This evening I attended a program here in my dorm and the topic was about beauty and how we perceive ourselves compared to how others actually see us. At the start of the program we did an activity that really impacted me.
We were all given a piece of paper and told to write down all the things about ourselves that we thought stood out, whether they be positive or negative. Those things that you search for in a picture of yourself before deciding to post it. The things that you assume people first notice about you when they look at you or see a picture of you.
So my list was pretty short. I wrote down that what stands out to me is my smile, my smooth skin, and my lumps/bulges (stomach, love-handles, etc.).
Next, we were told to partner up with someone in the room that we didn’t know and then spend some time talking to them and getting to know them. After getting acquainted with the person, we were told to share with each other just a few things that were on our list from before.
After that we were all asked to turn our papers over and hand them to the person we were talking to. We then had to write on the back of the other person’s paper the first things that we noticed about them.
When I got my paper back from the girl I was sitting with, I was surprised to see what she had written down about me.
This is what she wrote about me: very beautiful girl. simple. bright, white smile. good hair. really great skin.
I was so amazed to see that she observed those things about me because I realized she saw me in a far better light than I saw myself. My list was short because I don’t think there is a lot that stands out about me, but her list about me was almost twice as long as mine!
And it got me thinking, I’m way too hard on myself.
There are days I wake up and genuinely do not feel pretty, today was one of those days, but on her list she described me as beautiful. Why can’t I see that about myself?
Just yesterday I was worried about how my hair looks, but on her list she said I have good hair. Why can’t I look at my hair in the mirror and feel content?
The lists can go on and on. But the point is, people usually don’t focus on all the things we worry are wrong about us. We need to start being nicer to ourselves because how we view ourselves is reflected in the way we carry ourselves and how we interact with the world around us.
So, I’m going to carry myself with confidence and I will remind myself that I am a very beautiful girl with a bright, white smile, who has good hair and really great skin.