Loving yourself is the difference between living and dying, and life, quite frankly, is too short to believe you are anything but made of stardust.
Because beauty is not one size fits all, and skinny is not the reason you are breathing, so stop hating yourself, please.
Look beyond the shape of your shadow, the soft skin of your stomach, and the curves of your thighs, because perhaps beyond stretch marks, and freckles, you will one day see that everything you are is not your body.
This form you have, all of your edges, these are the handiwork of the universe’s touch, and planted deep within you is the same light that makes the sun shine, and the gravity that pulls waves to the moon.
You are not the skin you live in, you are the life that lives in you.
On July seventeenth of 2012, I turned 13 years old. I had finally reached that dreaded but so exhilarating stage of life as a teenager. I was a teenager, I had grown up in a matter of weeks, but on the morning of my birthday I sat down in front of my mother’s vanity and applied a layer of mascara for the first time. It was monumental really, the beginning and the end of something I wouldn’t understand until 4 years later on a Monday morning as I sat in my Grandma’s car and stared into the rearview mirror at my face without the mask I had become so accustomed to living in: my makeup. I found confidence in painted lips, and eyeliner that made me into the person I thought the world wanted me to be, the girl whose cheekbones were ‘too wide set’ to be considered beautiful, whose reality could be blended out with a feathered brush and setting powder.
I lost my beautiful.
I lost my beautiful the day I realized I couldn’t leave the house without having concealed the evidence of another sleepless night, without having curled my lashes, or combed out my brows. I became unknowingly obsessed with myself. Makeup was supposed to be proof of my coming of age, another adventure, another accomplishment. Its only ever proved to be more deadly to me than depression or anxiety ever was.
The moment you can no longer stand the sight of your unmade up self, is the moment in which you will finally understand the power society’s routines, and rituals, have over you. From your first trip to the pharmacy, a drive along a billboarded highway, or a google search of anything, your mind is bombarded with the reality of women everywhere: makeup has become the epitome of a feminine feature.
I will no longer be considered less of a woman because I choose to embrace a makeup-less face on the daily. I will no longer be considered less of a woman because I choose to dress up for myself rather than for the pleasure of society and its standards of beauty.
My womanliness will be found in the kindness I bestow upon the world, measured by the sound of my heart beating in my chest as I live and thrive as a being not a woman. I am not just a woman. I am a human. I am alive, and because I am alive I am beautiful.
We are beautiful.
We are alive.