it (which I am trying to teach myself they’re PROBABLY not) then they’re not worth the energy anyway… I know that. Now it’s just a matter of teaching my brain not to respond so negatively and learning to see the good just as easily, I think

  2. em it’s not superficial everybody secretly worries about what other ppl are thinking and about what they look like even if they don’t write about it. the fact that you chose to put it out there anyway it just a testament to your sincerity and thats one of the reasons i love your blog so much, it’s easy to pretend your lifes perfect but it’s not real. that being said wish i could come give you a hug right now & tell you how beautiful you are- i know it’s probbably not what you want to hear but its true. we’re our own worst critics & believe me when i say that nobody else sees the things you do!!!!! you are beautiful inside and out and pls never think otherwise xxx

    ps i voted for you 4x today

    1. Thanks for voting and for your kind words. I really do try and be honest here because at the end of the day the only person looking back on this blog in 10 years is going to be me, and I want to write what’s really going on. Thank you for being so sweet 🙂

  3. I don’t find this post superficial at all. I mean, this very obviously has a really big impact on your life and it should be aknowledged. You’ve done so many things so far, that has really shaken me and made me realise that I can do more than just exist! So in helping yourself and being strong you enable others to do so as well.

    I can only wish you good luck for this next big journey and hurdle that I am 100% sure you will overcome.

    PS
    You’re GAWJISSSS. 😉

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, and for the kind words – they really mean a lot. I really hope you’re right and that eventually this too will pass.

  4. I completely commend you for putting yourself out there like this Emily. It takes a lot of guts and courage to admit some of things that you have in this post… And I am blown away but your ability to do it. You talk so honestly about it, in a manner that I envy.

    Body Dysmorphia is not actually feeling like you are overweight and leaning towards anorexic habits. Its looking in a mirror and not seeing what is really there. Its seeing something different than what really exists.. Symptoms also include constantly focusing on one area.. Constantly checking it. Looking in mirrors often. I have looked up the symptoms before for my own self.

    As crazy as it sounds I often sit myself down in front of the mirror, especially when I get fed up with appearance so much that i become overwhelmed. I stare at every little bit of myself and I look deep down to try to uncover what in my past is stopping me from being beautiful in this moment. Often it is not me, but an insecure 17 year old version of myself… And I also take time to really understand that I am so lucky to have things like eyes, legs, arms, body parts that work. That is a huge blessing that I don’t want to overlook simply because I don’t always feel beautiful.

    If you ever want to talk about this through email please let me know.. I feel like I could use the company on this as well.

    Best,

    Hannah Katy

    1. You know what, I hadn’t thought about it this way – “Often it is not me, but an insecure 17 year old version of myself…” Thinking this way is totally a younger, more insecure version of myself taking over and is not in line with the thinking patterns of the person I want to be. Which I guess in itself is a big motivator for wanting to change it – it’s the how of doing so that’s the hard part. Thank you for reaching out – and also know that I think you are probably the most beautiful, inside and out, person I know – you radiate goodness into the world 🙂

  5. It sounds to me like you HAVE jumped in, Em. Writing it down and then sharing it and publicly admitting it, I think is part of conquering it. Sure, maybe you haven’t quite got it all figured out, but you are consciously thinking on it, and that IS a start.

    Also, on a more personal note, I can totally relate. Everything you described I have felt. Only, it’s crazy to me, because I see you and I’m like, how can someone so beautiful feel the same way I–someone much less beautiful–feel about my body?

    I’ve often thought if I were 6 sizes smaller or had my nose fixed, things–like self-confidence and love for myself–would automatically come with it.

    But I know–and always have known, on some levels–that the weight and the nose aren’t the REAL problems here. I could “fix” those and I might still not get that promotion, or like the way I look, or whatever–and then what will I have to blame?

    Anyway, point is, it’s all mental. And you sort of prove that to me. That it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you FEEL about how you look. You could have 50 people today tell you how gorgeous you are and sure, it may feel nice and make you smile, but ultimately it doesn’t go far in changing how you feel about yourself.

    I know I need to learn to love myself the way I am now, and that sure, I may want to exercise to fit more clothes and have more energy, but I know that when I achieve my goals I won’t magically be able to love my body. I just feel loving my body as it is now is impossible. It’s a REALLY HARD thing to work on. Like you said, HOW do you change those thoughts? I’ve always kind of postponed it, thinking I’ll work on that *after* I’ve lost the weight, etc. Then it’ll be *easy* to love myself. Ha! I’ve got the order all wrong. I mean, talk about a vicious cycle… part of why it’s so hard to take proper care of myself is because I don’t love myself in the first place.

    Not sure where to go from here, really. Just know there are countless women of all sizes, shapes, figures, and frames who feel just as you do. You are not alone. So please, don’t be worried about sharing this journey, because it is NOT superficial and is, in fact, super RELATABLE. And as you have before, I think you’ll inspire and help loads more people than you’ll turn off.

