A Letter to Girls Everywhere

Dear beautiful girl,

Yes, you. I’m talking to you. Maybe I’ve known you for a little while, maybe we’ve been friends for years, or maybe we don’t know each other. Regardless, I just wanted to tell you:

The real you is the most beautiful you.

That’s right, the real you is the most beautiful you.

Kira Kazantsev, who served as Miss America 2015, said this and while I’m not a huge follower of beauty queens, this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. This message is lost in today’s world, almost nonexistent among all the messages we are sent on a daily basis. It’s hard being a woman in today’s world because the message of true beauty is not being sent: accepting yourself for who you are, regardless of what you look like.

In my short 19 years of life, I’ve learned the journey to accepting yourself is not an easy one. I remember being in these shoes especially as I was transitioning into my freshman year of high school. I would wake up much too early in the morning, 5 a.m. on most days, to make sure that I had enough time to look “pretty”. I believed that I needed to have blemish-free skin, beautiful hair, straight teeth, and nice clothes in order to make friends and have an enjoyable high school experience. You may feel, or may have felt, the same way. I would spend hours at night thinking about my outfit for the next day or if I wanted to curl my hair or do my makeup in a different way. In my mind, as soon as I learned how to curl my hair or keep my face free from acne, my life would be better and everything would work out because, from what I saw, it worked for other girls at school.

My dear, listen to me: there is so much more to life than what society presents as the ideal beautiful woman. So. Much. More. Have you noticed that the media only focuses on exterior appearance when it comes to women? It’s no wonder I felt this way. Using the media and others around you to compare yourself to is a scary, downward spiral, and allowing others to decide what you should look like or who you should be breaks you.

It’s taken me the majority of my life to accept myself for who I am, all but a couple months. Once you learn to love yourself, the world is so much brighter, so much more beautiful, and life is so much more worthwhile. Yes, I wear makeup, but it is not my entirety. Yes, I care about my appearance, but it comes from myself instead of other people. Who I am today was not who I was 5 years ago, and my wish for you, my darling, is that you see your true beauty from your own eyes, even when you’ve just rolled out of bed and look in the bathroom mirror.

Beautiful girl, don’t rely on makeup: you’re beautiful as you are. A beautiful face doesn’t compare to a beautiful heart. Learn that you don’t need a perfect Instagram picture to make you feel satisfied. You don’t need hundreds of Twitter followers or a large group of friends. You don’t need to compare yourself to celebrities. You don’t need others to validate your appearance or approve of who you are. Your interests, dreams, and hobbies are yours and are nothing to be ashamed of or hidden because they make you uniquely beautiful. You have the power to put something into the world that wasn’t there before and have a heart of gold to give to the world — you are enough.

I’ll say it again, the real you is the most beautiful you. Don’t ever forget it.

With love,

A girl who loves herself

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