I have two teenage daughters, Zoe and Ziya, who are 15 and 14 years old, respectively. They are great girls but like most kids their age they are plagued with some insecurities about how they look. This has a lot to do with what they see and hear from other kids their age, as well as the media and society in general. It reminds me of my own insecurities back when I was their age and my old concept of #RealBeauty.
I started high school at 12 years old. I was a new student in an exclusive all-girls school. Up until then I had only gone to school with both boys and girls so being with just girls was so intimidating for me. The fact that I was one of the smallest girls in my class and still had a child’s body shape didn’t help. I was pretty smart too which didn’t exactly make me popular with the cool crowd. I started comparing myself to other girls, who I thought were prettier because they were taller, already had a woman’s body and had the coolest friends. I wanted to be them.
It took college to make me realize that what I thought was beautiful wasn’t the only kind of beautiful. By that time, I had grown taller and had a pretty good body that others envied. But more than that I had become more self-confident in my talents and my abilities. I had learned to accept my flaws and love myself for all that I was and all that I wasn’t. College opened up my eyes to the world and made me realize that my old concept of beauty was superficial.
The truth is, real beauty is everywhere, in everything and in all of us.
I was reminded of all that when I received this big white box with my name on it. The box was a gift from Dove. I was so excited to open it.
Upon opening the box, I saw this big message on the inside cover and it pretty much reflects how I see beauty now.
It’s such a powerful message for all women. I especially wish to impart this message to my own daughters to make them realize that they are beautiful in their own right. They, too, have great qualities and talents they can share to the world.
This is not to say though that we should not care about our physical appearance. Of course, we have a responsibility to ourselves to take care of our appearance too. We have to make sure we are physically healthy and that we look our best when we present ourselves to the world. Making sure we look good also gives us self-confidence. However, we should not go over board with it and strive for perfection. Instead, we should embrace our flaws and just try to enhance what’s already inherently beautiful in us.
It is only when we focus on what’s already beautiful in ourselves that we learn not just to accept but to love ourselves for everything we are. And when we do that, we also learn to appreciate the beauty in others.
So, if you’re reading this and still feeling insecure about yourself, remember that you are beautiful too. There’s no need to keep comparing yourself to others. Go out into the world and be your own kind of beautiful.
Learn more about the Dove’s #RealBeauty campaign and visit www.dove.ph.