  6. Hi sweetie, I havent got much time, but I just wanted to say that as I read your post, a big lightbulb went on. I had this thought that alot of the things you are afraid of doing stem back to this one. The core of your fears. It is really sad to say that in fact most women have a very negative self image of themselves. Only yesterday I was taking about how if I could have one thing done it would be to have my boobs lifted (then my stonach wouldnt seem so huge lol) what are we like? I could carry on by writing about all the thigs that I hate about my body, but that will only make me focus on that negativity. Today I am going to focus on what I love about me, thats my nails and my skin colour. I have just ordered a book called The power of now, as it talks about our ego and how we let it overpower us. My very close freind identified mine as wanting to be liked, and then recommened this book. I am excited to read it. Maybe you may want to check it out, ask anyone if they have read it?
    Big hugs
    Sand x

    1. I got the Power of Now for my birthday!! You should really get he 2nd book as well, “A New Earth” – I just finished it (I’m reading them backwards apparently) and it is seriously amazing.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Girlfriend – I agree with some of the other ladies who have said that you HAVE taken the first step in posting this. You’ve acknowledged that you’re unhappy, and you WANT to change it.

    But, again, like some of the other ladies have said, you’re NOT ALONE.
    If only I was shorter, or even taller. Maybe 15-20lbs skinnier, and had tanner skin. If only the bags under my eyes, and the capillaries around my nose weren’t so damn noticeable. I wish that dimple on my ass would go away, and that my boobs didn’t keep growing. And? I wish my nose was daintier.

    But those are parts of the whole. I like my legs, and my personality. I like that I’m awkward, and have red hair. I like that I am rounded and soft, womanly. Mostly, though, I am grateful that I have functioning legs, liver, kidneys, arms, eyes and ears.

    I’m rambling…and oddly, planning to write an I Like Me post on Friday.

    In conclusions, I adore you. And you’re beautiful.

    1. <3…. thank you for this. I think keeping in mind I HAVE functioning limbs, relatively good health, and opportunities are wonderful in and of themselves, and I am grateful for that. I just need to keep reminding myself that even though the world may operate differently, energy isn't worth wasting on those who are going to judge based on looks.

  8. Em, thank you for being so honest and for posting this for the world to see.

    You know, nobody is perfect. We all – without exception – have our insecurities and I am sure every girl can post a gazillion things of what they would like to be different about themselves.
    It’s hard to see the good, when we’re so focused on the bad (the picture that the media paints about women is not helping with this either).
    But maybe, just maybe, it’ll help you to accept yourself and embrace who you are if you hear from all of us how beautiful you are to us – inside and out – and how much we ourselves struggle with questions about our outward appearance.

    I do understand where you’re coming from (my sister was always more popular than me, which made me feel like the ” ugly duckling” ) and it’s hard to see past that if you believed for so long that you’re indeed so much uglier than other people.
    It’s hard to change an attitude that you’ve grown so accustomed to, but in good time and positive self-cheerleading things can change.

    xo.

    1. I really hope so – I know I’m not the most patient person in the world and have a tendency to want things to happen immediately, when in reality it takes a lot of time and work to make big changes in things such as a habitual almost natural thought pattern. Patience is something I am also going to have to work on 🙂

  9. Oh Emily… I just want to give you a huge hug. And you’re not being superficial. This obviously bothers you very much and that’s a hard thing.

    I don’t think anyone is completely 100% satisfied with their looks. I’d bet anything that even the most beautiful celeb probably looks in the mirror and finds SOMETHING that bothers them.

    I do think it’s wonderful that you would write about this and share your feelings with us. It’s isn’t easy to put something like this out there for ANYONE to read – believe me, I’ve been there with my own tough issues. And being able to post this shows how you’ve grown.

    My advice is to keep being positive. Don’t let yourself dwell too long, that does nothing but bring you down. The more positively you think the easier it is to change your attitude and thinking.

    1. It’s so true – and I should already know this from trying to get over negative thoughts about my inside self, thoughts about not being good enough/funny/popular/confident enough. It’s only with practice and repeated exposure and more positive self talk that things can really change. Thank you so much for the encouragement ❤

  10. Emily, I’m so sorry that you feel this way. I hope you know that when I see you, I think, Wow! She’s so pretty! And you ARE, beautiful. But, I know that no matter how many times people may tell you something like this, it doesn’t make it any easier to change the thought patterns that you’ve gotten so comfortable with. At times, it doesn’t seem possible. I know that I’ve been there before. Just so sticken with hate for my appearance that I didn’t even see a way out. And I honestly don’t know how I found a way out…it took a lot of time and patience and loving myself to ever get there. And I still have days where I struggle: I think we all do. Maybe the only thing I can suggest…Think of something about yourself that you do like. Maybe your eyes, or your lips, or your cute toes, or your shoulders, or your neck, or whatever it may be, no matter how small. Think one small thing that you love about yourself, and whenever you have a negative thought, push it out and instead think about that thing you love. Think about it a lot. Take pride in it. Be vain over it. Maybe this small step will help you to recenter your thinking…until the rest of the stuff just seems to fall in place around this beautiful part of yourself, until you see it all as beautiful. Never be afraid of sharing your thoughts here…this is NOT superficial, it’s just how you feel! And sharing is often the first step. ❤ Much love! ❤

  11. I think everyone thinks that girls who are skinny never have any body concerns ever, and that’s not true. I’ve never met a girl who wasn’t self-conscious in some way or another. I think it’s just human nature to identify what you don’t like. Not sure why, but it’s true.

