I remember being told as a seventh grader that I would have to cut my hair because of split ends. When my hairstylist turned the chair around to show me my new look, I broke down. I had never worn my hair so short. At the time, short for me was at the neck. My face felt so open. I was so worried that everyone else would think that my hair was short, but I quickly found that no one had even noticed. It was then that I realized that I was not my hair, or my clothes, or any other materialistic thing that I worried other people would judge me for. Those are just accessories.
At some point in our lives, we may have been told how important it is to love ourselves. I have found that this requires taking the time to really get to know and embrace our strengths and weaknesses. The latter is often times challenging. In a society where validation is sometimes sought through the amount of likes you receive on Instagram and Facebook, or the amount of views you receive on snapchat, self-love is unfortunately standing on a balcony ready to fall over the edge. Media has shaped the way that we view our own beauty.
It is important that we take a moment to reflect on how we feel about ourselves and not reflect so much on how other people view us. Ask yourself, do I wear makeup because I want to, or because I feel like I’m not pretty without it? Do I wear extensions because I do not feel comfortable wearing my natural hair? If you find that you wear makeup or extensions etc. because you are not confident in your natural beauty that is perfectly okay. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is the ultimate goal, but like any goal it takes time, determination, and dedication to achieve them.
Take steps to build your confidence. Write compliments on post it notes and read them every day, or look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are perfect flawed but that is okay. Find what works for you and stick to it. You have to love yourself more than anybody else does. If you do not embrace who you are then no matter how much someone else loves you, it will never feel like enough. So be sure to explore the deepest depths of your inner self.
If you ever feel like you are not beautiful in your natural skin, just remember that there is “no need to fix what God already put his paintbrush on (J. Cole).” Self-love is the best love, and it is the one kind of love that no one can ever take away from you. Whatever you do, say, or wear own it and rock it.