beneath your beautiful.

For whatever reason, the song “Beneath Your Beautiful” by Labrinth popped into my head. It’s actually one of my favorite songs and it’s basically about letting your guard down and allowing someone to see past everything on the surface.

I know I touched on this in my last post, but in this one, I want to share a story about insecurity. I’m going to try and keep this short and to the point as possible. So here it goes.

As someone who’s trying to overcome insecurities of her own, I feel it’s important to let other people know they are not alone. Overcoming your insecurities is not a process that happens overnight or with the snap of the fingers. It could take months, maybe even years, but requires conscious effort.

I’ll be honest and say that I truly believe my insecurity was one of the contributing factors that ended my last relationship. I never felt completely uncomfortable around my boyfriend (at the time), and I was always super conscious of how I looked. He would always tell me how beautiful and sexy I was and how he thought I was perfect. My relationship became this vicious cycle of constantly seeking affirmation from someone else that I was beautiful. I became addicted. I needed to hear these words. I needed validation. That should have been a huge red flag, but of course, when you’re in love, you’re oblivious to many things.

Jealousy is an ugly trait to possess, and I am guilty of this. In my last relationship, I would secretly get jealous whenever he “liked” photos of other girls on Facebook. I would go so far as to go to those girls’ profiles and look at their pictures. Every single one of them was gorgeous, which infuriated me. Looking bad, I can’t believe how disgustingly jealous I was, and it really affected me. I would constantly update my profile picture in the hopes he would “like” it, because to me, again, it was affirmation that I was beautiful. It made me feel validated. But it was a self-destructive cycle I had fallen into and didn’t know how to get out of.

It wasn’t until the relationship was over and I gave myself a year without him in my life for me to even begin to see what was really happening. I couldn’t believe I became one of those girls jealous of other girls. I felt disgusted. I felt ashamed of myself. And that’s when I decided I needed to make a change.

As much as I wanted to get back into another relationship after the breakup, doing that would only temporarily numb the pain, not solve the problem. The issue was deeply rooted within myself. It was something nothing or no one could fix but myself.

My insecurities created these barriers that he could never see past. Because I felt like I couldn’t be myself without feeling self-conscious, it created this friction in the relationship that I could never get rid of. I am currently single and I’m not afraid to admit that. I’m not actively pursuing a relationship, however, should one present itself, I feel like I’m at a place in my life where I can allow it to happen without residual feelings from my last relationship.

I’d like to say that I am a work in progress. I’m not completely there yet, but I’m on my way. I remind myself every day that I don’t need someone’s words to validate my worth. I am beautiful. The reality is that there are many girls who are prettier and smarter than me, but I need to stop the comparisons. Jealousy is essentially wasted energy. It’s not worth it, and truthfully, if I feel jealous in the relationship, then I need to take a good look and re-evaluate because the cause of jealousy is insecurity.

So to all the girls out there struggling with self-image issues, you are not alone. I know we live in a media-driven society where the idea of beauty is this singular image, but don’t let that control your life. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and we need to embrace that we’re all different. You should never have to go out of your way to try and impress someone. Be your beautiful self and the rest will fall into place. If a guy doesn’t like you because of the way you look, say goodbye and move on. It’s not worth your time and energy.

Most importantly, you must believe in yourself. I know it’s difficult to do, but when you wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror tell yourself you’re beautiful. Here’s the challenge. Don’t just think the words, say them out loud. Trust me, this is something that’s still uncomfortable for me, but the more you do it, the easier it will become and the more you will genuinely believe it. When you learn to let go of fearing what other people think of you, it’s one of the most empowering feelings in the world. Remember that we were all created differently and we’re all beautifully unique in our own ways.

beautifuldarkmystery

 

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the pressure to be skinny.

I’d be lying to you if I said I’ve never struggled with body image…I think EVERY girl has at least some time in their life. It’s difficult because unfortunately, we live in a society where skinny is considered beautiful. I would consider myself average. I’m not too skinny but I’m not overweight. In fact, according to the BMI, I am exactly where I need to be.

There have been certain things I’ve wanted to change about myself. For the longest time, my legs bothered me. I always wished they were skinnier. Yes, I was one of those girls who wanted the gap between her legs. I was first self-conscious about my legs when I was a freshman in high school. It bothered me that all of my friends had stick-thin legs and I wanted mine to look like that as well. Today, I’ve become more accepting about my legs. I still want them a little skinnier, but I’m not going to extremes to achieve it.

Another thing I’ve hated is my stomach. I’ve always wanted a super flat stomach. To this day, I am still self-conscious about wearing a bathing suit around other people, so I rarely go swimming when I’m invited. It’s gotten pretty bad the older I’ve gotten. When I was younger I didn’t care about any of this stuff. But now, I rarely go in the pool. I tend to wear baggy shirts or loosely-fitted tops to cover my stomach. I can’t wear anything that’s skin tight. It makes me feel uncomfortable.

I’ve never gone to super extremes to try and be skinny. One thing I did do was cut soda completely out of my diet and that actually worked. By not drinking soda, I lost a good 5-7 pounds. Plus it’s just better for your health anyway…soda has so much artificial sugar and the caffeine is bad for you (in large amounts). I haven’t had soda for over two years now.

Once the weather is nice again, I want to start walking/exercising. I usually do this around springtime. I’ll walk around my neighborhood or climb hills to work my leg muscles. I LOVE doing this because I enjoy the time to myself, and I’m getting in a decent workout at the same time.

I think there will always be a part of me that remains self-conscious about my weight. Like I said, I will never go to extremes to get the result I want, but as a girl, it’s hard living in a society where you’re judged by the way you look. I really am working on trying to accept myself for who I am, but I’ve still got a ways to go. But like I said, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I HAVE become more accepting of myself and the way I look. But it doesn’t hurt to want to strive to be a little healthier…just as long as it’s safe.

-beautifuldarkmystery

How do you view yourself in terms of body image and how have they changed over the years? Has it gotten better or worse?