I love myself, a lot, but it took me a long time to get to this point. Where I look in the mirror and appreciate myself. I’m not perfect, or the most beautiful or even trying to be. But somewhere along the line, I discovered that God makes no mistakes. I love my tightly coiled hair that raises up like a halo, I love the hairs on my skin which protect me from cold, I love the rich caramel colour of my skin, and my nose, and eyes, and everything that makes me. If everyone was created the same, there would be no difference for us to appreciate.
Loving oneself isn’t having an exalted view of one’s self but understanding that you are as beautiful as the next person. Everyone’s perception of beauty is different, so what may appeal to A, might not do the same for B but it doesn’t give B the right to degrade.
When I was younger, I felt insecure and that I needed to be more beautiful. I had this perception of beauty that I got from the media. The fair tall girl with long flowing hair with a perfect figure 8 body shape who somehow after having big breasts and hips, she supposedly has a flat tummy and of course her face will be perfect with high cheekbones, pointed nose and all sorts. To my younger self, that was beauty. Even in schools, salons, markets and any other place it was reinforced that that was beauty.
In Nigeria, most people don’t teach children that to have dark skin, the colour of coffee is beautiful, and we wonder why people bleach, or that there is nothing wrong with our hair not being straight. That is why we have two-year-olds screaming when they have relaxer on. When did it become fashionable to spend a ridiculous amount of money that it outside of a budget on artificial hair when we can easily rock African styles? Some underlying causes are low self-esteem and trying to meet a certain standard of beauty. Let’s teach children to be comfortable in their skin and not give them a certain standard of what it means to be beautiful.
Beauty isn’t imitation either, you are unique! Beyonce is Beyonce and imitating her won’t make you more beautiful only frustrated. The world doesn’t want another Beyonce. Revel in your uniqueness.
You must learn to love yourself before anyone does, it’s not selfishness. You should not expect to be loved when you do not love yourself. Love your body, appreciate yourself, inspire yourself to do more, learn from your mistakes, invest in yourself, create self-reflection moments. So what if you have short hair, or you are fat, or you are too tall, so your lips are too big. There are people who would give anything to have yours. No one is perfect, we can only be the best versions of ourselves. To me, going under the knife to look beautiful isn’t worth it, especially if it turns out wrong. Of course, we should take care of ourselves but for the right reasons not because we need to validate our beauty. Be happy, be good to people and love yourself, fiercely.