I can’t stress how important it is to love yourself first. Once self love is implemented, everything else will fall into place.
Even I struggled with this topic a few years ago, battling loving the skin I’m in. According to society, adolescents are set to experience puberty between the ages of 10 to 16. During this period, adolescents tend to go through genital and physical changes, as the body is maturing and preparing itself for sexual reproduction. But what many people don’t know is that puberty is not one size fits all. One child’s experience or development doesn’t determine what the next child might go through, and if so, it may occur at a different time frame from the next.
When I was in middle school is when I became aware of this. I could see the slight changes in everyone’s development, as we were all transforming into young men and women, but I would sometimes wonder why some of my friends got things that I never received. For example, acne, one of the common early signs of puberty. Acne occurs on the skin when bacteria and oil is clogged in the pores, resulting in swelling and redness, which many refer to as pimples or zits. Some of my friends that went through this phase would complement me on my clean, clear skin, and complain about how much they hated their skin, comparing it to pepperoni pizza.
It wasn’t until I had to undergo this phase years later, during my freshman year of college, that self love became a challenge for me. I dreaded waking up and looking in the mirror because the first thing I saw was a face covered in pimples, or blemishes, due to the scaring from continuously popping each and every bump that appeared on my face. I often referenced old pictures of myself and longed for the days when I had “beautiful” skin. It took a couple months before reality set in and I asked myself, “Why does society always paint a perfect picture for the way humans should look?” This is when I began to embrace and love the skin I’m in, and it just so happened that when I accepted myself for who I was, my skin slowly but surely began to clear up.
I say this because I was recently watching Fox’s daytime talk show, The Real, and the topic of their “Girl Chat” segment for the day was, “Would you be supportive if your teenage daughter wanted to get plastic surgery?”
There are several teenagers across the globe that aren’t satisfied with their natural beauty, and would like to alter or re-construct a particular area of their body to look the way they envision or desire it to be, but how do we instill confidence in these young teens, and let them know that they are beautiful just the way they are. Them finding alternative routes to make themselves pretty is not the way to go. They’re body has not finished developing just yet. Grown adults still continue to experience physical changes they never saw as a child.
There’s also people who don’t cherish themselves unless they’re wearing a weave or make-up to enhance their beauty. Yes, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a weave or make-up, but if you’re only doing it because you don’t appreciate or aren’t satisfied with your natural state, or if you can’t look in the mirror and love yourself the same way you do when you enhance your beauty, then you’re also battling being in love with who you are.
Guest co-host, Joseline Hernandez, tip was, “Parents, start putting your kids in front of the mirror and let them accept who they are.” Sitting in front of the mirror and accepting herself for who she was, as Bey would say, “flaws and all,” is what built the reality stars self-confidence.
It’s important to appreciate yourself for who you are, and not fantasize about what someone else has because the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Social media in the 21st century has a way of glamorizing the beauty and figures of models, bottle girls, and exotic dancers, and society has a way of painting what’s pretty vs. what’s not, leaving teens to gravitate towards and aspire to look just like what’s currently trending, when it shouldn’t be that way. We watch fads come and go all the time. Something can be in today and gone tomorrow.
That’s why it’s important that no matter what’s existent or non-existent, you’re able to look in the mirror and smile at the reflection in front of you. You won’t need acceptance or reassurance from something or someone about how beautiful you are, because you already know it.