A lot throughout high school, I've heard the phrase "You had a glow up".
I'll get on Instagram and see a #ThrowbackThursday with a comment that said "Glow up queen"
I've even said it a few times.
But what does it mean?
If you look up the definition, it reads "the complete transformation of a person's appearance for the better."
I agree with that definition.
I'll sometimes go through old pictures of me from age five, see the person that I was before.
I'll smile from how adorable I looked, cute little bangs, a round chubby face, and bright eyes.
I'll see a young girl who has no idea that the world is a big place to be in.
How everyone has an opinion about something.
How she'll understand that not everything comes easy.
And how everyone that she grew up with can, and will, change.
Then I'll find the pictures from middle school.
AKA the years puberty took over and messed everything up.
The times when everything was growing.
The times when you started to feel awkward changing in the locker room.
The times when you realized that your cootie shot wore off and Johnny was kinda cute.
These were especially the times when you realized that everything changed.
Friends changed, no longer wearing t shirts and capris but Aeropostale everything.
They fantasized about boys, partying with high schoolers, and watching TeenNick when Drake was still on Degrassi.
No longer did I see a girl who smiled awkwardly into the camera for her worst picture ever.
I saw a girl getting ready for the "glow up".
A lot of girls I knew said their glow up was when they started to learn how to wear makeup right.
Some said it was when they started to get the "model body" they had dreamed of having.
For me, it was when I started to accept myself and be more confident and true.
I remember crying in the mirror in the bathroom at a school dance because no guy would dance with me.
I remember looking at my body, still in the process of losing baby fat and saying I was fat.
I remember me yelling at my mom for not letting me wear makeup so I would "look like the other girls".
The other girls had boyfriends while I could barely get a guy to look at me for a minute.
The other girls got to wear actual prom dresses to dances while I wore a church dress.
I just wanted to be like the other girls.
I just wanted to fit in.
I just wanted a glow up like the other girls.
But I was stuck being me.
What eleven year old me didn't want to accept at the time was that "being me" was okay.
I didn't need expensive clothes to have a "glow up".
I didn't need makeup that I didn't know how to apply anyway to have a "glow up".
All I needed was to accept myself.
After I learned that, I began to glow up.
I began to not stress over how I looked compared to other girls.
I began to wear clothes and makeup that suited me and only me.
I began to be me.
Though the world is still as messed up and scary as it was when I was a preteen,
I know that I'll still be alright.
After all, I had a glow up.