    Maybe you should start a “Things I Like About Me” series and ask for people to share what they like about themselves. A nice round of positive self-talk is probably something we could all use. 🙂

    Remember: God made you and God doesn’t make shitty things. 😉

    1. 🙂 Amen! And I like your idea – a “Things I Like About Me” series sounds like just what the blogosphere needs. We’re all far too hard on ourselves aren’t we?

  12. Emily, I know I don’t know you very well, only from reading this blog and all the wonderful things Hannah tells me about you, but I wanted to tell you how much this post touched me. Everything you wrote about I’ve felt too. And it always surprises me that other people feel the same way I do especially someone who I think is absolutely gorgeous. So thank you for putting your genuine self out there and helping me know I am not alone in thinking this thoughts. I hope one day you get to see the beautiful you that everyone else sees, I am confident that you will!

    1. Thank you so much for reading Celia and for your kind words – I’m astonished how many people have the same self deprecating thoughts and the fact that we are all here to support and encourage each other is beautiful. Thank you for reaching out and I hope that you too can see how beautiful YOU are ❤

  13. I love that you don’t sugercoat things. I love that you are honest and raw. Sometimes that means writing about the shitty / tough / depressing stuff. Sometimes life is shitty / tough / depressing – people who say otherwise are liars.

    Okay. So I had a few thought while reading your post. The first is that Body Dysmorphia is not specifically about weight – it’s about any perceived flaw one has about his or her body. Have you read anything on the subject? Would it be helpful for you to read about it (I find that sometimes its best for me to NOT research something like this because then I become obsessive.) I have heard good things about this book: http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Mirror-Understanding-Treating-Dysmorphic/dp/0195167198

    My second thought was that it’s pointless for me to tell you how great / smart / funny / beautiful you are because words are just words. Unless you feel it yourself, my words don’t mean anything. However. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that you ARE great / smart / funny / beautiful. My hope for you is that one day you believe you are as awesome everyone else thinks you are.

    1. Thank you so much love – I wish I could do justice in these words to how much that meant. I am definitely going to look into that book and do a little research (though scary) and hope that one day it can be something of the past. I really appreciate your understanding ❤

  14. Emily dear I am not going to tell you you’re beautiful because though you ARE as Hilary said if it does not come from within the words don’t mean anything. I hope that at least you can accept that other people do not see what you see. BDD is not just abuot weight I believe it is also about any specific body problem area that you see negatively to the point it seems you do- it may be worth doing some research into options. Even if you do decide on surgery (which let me say you do not need) it may not fix the problem- I have done a bit of reading and in alot of cases people find some other area to see negatively instead. But for some people it works great and I suppose plastic surgery exists for all ends of the spectrum, for burn victims, for those with too much money, for those who need a bit of self confidence boosting… all have different reasons but it is a serious step and you are a beautiful girl, and a very brave one for being able to put this one out there. Your right, it’s easy to pretend your lifes perfect over the internet just to look good, and I admire your real genuineness and guts in putting the hard things out there as well as the good things. Stay strong dear.

  15. haha em sorry i saw the stupid comment that was on here earlier from that idiot calling anyone who blogs narcissistic and that nobody gives a shit about what they say. which is hilarious ’cause they went to the effort of reading your blog… and commenting… someone clearly has too much time on their hands and needs to try & take other ppl down in order to feel better about their own pathetic existence… i almost wish you could’ve left it to showcase their own blatant idiocy lol. what a tosser!!!!

  16. Emily, I think it’s so awesome that you posted this. I completely understand where you are coming from. I mean, I really, really understand. I feel SO superficial sometimes. I have been obsessing about the way I look for years. I’m getting married on Saturday, and seeing an un-photoshopped picture of myself totally ruins my day. So obviously, that is going to cause some anxiety. So, if you’re superficial, then so am I! I think in the end, it’s not superficiality, it’s just about the fact that perhaps I don’t like myself as much as I should, so I’m relying on other people to pick up where I’m leaving off.

    This is obsviously a life-long journey, and it’s never going to be “done”, as it were. BUT, I do remember two things when I feel sad. Number one, the more weight I put on, the more I look like my Mom. She almost died (of an eating disorder) when I was 17 (she’s better now), so the more of her I have in me, the better. Your nose is probably the nose of someone in your family… maybe someone you really love? If you can’t love your nose, maybe you can love that they gave it to you.

    Number two, there’s a little girl who won’t be able to come to my wedding on Saturday because she just had a heart transplant. She’s 10 years old. Now, I hate clichés, and I hate when people make you feel guilty about your hangups, so I won’t go on to long about it. But I will say this, I have everyone I love, by some miracle, and we are all healthy, and happy. It sure puts things into perspective!

    You are absolutely beautiful, and a fabulous writer. Kudos for sharing this!

    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog today and for your lovely words. I’m blown away reading the comments today and seeing all these amazing beautiful people who have similar thoughts – it’s so sad!! I think you are one of the most beautiful people I know (inside and out!) and we should definitely hang out more often than once every few years 🙂 And I didn’t realise the wedding was so close – I have a friend getting married on Saturday too! You are going to be a stunning bride, have an AMAZING day!!

