Skinny, clear complexion, pretty face. As a little girl, these were the things I wished to be more than anything else.
At age six I would walk by the magazines in the stores with these beautiful, princess-like women. All women that had the same things in common; they had perfect husbands, ideal families, gigantic houses, and all the money they could ever want. As if their perfect bodies sculpted and paved them their own personal road to success. “I want to be just like them when I grow up!” I said to my mom with admiration.
Makeup became a big interest of mine around age ten. I didn’t dislike my natural look. I enjoyed how I looked honestly, but looking in the mirror reminded me of a blank canvas with a random line drawn across the middle of the page. This line would be my imperfections like my acne or how my teeth weren’t exactly straight. There was a certain beauty to it but you just couldn’t wait to cover it up and turn it into a masterpiece. It was a way of being a better, prettier version of myself. I loved wearing makeup, especially on days I decided to do my hair. It made me feel a little more put together each day.
With makeup became the more tight fitting, revealing outfits. At thirteen I was just beginning to get curves. With curves came the attention of the male species. I began changing my wardrobe to get more attention. Every single piece of clothing I wore was to please other people. It worked. I would get stared at by guys in the hallways as I was walking to class each day. I would get compliments about my body every few days by random people in school that I barely even knew. People didn’t have to know me to know my name.
Around the time I was changing my outfits, I changed my personality. I didn’t care about how I treated people or how my comments made them feel. I craved the attention like an addict craved their drugs. It was as if I stood underneath the words ‘public property’ that I had labeled myself with. It was the only thing that I truly knew how to do. I obsessed over a long lasting dream that I felt was actually coming true. I had finally started to feel like the goddesses in the magazines with the perfect lives that I had looked up to for so long.
In the present at sixteen I see the affects my decisions have had on me. I wore makeup to cover up my imperfections. Eventually this fun thing I loved to do turned into something I had to do in order to feel pretty. I couldn’t go outside without wearing at least a little something to cover up the thing I disliked about myself most that day. I helped this by wearing clothing to reveal the best looking parts about myself. The shirts I wore had v-necks deeper than how far I had buried all respect for myself. The comments from the boys quickly became old and repetitive. They always had me wondering about why no one ever liked me for my personality but then I would remember that this wasn’t my best quality either. I realized that after a certain point I wasn’t putting down other people to get attention anymore. I was doing it because it made me feel that there was still something about myself worth liking.
I am different now. I hardly wear makeup anymore. I dress in the outfits that I enjoy wearing. I’m attempting to be a more enjoyable person in general. Most of all, I have a new goal in life. I still want to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be by staying focused on my life, accomplishing my goals, and being truly happy. Besides, being myself, imperfections and all, is the only thing I can do better than anyone else.