By: Monica, 17
Teen To Teen is a series of blogs written by teen authors for teens on topics that matter most to them. Please Note: “Teen to Teen” should be considered peer to peer advice and support. It is not given in place of professional consult or care.
As women, the world likes to tell us that we are supposed to look a certain way. Whether it’s a skinny waist or curves to a year-round beachy tan, standards are held up for girls of all ages that are quite literally impossible for everyone to meet.
Many girls struggle with body image, especially as they hit their teens and start to encounter growing pressure to look a certain way. I’ve done my time as far as disliking my body, picking out flaws in the mirror, and desperately trying to “fix” whatever I could just to feel worthy and beautiful.
However, what I have learned in recent years is that I am and have always been beautiful, not due to a careful skincare routine or a strict diet, but purely because I am me. That probably cheesy and cliché, but think about it: my body is not an advertisement. It’s not a picture that hangs on a billboard for passersby to either approve or disapprove of. I’m not selling anything, nor do I really profit from whether or not people like to look at me.
Rather, my body is an extension of my soul. It’s a reflection of the qualities that I am proud of and my favorite memories and the love that I share with those around me. It’s beautiful not just for the way it looks, but because it’s home to all the best parts of me.
At the end of the day, the body that I’ve been given is mine, and I deserve to cherish and love it as it is. My body will change, age, and look ways that may not fit society’s standards. What will not change are the memories that I have made and all the joy that I have experienced in the body I’ve been given. That is what my body will hold for the rest of my life and what I can learn to treasure and love.
If you truly want to feel good about yourself, live the kind of life that you want to, not that others expect you to. Instead of stressing about your weight or your tan or your features, spend your time pursuing hobbies that keep you healthy and happy, because those are what will make you feel worthy and beautiful.
Surround yourself with friends who value kindness over appearance and who will uplift you and always keep you oriented towards what is important. Instead of subscribing to current trends or fashions, wear what makes YOU feel beautiful! Find your own style, one that flatters and expresses who you get to be for the rest of your life.
Always remember that real girls don’t look like girls you see on social media or in advertisements. Photos online go through hours of editing and Photoshop before you see the finished product. Think about the women and girlfriends in your life that you love, you’ll probably notice that what makes women in your everyday life unique is what makes them beautiful! Compliment these women to lift them up and foster a culture that supports and loves women for who they really are.
Whether you realize it yet or not, you are stunning, and I hope you can live each day of the rest of your life knowing just how beautiful you are!