  17. Hi Emily,
    I’m sorry to hear that you struggle so much with this. I completely know how you feel. I hated myself so much at your age I weighed 92 lbs, and wore men’s X-large t-shirts to try to hide myself on the rare occasion that I had to leave the house. I’d probably have converted to radical Islam and taken to wearing a Burkha had I thought of it. (Funny, but I’m not kidding.) I actually didn’t have a typical eating disorder. I starved myself out of the belief that I didn’t deserve food. I made no effort to look good because I couldn’t bare to look in a mirror.

    Flash forward 15 years and I am rather in love with myself. I live in complete acceptance of who I am and how I look, despite my often frizzy hair, flat chest and now a couple of missing teeth from a cycling accident that I can’t afford to repair not to mention all of my other imperfections. They don’t matter to me anymore.
    I don’t feel great about myself because I look great. I look great because I feel great and while there is no easy path to this, it can be achieved so please don’t resort to any external fixes. They can’t fix what is inside.

    “How I feel about how I look is holding me back. But unlike social anxiety, it’s not something over which I have any control.”

    You do have control. Just not in this moment. How you feel about how you look is determined by what you think about how you look. You are right. You can’t force yourself to love it, but you can work on accepting what is and growing in awareness that it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. This won’t mean that you have to accept feeling the way you do now for the rest of your life. It is the first step towards changing how you feel.

    The problem is not by any means due to a lack of beauty on your part, it is your perception of yourself. That is what you need to focus on.
    Namaste

    Bless you for sharing. I truly believe that you will get past this and you will be happy. Just keep looking for answers, but remember that they will be found inside, not out.

    1. You’re right – and I know all too well that no amount of external endeavours will be the catalyst for change, I just have to find where the answers are inside. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and for the encouragement.

  18. First of all, don’t feel you have to apologize for writing a post that’s important to you. It’s post like these that dig deep into who you really are and bypasses the superficiality of so many other blogs.

    I struggle with this so much and it was 100x worse when I was younger. I think I’ve gotten to the point where I can say to myself, “Stephany, you’re not beautiful. But that’s ok.” It’s OK that I’m not drop-dead gorgeous, and I’m just a little on the ordinary side. There are some days where my insecurities get the better of me and I just want to hide under the covers and magically reappear beautiful. But that’s not going to happen. I need to be happy with myself and what I can’t change, learn to accept.

    For me, plastic surgery will never be an option. I’m sure I would be a perfect candidate for rhinoplasty with my large, very German nose. But 1) I will never put myself through unnecessary surgery and 2) It’s not going to do a damn to help my self-esteem. If I go into plastic surgery thinking it’s going to completely obliterate anything self-esteem issues I have and I’ll be perfectly happy with myself then…that’s not the right reason. It’s like a saying my pastor says, “If only I can have/do it, THEN I will be happy.” But then we find something else to be unhappy with and the cycle continues. If change doesn’t happen to our insides, changing our outsides is only putting a band-aid on the problem.

    Love this post, love how honest you were.

    1. Stephany I love how determined you are never to get plastic surgery. I have to stop thinking it’s the answer to my problem because you’re right, it’s probably not. And you’re 100% right with what your pastor says – I really need to refocus my thoughts onto what I DO have that makes me happy – and that’s an awful lot. When you start thinking about it like that, how you look doesn’t seem quite so important. ❤

  19. You’re gorgeous. Know that.

    For the longest time, I hated how I look too. I’m Asian and I desperately want to be white. I still do, but at least now I can joke about it. Having self confidence is hard. I don’t think I’m the most confident person in the world, but I know I have more now than ever before.

    Be confident in yourself and you’ll feel better on your appearance. At least that’s how it is for me.

    1. “I don’t think I’m the most confident person in the world, but I know I have more now than ever before.” I’m right here with you friend. Thank you for sharing – I need to learn to focus on the things that actually matter – looks after all will all be lost to all of us over time, but it’s what’s on the inside that’s going to carry us through life. Thanks for being a friend ❤

  20. you see emily- THIS is why you have the readers you do… i think i speak for everyone when i say that i LOVE your honesty, i LOVE that you really use this space to tell us exactly how you feel- and as a loyal reader, that’s what i love about you.

    when i first stumbled upon your blog it took me some time to actually comment because i was actually intimidated by you- not because you’re an intimidating person (by god, i’m almost convinced you were made of sugar & spice, and everything nice)… but because you just exude confidence and beauty.

    i know though, that it doesn’t matter how many people tell you how beautiful you are… it feels impossible to change how one feels about themselves. i’m in that boat too- my looks, my body, my self-worth have all changed drastically and i’ve spent hours in front of the mirror ANGRY with my reflexion. sometimes i’ve refused to leave the house, or i’ve burst into tears because i feel ugly. it’s a very hard habit to break, and it takes copious amounts of courage to do it.

    i know when i leave the house, that just about everyone is going to stop and stare- i can’t blame them, i’m covered from the neck down in obnoxious tattoos- people can’t help but look… but knowing i have those eyes on me at all times, i feel compelled to look great. the world bases so much on looks and it’s not fair. i’m not one to judge anyone based on appearances, but i do know that sadly, that’s just the way the world works for most people.

