My thoughts on what it means to be, ‘truly beautiful’ have really changed over the years. And, to this day it is still something I struggle with at times. It hasn’t just been because of my Alopecia, but because I would look at myself in the mirror and see a pimple (like now for instance) and my first thought is immediately, ‘could I look any worse?’. Or, I see the wrinkles I have around my eyes from all of the sun exposure from being outside, or the small dents in my forehead/headband line from the steroid shots trying to grow back my hair when I was a child.
I use to think being pretty was having the perfect face, pimple and wrinkle free with a head of beautiful hair and I would of given anything to be just like that. I was so jealous of all of the beautiful woman I was surrounded by and in the media. Or, today social media is more popular than ever and it is the place where everyone shows their best selves, beautiful photos, blemish free, perfect lighting and it is so easy to get caught up in all the hype and think ‘I wish that was me’. I know I have been there, done that and it can really make you feel bad about yourself.
I can say from experience it is the WORST thing to do to yourself, to put the thought in your mind that you aren’t pretty enough, or to compare yourself to someone else. ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ and no truer words have ever been spoken. Of course, we are surrounded by beautiful woman and people everyday and you cannot avoid that, but you can change your mindset and the way you react to it, and the way you treat yourself. It is perfectly ok and you should look at someone else and think ‘wow they’re beautiful’ or if you love their outfit etc. tell them that. We never know what someone is struggling with, they could of been in the same place you were, so if you feel a true compliment, tell someone. There has been so many times I’ve been having a rough day and a stranger has complimented me and it has completely changed my mindset. You could be that blessing to someone else.
How to really feel pretty, and convince myself of that is a topic I have had to learn and it took me a long time to really perfect and give myself positive self talk and truly believe it. I always knew I needed to have a positive mindset when I looked at myself, but truthfully when I would look at myself in the mirror I wouldn’t see ‘beauty’ or at least not like I would see in others and it was very defeating. I would see bald, pimples, dents, tattooed eyebrows, wrinkles and just nothing beautiful in all honesty. I understand and completely emphasize with others who have feelings of not being good enough, or not ‘like those other women’. This was me for a good majority of my young life and still today I have my moments.
But, I have learned a lot about myself while struggling with low self-esteem and not having someone to tell me I am beautiful everyday. Words of affirmation are my love language, so to not hear that it can be easy to let negative thoughts creep into your head and to start letting yourself believe it. I wish I would of been in the mental state I am in now when I was younger. I know it would of made a lot of things a lot more easy to deal with, but I have always been someone who loves a good challenge, or comeback story and this is just that.
When I look at myself now and don’t feel pretty (as I mentioned before it has been one of those last few days, huge pimple on my face at the moment) I have a few ways I help myself to truly feel better. I write down a few things I truly love about my appearance. We all know beauty isn’t about what is on the outside, but rather on the inside but I still think it is important to love physical features about ourselves and focus on that. For years I never truly looked at myself in the mirror and thought I had blue eyes. Even my first license said blue eyes, but as my confidence grew in myself and my Alopecia and I started to really see me, the beautiful creation God carefully chose I saw these beautiful green eyes that I truly love. I love my long legs, and skin tone that tans so well in the summer. Obviously I am made to be living on a beach in a tropical climate somewhere.
I also do things that make me feel good. I love to go on a run, play basketball, this has been my biggest escape my whole life and still to this day when I am feeling overwhelmed. But also something simple too, a cute pair of earrings or outfit always help me to feel good too.
After that I focus on traits about myself that are the most important and out of the two lists this one brings the most joy and biggest smile to my face, because I know it is what makes me truly me, and what is the most important thing. All of these traits about myself outweigh my pimple on my face and the wrinkles under my eyes. I love helping others, being positive, empathizing with others, and just being a kind person that someone is proud to know and be friends with.
Community is also important in any aspect of life, but especially here. You need your people who will hype you in when you need it, give you a hug and love on you and of course, tell you that you are beautiful and perfectly and wonderfully made.
A big change in my mindset also comes from my faith. I have shed many tears in prayer and journaling talking to God being upset about not feeling pretty enough. That is the great thing about Him, he is always there, there to listen and let us vent out our frustrations to. Then, He always shows up in the most unexpected and beautiful ways that only he can reminding us of our worth, and how loved we truly are.
I love the feeling when someone compliments me, it makes me smile and makes my heart so happy, and that is the exact same mindset I have when I treat myself now. When I look at myself in the mirror, make-up less, pimple and all I see a different Lindsay than I use to see years ago. I see a strong, determined, fierce and beautiful woman who has overcame a lot. But if I am still feeling down or not ‘pretty enough’ (trust me this still happens) I look at a medal from a marathon and can still remember how I felt in that moment, or at that race. When I run I feel like the most me, I feel beautiful.
Choose yourself every single day. You are a treasure, you are loved, you are chosen and you are perfect. And never forget when we look at a photo we don’t really see what someone is going through. We all have our ‘thing’ that we don’t like about ourselves, or that we struggle with. So if you want to be ‘pretty’ be a good person, build someone else up, help someone else out and you will be the most beautiful person in the room.
And if you ever are in need of a hype woman I am your girl! Bringing a smile to someone else’s face is my greatest joy!