What do you see when you look in the mirror? Chances are, you can probably list off the top of your head things you don’t like about yourself. I know I can.
Here’s a secret I wish I knew when I was in high school. Are you ready? It’s a big one. Nobody loves everything about themselves. Nobody. There isn’t one person who can look in the mirror and honestly say, “Hmm. There is nothing I would want to change about myself. I’m perfect. You’re welcome, world!”
I know that is hard to believe, especially when you walk into a room and your peers are so stinkin’ beautiful. And not the fake-magazine-airbrush kind of beautiful, but the girl-next-door-natural-beauties that make you just want to look up to heaven and say, “Really?”
I’ve been thinking lately about the queen in Snow White who bottled up all her insecurities into the way she looked. We don’t know much about her personality besides the fact that appearances drove her insane. She was obsessed with how she looked. Every day she would stand in front of her mirror, gawking at her reflection, with the same loaded question: “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” She might as well have said: “I am so insecure about my looks that I need constant affirmation from everyone.”
There’s a lot to learn from this fairy tale queen. In her quest to be the most beautiful maiden in the land, she, ironically, becomes repulsively unattractive through her obsessive personality. That’s the thing about being consumed in outer appearances: it will destroy you.
When I was in high school, I went through measures of Snow-White-Queen-Craziness. I bought certain clothes just because I felt like it made me prettier. And because I knew my parents wouldn’t approve of my clothes, I hid them in the back of my closet in a suitcase. One time after feeling insecure about how my eyebrows looked, I plucked them until they were a pathetic thin line. I might as well have shaved them off at that point. I have pictures of the before and after and they are NOT pretty.
(I have a lifetime full of these stories. If you ever want to get coffee and have a good laugh.)
What I’m saying is, I get it. I really do because I’ve been there too. You can buy all the makeup in the world. You can starve yourself or make yourself throw-up to try to be skinnier. You can put on high heels and a short skirt and get some attention from people. But it won’t bring you happiness and that’s the truth.
If you remember the story of the queen, you know it doesn’t end well for her. Same with all the other fairy tale stories like this one. No little girl dreams they will one day grow up and be vain and stare in a mirror constantly doing whatever it takes to be beautiful. Not a very exciting life; not a very exciting Disney movie either.
I know you hear all the time it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but that’s the truth. Inner beauty develops something make-up and fancy clothes can’t even begin to touch – confidence. Nothing is more attractive than someone (guy or girl) who knows who they are and isn’t going to compromise or settle. Confidence can’t be manufactured or bought or dieted. It can only come from a place of security in something that won’t ever fail you.
There’s a song by a band called One Direction titled, “What Makes You Beautiful” and I love it. I may or may not dance to it when it comes on in my car. The lyrics of the song go something like this: “ you’re insecure, don’t know what for…being the way that you are is enough.” So, if what I said isn’t enough, maybe the ridiculous catchy chorus of a cute boy band can play as a good reminder to all of us.
“Being the way that you are is enough.” That means you don’t have to wear a certain brand or talk like everyone else or weigh a certain amount. There’s only ever been and ever will be one “you.” And that is enough.