    i’m not here to tell you to push yourself to do what i know feels impossible to me most days, but you’re not me either… you have the motivation and the drive to do so many good things in life- you’ve proved that to all of us. some days are harder than others, yes… but i hope you find it within you to see at least some of the physical beauty you possess.

    start small- look in the mirror once a day and tell yourself you’re having a good hair day, or that dammit, your finger nails look nice today! tell yourself your shirt brings out the shine in your eyes, or that your butt looks good in your jeans.

    you don’t have to take the plunge and force yourself to love ALL OF YOU as a whole, take baby steps until you’re more and more comfortable, until you can look at yourself and think “my god, i look pretty today”.

    you can do it, babe.

    xo

    – e

  21. First, one never needs to apologize for being honest. You have bared your soul and that is a positive not a negative. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
    I offer you this thought. You are not your body. Your body is simply a vehicle for your soul in this environment. Your body has changed and will continue to change as your form ages. 20 years from now your form will most likely look different that it looks today and yet you will still be you. You will not be what your form looks or feels like. Let go of your form, let go of the external reactions to your form and allow the real you, the soul to shine through, for this is what people see and this is what people will truly react to. Love yourself for your are a magnificent being who lights up this world.
    You are a being of insight, love and courage. Thank-you for sharing all that you have. Love and wisdom to you.

  22. Oh, hon….I wish I had a magical comment that could fix all of this for you. I really liked Hannah’s comment about looking at every part of yourself and deliberately thinking of GOOD things about them — starting with the fact that you HAVE eyes, a nose, arms, legs, etc. But I also feel like there must be something deep-seated that has caused you to feel this way about yourself, because you are, by even society’s/Hollywood’s highest standards, INCREDIBLY beautiful. But believe me, I know the feeling of just NOT being able to see what other people see. It’s a hard habit to break: my husband gets so mad when he gives me a compliment and I respond with some sort of criticism on myself. He takes it as an accusation that he’s lying, or as me thinking he’s not smart enough to know what a pretty girl “really” looks like. I guess all I want to say is that when someone does compliment you, LET IT SOAK IN, and let their genuine admiration for you put a smile on your face. Maybe the first (okay, second, because I think this post was the first) step to overcoming this one is letting other people find you beautiful.

    You are spectacular, inside and out. Thank you for putting this out there so bravely. 🙂

  23. I’m the same way, really. I kind of grew up as the ugly duckling, and so it doesn’t seem possible that someone could look at me and like what they saw.

    There was one night where I went to bed really really early, and when I woke up I swear I looked like I lost twenty pounds. That makes me think a lot of this is in my head.

    Since then, I’ve kept looking at myself in the mirror, at different angles, and tried new clothes. I discovered that I feel gross when I need a hair-cut, and that some clothes just make me horribly shapeless. Then I found that a Small fits me perfectly, and am only just starting to believe it.

    I think we all become more used to our bodies as we get older, and see the beauty in them.

    Believe me when I say this: You are beautiful. And you will see that too, one day.

  24. As always, I just love your honesty. I probably could have written this post, almost word for word, about myself. You certainly shouldn’t apologize for it, and it certainly doesn’t scream “superficial” at all. How we look is a part of who we were, and most people struggle with it often, if not on a daily basis. To me, beauty goes beyond outward appearance, and I always try to look beyond initial impressions, but how we look does play a big role in society, like it or not, and it does affect our interactions with the world.

    I have my “ugly” days where I don’t even want to leave the house, and if I do, I just feel like I want to get back home quickly. I feel like everyone around me sees the awfulness that I see. Then one day, I went out to run errands, and after I got home, I thought about how many people I looked at or judged. To be honest, I couldn’t even remember the face of one person or an outfit anyone wore. Out of all the people I was around, I’m sure there were some who hated their hair, hated how they looked, felt fat, etc. And I didn’t notice. As much as I THINK everyone is so focused on me when I look awful, many people aren’t. The majority of people are consumed with other things, just as I was. It helped a little to think about how much I blow it out of proportion and let what people “might” think make me feel so insecure. Really, it’s all just in my head.

    As much as you said you don’t know where to begin, I think you just took the first step by acknowledging it and sharing it publicly. I don’t doubt that you will figure out how to conquer this. 🙂

  25. Oh my goodness, reading this breaks my heart a little – because not only are you such a beautiful person (inside and out!) but because I’m so there with you. I’ve felt what you feel. It’s hard not to sometimes! Having always been larger than most, I’ve grown up with the idea that being thin is going to solve all of life’s problems – so I strive to achieve that, even though I’m setting myself up for failure. But honestly, I like myself on the inside.. so I guess that’s saying something at least.

    Just know that even simply getting to know you through a computer monitor.. has made me happy. You have so much happening and so many good things on the way – and you deserve it all so much. Big hugs xx

  26. This is something that I need to work on too, because I hate the way these kinds of insecurities distract me from enjoying whatever I’m doing. At VidCon, I was dodging cameras left and right. But, we’ve both made big changes in our lives and this is not insurmountable. I know what helps for me is to think in terms of self-forgiveness, both that I’m not less of a person for not being gorgeous and feeling insecure about it is just natural and not a sign that I’m horribly vain. Forgiving yourself for having the thoughts is a good place to start when it comes to accepting yourself. We can do this.

