My face isn’t symmetrical. I have two small birth marks on one of my legs. I have freckles. I have dimples that make me look like a 10 year old when I smile. I don’t have a six pack. I have a white spot on my bottom lip from when our old dog bit me as a kid. I have a scar above my left eyebrow from when I had chicken pox. I have a tattoo. I am my most comfortable in old band t-shirts. I now have pink hair.
You’re guilty. We’re all guilty. We browse our social feeds, exposed to people we perceive to be beautiful and wish we looked like them. It’s something we can’t help but do, even if we don’t admit it. We’re a generation obsessed with looks and how we share ourselves online. I can’t deny it. I use those cute Snapchat filters too. But, I’ve been getting frustrated with myself recently, especially since I realised how often I judge myself and the way I look. I was putting myself down in ways that I would never do to anyone else, so why did I deserve it?
I didn’t properly start wearing make-up until I was 17, and even then it was just black eyeliner on my lower lash line – I was so rock ‘n’ roll, clearly. My fashion consisted of baggy jeans and band t-shirts, mostly. I let my hair do its natural thing and avoided the use of straighteners. To me, I felt normal. I was comfortable in my own skin. I wasn’t afraid to show my passion for things in the clothes that I wore.
Gradually over the years, my tastes have changed slightly. I enjoy playing with make-up and fashion and how both of those things can make you feel. The problem is, somewhere along the line, I started losing that sense of me and started thinking of how I could look like those girls on Instagram instead. I realise now, I don’t want to look like those girls; I want to embrace who I am, exactly how I did in my teenage years.
As a little shake-up for myself, I decided to temporarily dye my hair pink. I’ve experimented with colour and styles before, but not quite like this; everyone has said it matches my personality perfectly, which I’m taking as a good thing. It’s different and fun, and it might not fit the social constraints of beautiful, but I freakin’ love it! It’s made me realise how much I love experimenting with my looks, and how it’s important not to try and look like everybody else. Of course, there are things about myself I still don’t like, but they’re a part of me and sometimes, you just gotta rock what your mama and papa gave you.
Beauty is subjective. Of course, it’s more than just appearances, but I guess my point here is – you shouldn’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in more ways than one. I hate my smile, so most of the time I look like a murderer’s mugshot in my pictures, but when I see candid shots of me laughing a big toothy grin, I feel beautiful. I don’t mean that in an ‘omg I’m so hot’ kind of way, but more because I’m laughing and clearly felt comfortable and so happy in that moment, that I didn’t even think twice about baring that grin I hate so much. And omg, that is hot.
Final thought: Stop trying to look like Kylie Jenner; you are not Kylie Jenner.