I am 4’10 and I struggle with image issues everyday. My body slants in different ways and my belly is not concave. No matter what I do, I always look different. I think different, I act different. I cannot go on a diet and I am too lazy to exercise. I have an average complexion and I bite my nails. I don’t look good in all pictures. No one has ever accused me of being gorgeous.
I love eating junk food and I love playing with my brother. I am maniacal. I am egoistical and stubborn. I am overly sensitive and stupid at times and at others, I am cranky and depressed.
I have a select group of friends. I cannot lie to them. I fall in love too easily and I think too much. Fashion and stilettos don’t interest me. I don’t style my hair and I wear loose clothes. I think beer is bitter and smoking is stupid. I take time to trust and have trouble letting go. I fail to do things to the best of my ability. I feel lonely too often. I question myself and my role everyday.
I get annoyed too quickly and I get mood swings. I have trouble controlling my anger and I cannot sugar coat my words. I isolate myself and I hurt those close to me. I cry out of want for sympathy and I act out of selfish reasons.I put on a mask in front of people. I pretend, I lie and I cheat.
But there is one in front of whom I am stripped of all desires, beliefs and pretense. I am naked in front of one. I feel that one creeping back to me every night whispering things I don’t want to hear, showing images I don’t want to see. Often times I have buried my head in the pillow and cried till my tears have dried. I have tried to ignore, suppress and repress that voice but no matter how hard I try, it returns whispering things like, “You are beautiful.”
I know this voice is mine and I cannot drown it out. No mask or fake smile survives its blatant honesty. So I look into the mirror and I try to believe what it says. And this time, I see a pair of black almond shaped eyes, a perfect small nose and full lips staring back at me. I see a girl’s small rotund face breaking into a smile. Her smile reaches her eyes, filling the room with warmth and sunshine. And she smiles wider this time, because she knows she is beautiful.
I may not have the skinniest waist or the best complexion; I may not have the right words or the right means to make a mark on this earth; I may not have the perfect body or the greatest talent, but I do have a kind heart.
I can provide a shoulder to cry on. I am overly sensitive and I pick up on emotion and intention easily. I see beauty everywhere: in the birds, the bees and the trees. I think people are wonderful. I see stories in random things, from a crack in a wall to a rat in a run down house. I find meaning in meaningless things.
By seeing beauty even in unlikely places, I am able to see to see the beauty in me. By seeing the beauty in me, I can’t help but smile. And when I smile:
I am beautiful.