  27. Insecurity in any respect is a huge monster to battle. I feel like everyone has it in their own way, whether it’s about looks, personality, or any number of other things. I give you a ton of credit for being able to be honest about it – I’ve been there (and am still there), and I know how hard it is to talk about something you think you’re silly/stupid for thinking in the first place.

    All you can do is take it one step at a time, and I feel like this is a very good first step. I think being honest about it is “taking charge” of the situation, because you’re recognizing it’s something you need to work on. Everything new seems hard/impossible at first, but slowly it gets easier.

  28. Confronting any issue head on is the first step, which you are doing in this post, so kudos to you. It’s very tough to put things like this out there.

    I struggle with insecurity and weight issues all the time. Every single day. No, I’m not anorexic or bulemic (but I know it’s not normal that sometimes I wish i were), I eat my meals, I exericse, but I have mini freakouts (and larger ones at times) about how I look, how I’m perceived. It’s tough.

    For whatever it’s worth I think you’re positively gorgeous.

  29. Def do not apologize for posts like these. People value honesty over projecting that life is always sunshine and rainbows.

    You are definitely in good company. I think that a lot of us struggle with our images. It’s unfortunately somehow ingrained in us from a very young age. Which is just sad and I don’t know how to reverse that for my future nieces and daughters.

    I think the first step is recognizing it, though. And wanting to change it. Have you ever thought about talking to a professional about this? They might be able to help you turn your thinking around or trace back to the source of these thoughts so you can deal with them.

    It makes me so sad to think that you might look at your wedding photos with a harsh eye. You are such a beautiful, stunning girl. I hope that some day you can see the Emily that we all see. A beautiful, stunning, amazing woman. But I know you are strong person and will FIGHT to get to a better place. 🙂

  30. Oh my… I commend you for writing such an inspiring message today. You are more brave and smart and beautiful than you give yourself credit for, darling.

    It is so much easier said than done: to accept yourself for who you are and what you do. But trust me when I tell you Em, that you are enviable.

    Daring, brilliant, bubbly and pretty: no one compares. ❤ you SO much!! xoxo

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  32. I used to have MAJOR body issues and was self-conscious about my size and the way I look. What changed that? Exercise and running. In the last three years I have become SO MUCH MORE confident in my skin from working out regularly! It changes the way you see yourself.

    That being said, I still have my “fat” and “ugly” days and wish I was dark-skinned instead of fair skinned or a size 4 instead of a size 10. But those days are fewer and farther between than they ever were before. I think the running and exercise makes me feel STRONG and appreciate my body!

    Wonderful, honest post. Remember that this will take TIME but I’m confident you can do it 🙂

  33. Hey. I just want you to know the first thing I thought when I saw you at our meet up was “Wow, she is beautiful!” and I am not just saying that.

    Second – I know you’re going to hear a lot of people tell you that it’s ok because everyone has days like this, etc. I’m not going to tell you it’s ok, but I am going to tell you that everyone reaches a point where you learn to work with what you have. For me, I’ve always wanted to look like Jennifer Lopez but the whole short white girl thing keeps holding me back. I can’t change it, so I don’t sweat it. So now I just copy her hair colours, ha!

    I think you are extremely brave for posting this, and I am so glad you did because this world is so hard on us sometimes and we all feel so alone. Those stupid mirrors can be so mean some days! But don’t forget, for all the times you look in the mirror and see wrinkles or zits or big noses or whatever, you can also see smiles, gorgeous hair, glowing skin, expressive eyes, etc. You have to choose what you see.

    Big, massive, blog love hugs to you!

  34. I’ve been sick lately (both physically and with summer classes – 18 credit hours), so I’ve been unable to post a lot of comments on my favorite blogs. However, when I saw your post on Twitter earlier about the a**h**** that left you that comment, I had to read what could have possibly, if even remotely, caused anyone to want to leave such a nasty remark.

    What I found though was something that I am striving for myself – truth and honesty, as always. No matter what anyone tell you, you are going to make your own decision as it should be. However, just know that love you not only for who are you on the outside, but on the inside.

  35. I don’t care what you say or think, I think you’re very pretty =) But I appreciate your candidness and I think a lot of girls feel this way. Keep your head up. And by the way, you totally shocked me when you commented on your nose, I have NEVER not once noticed it so I don’t agree 🙂 🙂

  36. This is a really hard thing to navigate, and I struggled with similar things when I was younger. I think that for me I got to a point where hating myself and working out like crazy just took up so much of my energy I wore myself out. So I gave up and just decided to get to know who I really am and stop making myself jump through hoops. For me it came from being in bad relationships in the past too, where people were really clear about me not being ‘good enough’ to love. I just internalized it and repeated it back to myself until I believed it too, just in a slightly different way.

    It’s one of those things that’s really hard to know how to work through. I hope that you’ll speak to someone and do reading and work on finding ways through this so you can look in the mirror and just be happy with who you are.

