Honestly, adolescence is an enormous wake-up call to reality.
I’ll use my experience as an example.
Growth and transition to adulthood are not just the change in physical appearance, our minds shift drastically. Those eyes that only cared about looking at butterflies in the garden became fixated on the cellulite hanging off my torso. Then came acne and a series of episodes where I became self-conscious about my appearance. Of course, I can’t leave out my mole, which is on a terrible part of my face. I used to be called “pencil-legs” by family and friends and even used to be the tallest in my entire primary school. Then I built up fat in the most unsightly places, due to my careless eating, and didn’t grow any further than 5″3.
You get the point, I hated the fact that my body changed for the worse. I have myself to blame and the raging hormones. So what happened next?
I started using social media when I was 13 so you can guess the nightmare that followed. Beautifully shaped girls with perfectly symmetrical facial structures, no blemishes, nice flowing hair, gorgeous lashes and tall, slender frames constructed most of my friends and my Instagram feed. My self-esteem plummeted so hard that I even developed jealousy over guys and their perfect muscled figures with sharp jawlines. Even when I put on makeup, I still didn’t look as good as my friends, who became the equivalent of supermodels once they started dolling up in secondary school. My pudginess was used as a token for others to say “you’re beautiful just the way you are” or “you don’t need to change that, just be you”. But something didn’t feel quite right in that aspect.
Needless to say, I hated my face. I hated how I couldn’t be as perfect as them. I hated how no matter hard I tried, I still looked horrible. I hated the fact no boy would ever come up to me and want to be my boyfriend (cringy but you know).
But that’s no longer the case (for the most part).
Now, I’ve decided that I couldn’t really care less about my face. I’ve improved my makeup techniques so that’s a plus. But most of all, I learnt to really love my looks. This is the way I was created by God and He makes no mistakes. I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and smile, and I have to admit that it’s really cute! 🙂 Seriously, go to your mirror and smile, it really helps.
As for my overweight body? I knew that it would be unhealthy and damaging to my body if I continued that lifestyle of binging junk food, so I now hit the gym and am improving my diet. There is a stark difference between accepting how your face looks and how the rest of your body looks. I realised this quite recently. Having a certain-shaped nose or thin eyebrows isn’t harmful to you in slightest. But being overweight or obese? That is definitely going to cause problems with your health if you don’t act to change it. I didn’t want to destroy my life so I chose the wise choice of working hard to improve my health. Although, my progress is a little slow because I am inevitably lazy sometimes.
I want all of you, girls and boys, to love yourselves. Don’t worry about how your face looks, those who won’t accept the fact that that’s who you are, don’t deserve you. But remember, if you truly and deeply care for your body, you will work hard to make sure it stays healthy. Don’t succumb to the false messages that people provide in this day and age about body positivity. It’s good to accept your appearance as it is, but it is also important that you take care of it as well.