WORDS BY | Shadi Bozorg
Did you know that it’s completely possible to let go of the negativity that you build up in your head? It sounds like bullshit, but it’s true.
In my 25 years of existence, I’ve spent a significant amount of time and brain power focused on the things I hated about my appearance. I’ve gone through extreme measures to put myself down. I used to find solace in starving myself until my body couldn’t take it anymore, I’ve fluctuated in my weight more times than I can count. I frequently looked in mirrors and convinced myself that there was nothing right about me. My legs. My arms. My face. My feet, even. There were moments where I felt like all I’d ever be was the girl with the winning personality and losing looks. I was always the funny one, and never the beauty queen. And no matter how many times people tell you you’re great, for some reason you still want to be the beauty queen. I wonder why.
Up until a couple of years ago I let that be my status quo, I figured it was just the way I was meant to feel. No matter how much weight I lost, or how long my hair grew, or how much money I spent on clothes, nothing could change my mind. Anyone in the world could have told me I was beautiful and I wouldn’t believe it for a minute. I assumed they just felt pity.
The worst part about my history of self-hatred is that it’s completely “normal”.
Now, I look at pictures of myself from back then and wonder how I could have ever been so hard on myself. I wonder why I devoted so much of my energy discrediting my existence because of something completely superficial, because of some kind of outside bullshit source that swayed me towards thinking so little of myself. This world isn’t easy for anyone, but the self sabotage that comes from comparing yourself to other people on an exclusively external basis is horrifying.
I see people plastered all over magazines and screens, all the Instagram models, I see my own friends going through changes that make me sad. Not because I feel like what they’re doing isn’t okay, but because I just want them to snap out of it and see what I see. It wasn’t until I came out of my delusion that I realized how much happier I could have been that whole time. We live in a day and age where you do what you want to empower yourself, whatever that may be. I don’t judge plastic surgery, but I just wish you didn’t have to cut up your face to feel beautiful.
There’s another way. Unfortunately that solution is often lost in the completely image driven social world we live in now. But listen, having a winning personality has gotten me further in my life than being a beauty queen would have. The things that truly matter were presented to me, and I was able to find a deeper meaning in all of this chaos. I considered the nose job, the lip injections, the anything to make what I had slightly better, but I could never ignore my intuition begging me to step back and look at the bigger picture.
Again, you do what makes you feel good, but consider the measures you’re taking to get there. I once truly believed only eating cucumbers and smoking cigarettes made me feel good. I told myself that it would bring me to my place of peace, if I just kept it up for a little longer. Guess what? It didn’t. Every time I did it, something would trigger me and the cycle would begin all over again. Putting in fillers and pulling your face back, spending hours looking at other people and having body envy, spending thousands of dollars on procedures and clothes you really don’t need are all temporary fixes. But because we believe in doing whatever it takes, we often forget to consider the repercussions.
Being self-conscious is completely internal. I could see the beauty in everyone, but refused to see it in myself. Now I include myself on that list. No, I never got to my ridiculous goal weight, I never got a nose job or injected my lips. In fact, I recently got the worst haircut I’ve ever had. But I’m still good. And I’m not being smug about that, I’m saying that even given the slums I was in with myself, I got all the way out. To the point that I will never look back again. And until the day I die, if you ask me, I will tell any one of you that you don’t need any of that shit. Because you don’t.
I think it’s absolutely possible for anyone to get to a point where they’re happy with what they have. I genuinely recognize that certain procedures can empower you and truly give you confidence, but I’m begging you to draw the line. You are beautiful. You are. Xtina wasn’t lying. Look inside yourself. The more value you put on the way you look, the dimmer your light gets, the less you really shine. Don’t be fooled by Instagram and celebrity and fame and clubs and VIP sections. It’s all bullshit. Do you love yourself? Do you love who you are?
I had to learn to love myself. I went to war before I found peace, but I truly found it. I’ve been crazy in love a couple of times before, but I’ve never been as in love with anyone else than I am with myself today. Some may call that conceited, but what some say doesn’t determine shit. Put yourself first, and recognize who yourself really is. Is she the person that wants to cut up her face for some kind of validation?
Don’t get me wrong, I still have days, I still have moments. But I’ve accepted myself as the queen I am. Because, and I truly mean this, fuck anyone that would want me to think otherwise. I owe it to myself to treat myself as best as I know how, and so do you. I always made my biggest effort to be the best friend I could be to others, and I finally learned how to do it for myself too. That’s what you do. You learn to love your own company. You learn to be your own best friend. Would you tell your best friend the things you tell yourself when you’re putting yourself down? Be there for yourself.
I will never tell anyone what to do, and I will never judge anyone for the things they do to make themselves feel better. I just want every single girl who has spent even a quarter of the time I did in front of that mirror, silently shouting insults to myself, to break out of it. It’s a waste of time, it’s a waste of you, and it’s not real. Underneath it all, your mind, your soul, and your serenity is all you truly have. The rest is fleeting.
And you, my dear, are a queen. Act like it.
WORDS BY | Shadi Bozorg | www.shadibozorg.com