I spent more than 13 years completely convinced I was the ugliest & most disgusting person born on this planet.
We live in a world where the definition of beauty is very narrow which affects all of us in one way or another. For years I was also continuously told I was ugly, shown that my integrity was more of a suggestion and that my existence was worth absolutamente nada to this world. However much my mother and family showed me the total opposite, the abuse that continued throughout the years hit me way harder.
I feel like it's one thing going through stuff like that as an adult, but as a kid, nah bruh. There's no defence. There's no experience. You're new to the world and you expect people around you to be truthful, honest and right. You're incredibly vulnerable, easy to manipulate, easy to ruin. You depend on the people in your surrounding to take care of you because that's how it should be until you're grown enough to be independently dependent and ready to face the awkwardness and chaos and beauty that is being an adult.
I definitely consider myself one of the lucky kids though. I actually made it from childhood to adulthood. You know, Sometimes I look back and wonder how the hell I even did that. I've learned to not take breaths for granted. On so many levels I consider me being here a huge freakin win and an even bigger strike of grace.
It took me finishing school, going to therapy, getting myself a life-coach, getting rid of and making new friends and literally building myself a new life to restore most of the harm that had been caused during my childhood.
My first and biggest project was definitely learning how to love myself as a person, letting go of a whole lot of guilt and rebuilding the integrity I had before it got torn apart. After that, or rather parallel to that, I had to deal with the fact that at the age of 19 I was still crying when I looked myself in the mirror way more often than just at a certain time of the month. Because boy did I. I was convinced no one would ever consider me beautiful and thought no one would ever be able to love someone who looked like me.
I was gifted an iPhone when I was about 17. Having the front facing camera option, I began taking self portraits. I experimented with lighting. I took 9827349 photos with different angles until I got it right. I took unflattering photos and cried and took good photos and felt proud. I learned the angles that were flattering to my face. I learned that lense distortions could make anyone's face look weird. I learned that bone structure made it easier for some people to effortlessly and quickly look good on a photo and that it had nothing to do with the beauty of their faces in reality.
From 17 to one day before 22. That's five years. I can actually see the positive impact this have made in my life during these years. More and more frequently I could look at the photos and think "that face isn't that awful after all" and even more importantly I could actually look myself in the mirror and think "that face is even more beautiful in reality".
Together with project extreme inside makeover, taking photos of myself helped me feel more beautiful and it still does. It marks a day when I feel good about myself. It marks a moment when I feel extra pretty or proud. It marks a feeling of contentment or having succeeded with something that is important to me.
And sometimes it's as simple as me being happy for having captured my genuinely smiling self. Because I'm just really grateful that smile exists.
So, me feeling like I'm beautiful, well, that's actually a relatively new thing to me. You know, human-life-years:ly speaking (I'm so sorry all you grammar teachers out there, I just feel like you're just really at the wrong place right now).
And I like it. It's nice.
Everything is by all means still a work in progress. But I went from being convinced I was one of the most disgusting and unwanted human beings walking this earth, to on a daily basis loving myself, feeling loved and actually also knowing I'm beautiful not only on the inside. Seeing that process and progress, I can't help but feel like damn. It's one of those long-ass processes you think never will end but then when you look back everything and their momma have changed.
And even though each year brings more & new trials, hurt and road blocks, I can't but feel like each new year I get is better than the past one. Siempre pa'lante like that.
So yo, next time you're about to throw shade on someone for their strong selfie game, remember, they are not always purely ridiculous. Dat selfie game might actually just be the process of someone who's just about to feel a whole lot better!
The power of the selfie right there.
Haha sorry. This sleep deprived person just felt she had to put at least one awful joke in here before she finished this piece.