Thursday, November 1, 2012

Beautiful In My Own Skin

 As a child, I was always told I was beautiful. As the baby girl in the family, my parents and older siblings nurtured me and constantly reaffirmed that I was intelligent, capable, and beautiful both inside and out. Looking back on it, those words of affirmation truly gave me the initial spark of confidence I needed to pursue my dreams, but without my believing it myself those words wouldn’t have been worth anything. Hearing from others that you’re beautiful can provide an amazing boost of confidence, but the only thing that will truly sustain it is if you believe it yourself.

Being comfortable in my own skin has been less of a destination and more of a continuous journey. As a pre-teen, I thought that I was ugly, fat and undesirable. I started developing at a much faster pace than the other girls in my elementary school. I’ve always had curves (and pre-high school, curves were largely undesirable) and I’ve always gone to schools in which I was the minority. So, my youth was marked by a continuous struggle with being comfortable and confident in environments where I was simply different.

Now, as a style blogger who tries to use my words to inspire and empower through the lens of fashion and beauty, I have discovered that you can have all the red lipstick, high heels and little black dresses in the world, but if you’re not comfortable in your own skin, you’ll never truly feel beautiful.

Clothes, shoes, makeup and all the wonderful things we fashion-forward girls enjoy daily are amazing fixins, but they’re not a cure-all for self-esteem issues.

Feeling beautiful is a process that involves self-evaluation, honesty, and a vulnerability that’s not always easy to achieve. I admit that I don’t love everything about my body, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I believe that I was beautifully and wonderfully made, and no amount of fancy perfume or red-bottom platforms will change that.

 Here are some ways I’ve grown to feel beautiful in my own skin:

I switch up my look often:

There are so many interpretations of beauty. Why settle for just one?

I’ve found that trying out new looks makes me appreciate myself in a new way. If I can love myself equally as a brunette or a blonde, with curls or with straight hair, with or without makeup, I’ve learned to embrace beauty that remains the same regardless of other things that change.

I wear clothes that flatter my curves.

Even though looks aren’t everything, being comfortable in what you’re wearing plays a huge role in how confident you feel.

I’d love to try every trend that comes down the runway. But instead of being incredibly uncomfortable and “on-trend”, I choose to interpret the trends with silhouettes that are flattering and make me proud to show off my curves.

I surround myself with positivity.

Me and my Mom
Earlier in this post, I touched on the impact that having positive affirmation during childhood provided for me. It doesn’t stop in adulthood. I’ve been blessed with an amazing network of friends, family, and associates whom I can call on for inspiration and encouragement. One of my biggest role models, my mom, provides me with daily inspiration, and I use her as the framework for what I consider beauty from the inside out. One of the keys to feeling beautiful is surrounding yourself with people who affirm those sentiments. Only keep positivity in your corner, and you’ll see it manifested in your life.

Do any of these methods work for you? What do you do in your daily life to feel beautiful in your own skin?

This post is part of BlogHer's My Beautiful Moment series, made possible by Olay.
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  1. I'm learning more and more how important it is to surround yourself with positive people. Beautiful post.

  2. Love this post! I have a picture just like yours of me wearing a yellow dress and bows. (sooo cute!)

  3. Thanks for sharing! You're a true inspiration and you look amazing!

  4. What a beautiful and inspiring post! I wish every young girl could read this and know that she is beautiful inside and out. You are awesome (but I knew that)

  5. You have a lovely blog!
    I am your newest follower, follow back?

  6. This post is ROXY! Beautiful pictures, and thanks for sharing:-)

  7. You are RIGHT ON!!! I also developed earlier than most of my peers, and I had bright red hair (which has changed color on its own over the years). Talk about not fitting in! I was taller than all the boys and rounder than all the girls. Unfortunately, I did not have the same powerful force of affirmation you had. Fortunately, I have found tremendous healing in this area and can truly look in the mirror and LOVE MYSELF as I am now! All of your tips for loving yourself are grand, and I have definitely surrounded myself with people who love me for who I am on the inside, and that feeling of being truly known and truly loved makes me stand out wherever I go. I get compliments all the time, and I know it's because I radiate my beauty from the inside out. This is a beautiful post, and I'm so glad you wrote it.

  8. What an inspiring post! I'm still working on getting to a point where I can feel beautiful in my skin everyday but feel more positive knowing that it is indeed possible...thank you!

  9. I found this post really touching - you approach this complicated issue in a way I hadn't thought of before. I actually ended up writing a response post of my own - http://toolazyforlipstick.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/whats-wrong-with-wrinkles.html