Mainstream society can keep their It Girl. You are your own kind of beautiful. 
 

It's the first day of first grade.

During recess, you see the girls getting attention from the boy classmates and notice that they resemble each other. However, you look like none of them.

You zone in one on girl, in particular, who seems to be getting the most attention from boys and girls alike. Everyone watches her every move closely. Girls copy her mannerisms while boys drool over her aura. Even the teacher is drawn to conversing with her above another classmate. Her hair is straight and shiny. In a ponytail, it swishes with movement. Her skin is pale, dotted with freckles and her eyes are an intense shade of blue.

After school, your mom has to make a stop at the grocery store.

Upon arrival, you beg her to make a stop at the haircare aisle. She obliges.

In addition to a boxed relaxer kit, you grab a flat iron, a 'texture-taming' lotion, an 'anti-reversion' cream and a 'high-shine glosser' to throw into the cart. Your mom smiles at you proudly, assuming these are the signs that you want to take more responsibility in caring for your own hair--so you smile back. However, the priorities sitting in the forefront of your mind differ.

While waiting for your mom to check-out, you pull a magazine off of the newsstand.

The woman on the cover looks much like that classmate everyone at school is enamored with--only perhaps, more mature. Now you are more anxious than ever to get home to go to the bathroom and try your new products out. 
You will continue this for many years until one day, you wake up.

Throughout the rest of your grade school years and even at work, you have felt a gaping void within your soul.

For so long, this void went unidentified but played a major role in the theme of your life: a starving sense of of self-worth and acceptance. It was only recently that you realized the beauty and empowerment that comes from embracing your true self.  And that is OK.  The good thing is, you still have time to figure yourself out. Constant evolution is the key.

What do you want? What do you love? More importantly--what do you deserve? 

Mainstream society has taught you to hate everything about yourself that does not look like the model on the magazine cover. In order to be 'beautiful', you must have straighter hair, lighter skin and a thinner body frame. As a result, you have practiced some risky habits.

From this day forward, eliminate  any margins and stereotypes you have placed on your own features, physical and otherwise. Start thinking about your features as just that--things that make you unique and desirable. Once you start loving yourself more, you will stop comparing yourself to the 'most liked' girl in the room. Live your own truths with confidence and leave others with no choice but to appreciate them, too.

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Read about how I respond to natural hair insults with radical self love.

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