There are some things in this world that really grate me. Like, as in I could monologue angrily about it for 35 minutes and not realise that I was still talking. That's how much it gripes me.
Want to know one of the single most heart-breaking, anger-inducing things that makes me want to punch something?
When girls don't believe that they are beautiful, just as they are
Or more still, that society has conditioned everyone to believe that no one has inherent worth unless they offer some beauty to the world.
That's not how it works. We aren't pretty one day and suddenly have value, simply because we finally grew into our dorky looks. That's just luck and genetics – there's nothing you can control about that. This is why it's such a toxic mentality to have, believing that something you can't change will always be the same and make you feel trapped. More still, I am much more easily turned off by a person when their personality stinks. There's a lot I can forgive in physical looks, but for me, it's truly impossible to be with a person that I don't click with.
Furthermore, this is the case with all my friends when we get together and discuss it. Therefore, it begs the question: how do we all still get so hung up over feeling beautiful?
Firstly, let me just reiterate one more thing.
You have value, You are worthy, Your life has meaning
These three facts are true, mutually exclusive of everything else. Nothing caveats that, and there isn't anything in the world that can change or impact that in any way. No matter what you weigh, what your hair looks like, or how tall you are. These numbers shouldn't define your self-worth. It's all well and good saying that, but we still feel the way we feel. That's valid. I'm a firm believer that we all need to embrace the emotions we feel as we feel them because we feel everything for a reason.
We may not know quite why we feel that way, but we can't spend our lives policing our every thought. Yes, we need progressive, feminist self-care, but not if it means that we can't feel as though we can express our insecurities.
Therefore, to the girl that doesn't feel pretty or beautiful, or like she can do anything right.
I am now talking directly to you, as one of you
I promise you that we all have those days where everything gets A Bit Much. Life feels that bit harder, and it seems like everyone else is in on a secret or joke that somehow makes things easier. But no one really feels like they fit in. Even the people that you hold up on a pedestal that seem popular and really well put together. The greatest illusion in the modern world today is that some people have an effortless life.
No one does. Let me disabuse you of that misconception.
We all work really hard to pretend that we know what we're doing. Or to know why we're doing something. Our goals often seem to be impossible, but then you sleep on it and get some food in you and things seem a bit less impossible.
But other than exercising some proper self-care, there's nothing you need to do other than have faith that you are beautiful. In any and all the forms that you take. The goal of life isn't to 'be beautiful' and therefore have value, but it's just a fact of life that everyone is. There's a nice Roald Dahl quote in The Twits – where only if you think ugly thoughts, will you be ugly.
So, by all means, get the latest make up, go on that run, and head to yoga in the evening if it makes you feel good.
But if you just feel like you should or that the national idea of 'wellness' is what will actually stress you out rather than relax you, then just don't. Do what you're comfortable with.
You can't live your life on other people's terms, waiting for their approval.