a perception of outer beauty

I am a firm believer that inner beauty trumps outer beauty in so many respects- importance, endurance, genuine desirability. That’s not to say that outward appearances don’t matter. Sometimes, they matter too much, and that’s where my problem lies.

While I stress personality over physicality, the presence of my self-consciousness acts as a constant reminder that my ideals don’t equate to my reality. I know I shouldn’t think too much about my outer appearance, but the truth is I do. I’m vain. I have poor body image. I think my face resembles that of a troll’s. And that’s just the start of it.

Occasionally, I will find myself looking at old pictures, [un-creepily] longing for the body I once had. When someone grows up, their metabolism is obviously going to slow down. They’re going to get bigger, and that’s the inevitable nature of time. The thing is, I used to be really skinny compared to the other kids my age. Now, I’m the opposite.

It’s this constant comparison to others that works as the bulk of my insecurity. It’s the stark contrast between the European standard of beauty and the face I see in the mirror. Some people have cute, snub noses; mine looks like cartoon male genitalia. I have sparse, untamed eyebrows. Thick, dimpled thighs. Unflatteringly flat feet. A Lego brick face.

I could go on and on. I could critique every spot of my physical being, because that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years. I’ve resigned myself into thinking that my personality will someday cancel out my appearance and deem me “attractive”. Perhaps this habit of mine blinds me. Perhaps this habit of mine is the reason I am always genuinely, truly shocked whenever anyone compliments my appearance.

About a week ago, a girl I ate lunch with told me I had a “nice nose”. My nose? The one that’s shaped like a ding-dong some immature preteen doodled on a school desk? How could such a grotesque, misshapen thing deserve the word “nice”? She went on to compliment my clothing, calling it a comfortable yet stylish look. Yeah, right. My hoodie and awkwardly cropped leggings screamed “lazy”, not “fashionable”.  But that wasn’t all. She thought my hair was pretty and that I ought to keep it down more. Needless to say, I was utterly overwhelmed, but very, very flattered.

Similar events have also occurred on social media, where my physical appearance was given a positive connotation. In all these situations, I could only wonder: were these people seeing a different Angie than Angie herself was seeing? And to answer said question, yes.

I am no model. By society’s standards, I am not attractive. But maybe I’m not as repulsive as I make myself out to be. My perception of my outward beauty has been twisted by my own self-loathing and marred by my ceaseless comparison of myself and others. As much as I like being right, I was forced to admit that my perceptions were not.

If there’s anything anyone can take away from my disjointed rambling, it’s this: you are more attractive than you make yourself to be, and I mean that on a purely outward level. Go outside and rock those short shorts you’ve hidden in the back of your closet. Declare yourself “fabulous”. You’ll have days in which you feel like a rotten sausage, but someone out there will think otherwise. I don’t mean to base self-esteem on others’ opinions. I’m just putting it out there. Don’t condemn your appearance so much. You look positively smashing. I guarantee it.

What can I say here? Have a great day, guys. *throws confetti

✪ Angie


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