    Looks are so incredibly different than self worth, but when they get bound up together it makes life really hard. I think that the list you’re doing for your 26 before 26 is great, but pushing your boundaries and making yourself face fears will only take you so far in terms of being the person you want to be. I think finding a way to love yourself will carry you further than learning to being brave will.

  37. I wish I had advice for you about what to do or how to go about changing your thoughts but I don’t – but I can tell you I’m here for you, supporting you in whatever you need!

  38. You are really pretty, Em. I don’t know what else to say but you are. Inside and out. I love your honesty and you are so inspiring. I understand when you said you “worry that the slightest bulge stands out a mile” because I’m naturally small framed too. So were totally on the same page when it comes to that. 🙂 I wish I could say more to convince you that there’s nothing wrong with how you look because I think you are one of the prettiest I have seen.

    Sending you hugs!!! ♥

  39. Dear Emily,
    I have had such a huge “phobia” about looking at my pictures and often at mirrors that it scares me. It has always been there…from as long as I can remember. i feel ugly. Period. I feel like I have a horrible complexion and a huge ass nose and just a very, very ugly face overall. It affects the way I am with people, my confidence level, my socializing skills….you name it. This may sound weird but I’m kinda glad I came through this post. Everywhere on blogosphere, people are dealing with issues, whether weight-related or otherwise, but I’ve never really come across a blogger who feels ugly, just as I do. This made me think for a while that maybe I am just mentally crazy as no one else seems to be having the same problem, but now that I know that you are, it makes me feel a wee bit sane.
    I am frustrated, and so tired of constantly carrying around this burden of not being good enough (especially physically) that I don’t know what to do.
    In a way, by posting this, you helped me to accept that what I feel is validated.

  40. I have some body issues myself, but I try to put things in perspective. I (we) come from a long line of hearty, evolving people. The chance of me being here is less than slim-to-none, and the features I have are thanks to that long line people before me. Sure, my nose might not be up to Hollywood standards, but it’s my nose. I think that outside the Hollywood box, beauty is subjective and about much more than physicality.

    We’re imperfectly perfect people, right where we’re supposed to be right now. And you know what? If someone misjudges you based on your outward appearance and misses out on all you bring to the world, too effing bad for them! That’s their fault, not yours!

  41. I thought it was an amazing decision to put this out, I mean look at all the deep responses from people who do care about you!

    I used to be like you, worrying about how I look and the “are people staring and thinking harsh things about me?” kinda things. But, then since I’ve been with my other half I haven’t felt that way; he tells me how he loves all the things I hate about my body (without prompting) and how I must never go under the knife to “be more attractive”. But when words don’t suffice there’s the hugs and looks into my eyes.

    Now, I’m not using this to brag. Not at all. It’s just how I managed to get over it. Maybe yours does the same. If so, connect to it so fully. Men don’t do things they have to. It’s only out of pure will.

    It pains me to think there are so many people who are feeling so gutwrenchingly terrible about themselves when it’s the flaws that make people more perfect. If someone didn’t have a slightly pudgy stomach then noone would notice how stunning their eyes are or how shiny and soft their hair is. If we were all perfect nothing would stand out, no variation, nothing to focus on, the look would be so bland.

    You are really pretty though to be honest. You know you need to get your heart listening to your brain. It’s a strong muscle your heart, and can, if you let it, overpower any thoughts that abuse you and your beautiful self. 🙂

  42. Aww sweetie….*hugs* Thank you for being so honest…but I must say…you are BEAUTIFUL and I would KILL to look like you! I’ve always been bigger and not photogenic–you seem to be the opposite! You are very lucky. ❤

  43. I don’t have any words of wisdom to add here – I just want to say that you are beautiful, both inside and out!
    xoxo

  44. Em… First, let me say “kudos” to you for being honest with how you feel. I love the way you just put “life” out there on the table for all to gobble up and digest.

    If we’re honest with ourselves, most women would have to admit that they, too, look at themselves in much the same light that you view yourself. They think they’re not pretty, too overweight, hair is too curly, hair is too straight, teeth are too crooked, too tall, too short, ears are too big or too small…. I could go on and on because there are many facets of our appearance that we simply don’t like about ourselves… and we have society and the media to thank for that.

    We see society’s magazines and runway models that portray the perfect physique/traits and the ironic thing is that the majority of REAL women out there don’t fit into those cookie cutter molds. We have imperfections. We can’t airbrush them like the magazines can. And you know what? Those models are just like us REAL people. They have aspects of their bodies they don’t like either. Cellulite, wrinkles, age spots, big butts, double chins….. but the photographers are good at hiding all those imperfections from us so all that we see (and think we should have) is perfection.

    I’m saying all that to say this. You are a very beautiful person on the outside, and there are two reasons for that. 1) You were blessed with beautiful genes and you’re doing a wonderful job with what God (and parents) has/have given you. 2) Your inside is shining through to the outside making you even more beautiful than you probably realize to those who see you IRL (and on the Internet).

    You’re still young. Coming to grips with who you are and seeing what WE see will come with time. Don’t rush it. Just continue trying to better yourself on the inside and one day you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you realize how happy you are to be as perfectly, beautifully unique as you are. And then you’ll see what WE see.

    Keep smiling. 🙂

    PS. Perhaps I should’ve blogged about this, eh? Turned out to be quite a long comment. Sorry, hehe!

