‘Ha, not much is going to make that face look decent.’ We are SO mean to ourselves.’: Woman urges ‘beauty is so much more than looks’

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“Let’s talk flaws, and self-esteem, and mirrors, and not realizing our true beauty even when it’s right in front of us. Seriously, your reflection.

How many of you give yourself a hard time about your looks? Have you ever woken up, looked in the mirror, and thought, ‘Why do I have to look like this?’ or ‘I wish I could look like so-and-so.’ Have you ever put something on and looked in the mirror and been disappointed because it didn’t look the way it did in the picture, on the model, or the mannequin?

That was me. That was me. Every. Single. Morning. I would wake up, wash my face, brush my teeth, and take one passing glance (eye roll) in the mirror and think, ‘Ha, not much is going to make that face look decent.’ I tore myself apart daily. It was a pretty terrible mind sickness, and let me tell you, it will rot any self-esteem you do have right out of your brain.

A woman turns her head to the side and smiles with one hand in her hair
Courtesy of Molly Claypool

Do you know what was so awful about that, other than the fact I was pretty much hating myself? I didn’t really know why I didn’t like the way I looked. I mean, I knew I had flaws that stuck out to me, but I didn’t really fully know the legitimate reason I felt that way. Guess what? It was because I was always trying to make myself someone else’s definition of beautiful. I was comparing myself to someone else all the time. I was trying to live up to the hype of the picture-perfect skin, the beaming straight smile, or the skinniest body on the cover of the grocery store magazines. I was letting other people, and the world around me, dictate what “beauty” was.

It was addicting, persuasive and so, so terrifying. It was all I could think about. Why was I not pretty like her? Why was I not a size 2? Why didn’t I get the perfect jawline or the perfect hair I could do anything with? Why? Why? Why? Why couldn’t I fit this mold of the beauty I saw around me? The world around us can be so corrupt for our self-images. Without even realizing it, we allow it to poison our minds with frustration, anger, guilt, envy, and doubt. Who says I’m supposed to look just like the model who wore the top I ordered? No. One. Who says I have to have the same body type as her? NO. ONE. But, I allowed myself to expect that.

Unfortunately, it is so easy to hate ourselves. I know. Sad. It should be easier to love who you are, but it isn’t. We spend 90% of our time critiquing ourselves, and if we aren’t critiquing, we’re criticizing. We are SO mean to ourselves. Would you say what you say about yourself to your little sister, mom, or your daughter/son? No. Absolutely not. It’s that cruel at times.

Beauty is so much more than expensive clothes, fit bodies, ‘ideal’ facial features, and the perfect messy bun. It’s traits that have been passed down over time. Traits that connect you to the wonderful family you have. It’s the strength to carry on when your heart has been shredded into a billion pieces. Have you ever seen another person who has been completely beaten down by life, but still, somehow, lives life to the fullest every day, always smiling and thinking positively? It’s pretty beautiful to witness such great healing and strength in a person.

A woman wearing a black tank top and smiling
Courtesy of Molly Claypool

Beauty is in the way you carry yourself and help to carry others when they grow weary. Beauty is the smile you gave the stranger on aisle 6 today. You didn’t have to, but the kindness in your heart was beautiful enough to reach out to someone else. Someone you didn’t even know. It’s those moments of laughter and joy with the beautiful babies you prayed so hard for. Beautiful is the uniqueness and diversity of humankind. We will never be the same—not a single one of us. We may not all agree or have the same outlook on certain things, but I believe that is what makes us strong, and strength is a beauty of its own.

I believe that we all have attributes that make us beautiful. I challenge you to look for your beauty in the mirror you cringe at. Pick out a few things you love about yourself every morning. Embrace those compliments you give yourself. Let them change the way you feel, and open up your eyes. You weren’t mass-produced in an assembly line for a reason.

Beauty is, in fact, a lot of the things you might hate looking at. Oftentimes, our flaws are the very things someone else finds intriguing. The way the light hits your forehead when you have no makeup on, the dimples in your smile, or the way your cheeks crinkle up during a moment of laughter. Sure, you may not look like some overly edited and photoshopped model, but you look like YOU—and nothing is more important.

Never hate who you are or the way you look. Don’t be intimated by negative thoughts of the mind. You can love that first look every morning. You were blessed to look like you, to think like you, to love like you, to BE YOU. Draining yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically, trying to look like, be like, act like, or impress someone else is simply a waste. Love the person you are. Love the beauty you’ve been so graciously given. It’s there, and it’s always been there. You know that saying, ‘Once you see it, you can’t unsee it?’ I believe it. I believe that saying can justify many things, even beauty.

Hold on tight to your self-esteem and treat your body and mind right. You are the only one who can. Nourish it like you nourish everything else around you. You deserve the care and concern you’re always giving to others. You are one of a kind, and that’s pretty incredible. So buy the lipstick, try on the outfit, take the selfie. Loving yourself is too healthy to pass up.”

A woman wearing red lipstick smiling and holding a mug
Courtesy of Molly Claypool

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Molly Claypool of Life Unscripted. Follow her journey on Instagram here and her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from Molly here:

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‘He doesn’t mind me in the dirtiest pair of leggings or the most pristine outfit I own. He’s just there, always, ready.’: Mom of 3 reminds busy parents that ‘perfection isn’t the goal. Love is.’

‘You used to wear makeup. Now you’re wearing spit up. Laundry day is now laundry life. That first baby will have you questioning your sanity.’: Woman pens letter to new mommas, ‘You’re going to be just fine’

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