I had zits.

I have zits.

We all do, it just comes with being a teenager. And just like zits, that awful “I’m not beautiful” feeling also comes with being a teenager.

That feeling where you look at yourself in the mirror and think “seriously?”

When you look at one of your friends, who looks so much better than you, and you think “Why am I not like that?”

In Middle School, I got up almost every morning, looked in the mirror, and said to myself, “I am not pretty.”


“I am not beautiful.”




What does that really mean?


Some cultures have said that crossed eyes or ridiculously small feet are beautiful,

some say that corseted waists and hoop skirts that weigh 20 pounds are.

What about black teeth, artificial dimples, lead paint, wigs?


I remember, when I was a young girl, having a Barbie Doll.

I remember that I wanted so badly to be like that doll, that when a Barbie Doll dress for little girls came out on the market, my seven year old self saved up for three months to buy that dress at Target.

Three months is a long time for a seven-year-old.

I also remember that when I got home and put on the dress, it didn’t fit.

Even at the tender age of seven, I knew that you just weren’t cool, you weren’t right, if you didn’t fit into that dress.

Our society tells girls that they are not beautiful.

Pure and simple.

It tells us that to be beautiful we need to change ourselves to fit the “ideal.”

And if we don’t, we aren’t special and are just made to be tossed aside like moldy cheese, left too long in the fridge to be cared about.




What does that really mean?


One of my friends at school wears make up. Do you know why?

Because she thinks that she isn’t pretty.

Because she doesn’t fit our stereotypical, barbie doll, spray tan, abs, long curly hair, big boobs, tiny waist, smooth face, dang perfect standard.

She thinks that it’s so important to change herself to be “normal” that, without her makeup, I didn’t even recognise her. She looked like a completely different person.

Do you know what she looks like without makeup?

Her face looks like a worn canvas plastered with so many lies of what beautiful means that her eyes seem ashamed of her face.

The supposed “disgrace” of daily life, stains her smile, forcing it to droop as if a piece of paper laden with too much paint.

In the morning, the paint brush of her eyeliner breaks her flimsy eyes, splashing cool, blue watercolor tears down her trembling face,

hitting zits,

making her let out a harsh sob.




What does that really mean?


I knew a girl who was bulimic.

And she was really skinny.

I mean, like stick figure, skeleton dancing on halloween, heart literally pounding out of her chest skinny.

And she worked for it.

But not in a good way.

She had been told that to be beautiful, she had to be skinny. So every night, after dinner, she would creep like a thief in the night to the bathroom, like it was a museum, where she could steal beauty.

Creep, with her toolkit of paper towel, measuring tape, and toothbrush. But, every night, she was stolen from.

Her childhood was stolen, her self confidence, image, love for herself, not what she thought she was supposed to be.


Is that beautiful?


We are told that we are supposed to be supermodels,

when, in reality, those models have been photoshopped.

We are told to reach the unattainable goal, and when we don’t,

we are bullied and harmed, not only by others,


but by ourselves.


We are told to change ourselves, to wear make up, and get boob jobs, forget who we are so that we can be “popular” or “cool.”

Did you know that Abercrombie stopped selling 10 plus sizes because “only the skinny people are cool?”

Beautiful shouldn’t be what you look like on the outside, but on the inside. I don’t want to be that Barbie Doll any more.


I tried.


It hurt.


I want to be called, and be, beautiful for my personality and my intellect, not for the size of my breasts.


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