  45. Okay, okay…first of all, we all experience this to certain degree. I don’t care WHO you are, there is always something on our body we would like fixed/removed/changed–I can probably list at least 5 on me.

    Second, body dysmorphia is more about just weight. My good friend is a therapist, and has explained a lot of this stuff to me. She works in eating disorder clinics, and ALL (yes, all) of the girls have been through some sort of traumatic/life changing experience that caused this preoccupation with their looks and weight…obviously it is something they can control in a world where they feel they’ve lost control and are helpless.

    I don’t think it is a bad idea for you to see a specialist on this, to pinpoint something that may have happened in your past…because I believe this is an issue more than skin deep.

    That said, I think you are a beautiful beautiful person, and I’m not commenting on your looks. The beauty of your caring, amazing heart shines through every word on your posts. It’s why I keep coming back to your blog. And yeah, I think your pretty–but that would never keep me coming back. It’s your talent, openness, and lovely soul that I find truly beautiful. That holds so much more importance in this life than a perfect nose. Don’t ya think?

  46. 😦 I know how you feel, though, especially after gaining 50 lbs! LOL. I felt lovely on my wedding day, got the photos back and thought… well boo, I just paid $1500 for a bunch of photos I won’t want to show anyone. SWEET.

  47. Oh Emily dear, you definitely don’t need to apologise and I wish I could give you a huge bear hug right this very moment.

    You are such a brave girl, you’ve been through so much, are willing to face your fear, raise the bar and create the life you’ve imagined and dreamed off. You’re an inspiration to me. And I think you’re absolutely gorgeous, you radiate inner beauty and you’re equally as stunning on the outside.

    I can really relate to how you feel, I grew up feeling an ugly duckling. I found myself looking in the mirror and picking myself apart, every little thing that wasn’t perfect I began to hate. It broke my confidence and I hated speaking in front of class because I didn’t like people looking at me. I even let it get to me in social occassions, at big dinner parties or evening dos. I would have so much to say about a topic everyone was talking about, but too scared to say anything as I didn’t like having the spotlight drop on me. I feel like I missed out on a lot of opportunities back then, but I’m trying to make up for it now. It’s awful when fear holds us back, isn’t it? But so empowering when we take the reins, drive past that fear to get to a better place.

    I hope you will feel beautiful on your wedding day and push forward and learn to love yourself for the gorgeous girl you are 🙂

  48. I think you’re so beautiful. Like, seriously, and I’m not just saying that. I seriously think you’re so beautiful, and whenever you write on my Facebook wall, someone is always like “hey who’s your friend, she’s stunning”.

  49. I must admit it somehow eludes me how someone as gorgeous as you does not see her own beauty, but you do absolutely not have to apologize for feeling the way you do or for writing about it. I just wish you could see yourself with my eyes. You, Emily, are a stunning woman inside and out! And you will be radiating beauty on your wedding day, I have no doubt about it.

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  51. Decided to post anonymously, not for any one reason, but I wanted to say this.

    Thank you for being honest. Thank you for not trying to sugarcoat things, or put on a happy face about your struggles. Your sincerity goes miles beyond characteristic-happiness. We would rather have the real you than a happy-you.

    I also wanted to write because, from what I could tell, most of the comments were from other girls. I know every single one of them warmed your heart, but (even though you’re going to get married to [what seems to be — and better be] a fantastic fiance) I think it’s important you hear from a guy, too.

    You, Miss Emily Jane, are gorgeous. Seriously. We only know each other very casually on the blogosphere, but from the first day I saw your profile picture, your face has stuck out in my mind. You have a smile that can brighten a whole room — even through a laptop screen. Your eyes tell of nothing but the sincere and good heart behind them. And let’s be honest here, I’ve seen the occasional action shot posted…your body’s nothing to complain about either. 🙂 I’m sure you turn heads.

    This is what people see when they look at you. Strangers yes, and so I’m convinced so much more your friends. No, this comment won’t take away years of uncertainty and insecurity. But don’t define yourself by that. When you look into that mirror, broken or not, continue to tell yourself that you are, truly, Beautiful. Know that your thoughts affect your appearance, so think as kindly of yourself as you do those around you. And know that you are loved and adored by everyone you reach.

    Smile more. 🙂
    -A Brother Blogger

  52. Hi,

    I read your blog and I must say that you really have the guts to tackle an issue that bothers a lot women regardless of their creed or ethnicity. Everyone has unique facial or personality quirks that they perceive as insecurities that they think the entire world is noticing and putting them down for. But at the end, these unique characteristics make us who we are and distinguish us from the billions that populate the face of this planet. Yes, there are people that are perceived to be more attractive because of a certain characteristic that is defined as more beautiful because it conforms to a homogenized societal standard of beauty. In my opinion, when you look like something that is very common, it is not beautiful. Everyone has their own unique standard of beauty that will never be shared with another person ever in existence. Just because your beauty does not conform to someone else’s ideal of beauty does not mean that it is not beautiful. Moreover, if a person is empowers themselves with their own unique instead of chasing a phantom beauty standard that is endorsed by society, then they will never be satisfied with what they have. f

    Anyway, you really gorgeous 🙂

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