Flip past it. I told myself. I begged, I pleaded, I grasped every ounce of strength inside of me and told myself I wouldn’t. I promised. But I couldn’t help it. I opened up the article. Countless pictures of celebrities were sprawled across the page, photos of various red carpet events and photo shoots they’d done. I eyed their figures, slender, delicate, beautiful. Silky hair fell across their shoulders, as smooth as the ocean water in the morning, not a strand out of place. Their beams lit up their faces as they threw their heads back in laughter. Everything about them was perfect. Why? I asked, frustration growing inside of me now. Their long legs peeked out from under their dresses, shining like the twinkle in their eyes. It must feel good. Every inch of their skin was flawless, the blemishes nonexistent. The teardrop splashed onto the page of the magazine, filled with anger, misery, jealousy. Why couldn’t I be like them?
I put the magazine down and made my way into the bathroom, collapsing on the bitter floor, struggling to breathe as the tears stole all the air around. I saw myself in the mirror, cheeks blotched, red as the blood that seeped through me, still flowing through all the pain. I pinched the rolls of fat on my stomach, cursing the countless meals, the deathly calories. I cried until the energy had been drained out of me. I had nothing left to give.
1 year later
I feel better now. I'm not perfect, nowhere near. I never will be though, and that’s something I’ll just learn to accept. My naivety terrifies me. My definition of beauty was so simple, so foolish. Impossible. Sure, I had problems with my skin and I had a few extra layers of fat. My thighs touched and my cheeks were chubbier than most. I tore myself up over it, over thought every detail, every freckle in the wrong place, every eyelash that wasn’t long enough. But, I forgot the other things. I forgot to admire the unique colour of my eyes, and I didn’t notice my naturally tanned skin. I forgot to look at inner beauty, and it must have slipped my mind to think about my passion and determination, my loving, selfless character. I forgot the things that mattered most, and focused on other people, only seeing their blessings. I forgot to look at my own. I forgot to be myself.
Everybody is beautiful in their own way.