I took these pictures this morning – well, technically it was about 2 PM in the afternoon, but I had just woken up. I hadn’t washed my hair since sunday morning (it is now friday), I smelled bad, I had no bra on, my brows are a mess, I’ve got pimples and other blemishes on my face, but this was me this morning.
Recently, I’ve started realising, slowly, how rarely I see myself. REALLY see myself. I see others all the time, I see them in 3D; I see them happy, I see them loving, I see them sad. I see their smiles, and the look in their eyes when they talk about something they’re passionate about; I see their tears, and their frustration, when a test they should’ve aced, didn’t go as well as they’d hoped. I see the beauty in everyone I’ve ever met; I think everyone is enchantingly gorgeous in some way or another, especially when they stop trying to please other people and are happy with themselves.
Yet I’ve never been confident about the way I look. I’ve never really liked my face, I’ve never liked my body; I’ve always hated my nose, and the way my upper lashes don’t curl and my brows don’t naturally really have an arch, making me look annoyed or uninterested when I’m not actively trying not to. I’ve always struggled with how thick my hair is, and the way none of the haircuts I’ve ever had, has made it look good enough for me to LOVE it, or to do anything with it. I don’t like how I don’t have defined cheekbones, making my face look chubby from the side; and I don’t like how my lips are not that full and how my bottom lip looks off when I talk sometimes.
When I look at these pictures, there are about 100 other things I could name that I dislike about myself. But I also see things that I’ve never seen before, not like this; I see moles on the side of my face, that I really like, but have somehow failed to notice when I’m looking in the mirror every day. I see how my eyes stand out, not only because of the colour they have (which obviously you can’t see in these pictures), but because they appear to be telling a story. I see different colours in my hair, lowlights and highlights, even though I’ve never dyed it in my life; and I see that my face is quite well proportioned, I think, there’s nothing too huge about it (not even my nose), and there’s nothing too tiny (not even my mouth).
It’s fine. My face is fine.
Even though I’m in a bad period, loving-myself wise – and even though I don’t think appearance really matters in this world, and I believe everyone should focus more on being happy and kind than on being beautiful – these pictures make me happy. Not because I think I look really good in them, but because I feel like I look fine, even though I’ve been stressed for weeks, and had already cried in bed that morning, and am tired. I’m finally starting to come to terms with what I look like, and I’m starting to learn that other people might see me the way I see them. And that’s a comforting thought.