Trying to teach myself that I am beautiful

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Now that I have apologized to my body for all the harm I’ve caused and worked around the clock to heal it, I have an important task to accomplish to allow myself to be happy physically, mentally, and emotionally with my body:

I have to realize that I am beautiful.

Years of self-conscious mirror glances, rejection, and genuinely being told I’m not attractive by a multitude of people have led to the belief that I am inherently ugly.

This is not something I discuss openly– there are maybe two people on this planet who know I feel this way. I know that every person has self-image problem; it has made me reluctant to talk about it because I feel like I don’t have a right to do so. But now that I see how it has impacted me and hurt my perception of the world, I have to get it out of my heart and off of my shoulders.

It’s not okay to hate parts of me because I don’t look like other people. It affects me so deeply, these insecurities that feel so cliche to talk about. But, they’re exceptionally important; I have to emphasize them.

Feeling fundamentally unalluring has given me issues with my confidence that have struck deep and embedded themselves into my very roots. I have a problem with believing my significant other finds me attractive. I look for constant reassurance, and even then I just look in the mirror and can’t believe them. This creates a barrier in my trust with a person if I don’t think they feel attraction to me, one of the initial powerful bases for a relationship.

I have developed a competitive nature with my female coworkers who can get good tips just because they’re gorgeous and flirty. I needed to become the best without those things to feel good about myself. Maybe I have never gotten a random $50 tip or phone numbers, and Snapchat usernames at the bottoms of checks are vastly rare. But, I have genuine connections with each person that walks in the door, and I am a great caretaker. When people tell me something they like about me physically, it lights up my entire world. I have worked so hard to be beautiful on the inside because I have always believed that I am not beautiful on the outside– I have to give people a reason to like me. But if someone mentions a characteristic they appreciate that they have to look at on a daily basis, that induces a small earthquake on my tree of insecurity.

Every time I think poorly of my physical appearance, I will pull up pictures from when I felt beautiful. I will memorize the feeling of feeling attractive. When I go to the store to shop for clothes, I won’t look at the things I see all the girls my age wearing and decide to try them on just to see. I’ll remember that I have a different body type that looks good in the clothes I like and that I don’t have to torture myself to fit the constraints of “in” clothing.

I will try my best to believe people when they tell me they find me beautiful.

I will take my biggest insecurities and make them my favorite attributes.

These wide hips that give a sassy waitress pose (thanks, Mason), they are not too big, and it doesn’t matter that most girls don’t have them. My eyes aren’t tired and bloodshot; they are worn and experienced, and they show every emotion I have. My teeth aren’t yellow and full of old cavities; they are straight and pretty, and they look better now that I let myself smile with them. Lips that always remain scarred and scabbed, dry and cracked, they are a part of me and are intrinsic to my person. My hair is unkempt and split, but I work the breakdown look well. Bigger cheeks frame my face and give it volume, they’re not chubby or child-like. My eyebrows don’t have to be full, sleek arches to look beautiful; they can be sparse and crooked, and it’s okay that I talk with them so vivaciously. Being short does not make me look stubby or awkward. I am small and compact, and I pack a mean punch.

I will memorize the feeling of feeling attractive.”

I will work every day the way I know I am capable of, and I will prove to myself that I am gorgeous. Maybe not like everyone else, but I don’t have to be.

I can be beautiful like me, exactly the way I am.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Trying to teach myself that I am beautiful”

  1. Erin Doran on December 6th, 2017 6:55 pm

    This is so good, Kati! You’re such an amazing writer, and you are gorgeous! I really hope you know that you are such a beautiful person, and you make everyone around you smile and laugh! You’re so nice, and you do your best to make everyone else happy, and I think that makes you one of the most beautiful people on this flawed earth that so desperately needs more people like you!

    [Reply]

  2. Mason Rittenberg on December 7th, 2017 11:55 am

    I fully agree. I try my best to tell you that you are the most gorgeous person I’ve ever seen, and I love that you’re taking steps to break down these barriers and not live in this dark, insecure corner. I’m so proud of you every day, and especially for this.

    [Reply]

  3. Frank on December 11th, 2017 9:09 am

    The thing that I admire most about you is your being straight forward and honest. I think that you do have to like yourself and not care about what others feel. Love yourself first. You know that I am your biggest fan and I think that you are a beautiful young lady. It has been my pleasure to get to know you on my trips to Michigan. You are the highlight of my visits there sweetie. The other girls may get tips and numbers but they definitely do not have the heart that you do. I will take heart any day sweetie and I will tell you that every time that I have come to your place of work, you have been nothing but wonderful to me. I love you just the way you are.

    [Reply]

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