“Look at yourself! That dark face, those black spots and pimples. The uneven tanned skin. No wonder he doesn’t like you anymore! She is so much prettier than you are.” I stood in front of the mirror. Tears streamed down my face.
Heavy, dark, and painful, the all-consuming emotions tried to crush me. My throat felt tight, I couldn’t breathe, my mind was racing in desperation.
If only I was beautiful. Tall, slender, delicate, and fair. If only my body was perfect. He wouldn’t have rejected and called me ugly.We would still be happy.
I collapsed on the floor, sobbing and shivering. Blaming my flawed appearance for all the despair, the unbearable suffering, my shattered life.
I had always been insecure about my body and the way it looked. But now, I regret it for failing me, destroying my life. Judged all its blemishes and cursed its unattractive features that were too ugly to love.
I hated my color, my face. I hated my body!
And that’s how it started.
Few years back negativity consumed me.
I was furious at him for choosing another woman over me. I hated my few relatives for telling me that I’m not perfect since I’m dark and my parents will face issues as nobody will marry me. They have to give huge dowry since I’m a girl, I’m from bihar, and I’m “kaali”.
My face was full of pimples. My relatives and friends told me to do lot of things, like apply aloe vera, besan, curd and many more. Go for facial every month you’ll become one tone lighter at least.
“Kallu, kaali billi, dirty coal mine, kala hit, koba, jali hui” all these were my names. And if people who used to call me by these names are reading it, I would like to tell you it effected me a lot.
Toxic thoughts about my dark and imperfect body and insufficient looks circled endlessly in my mind. I was under confident. I always felt like I’m super ugly. I hated my face. I hated my color. And I wanted to become fair, inorder to gain love, respect.
I was obsessed with the improvement of my appearance. I cut my hair, changed my wardrobe, waxed, plucked, and dyed. I considered plastic surgery to remove the visible effects of a genetic skin color that had never bothered me before.
And I applied everything in my face. I started to apply foundation before stepping out from home. But since I’m dark. There was no foundation of my shade in market. I looked grey. I looked like cartoon.
I was determined to make my face better. I wanted to be Fair and more attractive. I would never allow it to let me down again.And my face reacted to the verbal and physical abuse.
Within a few weeks I suffered from a severe acne issues, and frequent irritation . My face became sun sensitive and It became very dark, full of black spots.
My body and I were at war. I knew I couldn’t go on like this. I had to make peace with the way I looked.I had to accept my body for what it was to restore my health, emotional balance, and sanity.
For months, I forced myself to look in the mirror and reconcile with every part of my body. I told myself that looks had nothing to do with the heart break. I cried as I tried to forgive myself for every flaw, wrong proportion, and imperfection.
After a while, I could look at myself and accept what I saw. Free from condemnation, shame, or judgment. Without the self-hatred, it became easier to take care of my body and my health improved together with my opinion of my appearance.
I thought I had learned to love my body. But I was wrong.
This is my photo when my face started to recover. Trust me this is my best picture of that time. I am looking way better here what I actually looked like.
Realizations That Helped Me
1: Accepting yourself doesn’t equal loving yourself.
I made peace with the fact that I wasn’t beautiful. I accepted my body as “just not good enough.” And convinced myself that, despite the inadequacies, I could live with the specific looks of the body I have
But as I gained skin issues again and my color became dark the acceptance vanished because I never learned to love my color.
2.The true reason why your body deserves your love.
As I searched for ways to truly love and accept my body, I realized what a miracle the human body is.
Trillions of cells work in harmony to perform millions of tasks that guarantee survival. My body gave me life and served me unconditionally.
But, instead of being grateful, I ignored and sabotaged its efforts to maintain my health, and damaged it.
Why did I believe my body was somehow wrong or not good enough? Why was it so difficult to love and accept it?
3: Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder.
As I looked into it more deeply, I started to understand that I had become a victim. All my life, I was bombarded with set definitions of beauty. Every TV show, movie, and newspaper highlighted the standards required to be beautiful.
They implied how I had to look to be desirable. And they established beauty as prerequisites for happiness, success, and love.
I believed that I was destined to be ugly because I didn’t meet the criteria, because my body color didn’t make the grade. I felt like a failure for not being beautiful.
The beauty I yearned for was a set of randomly selected and subjective features. Yet I bowed to them.
My body was so much more than its looks and I was so much more than my body. So why was it so important for me to be beautiful?
4: The true reason why we strive for beauty and perfection
Now I knew that beauty was nothing but a man-made concept. But still I craved to be beautiful, I obsessed over my body’s appearance, I wanted others to admire my looks. And why?
And the reason was low self-worth. All my life, I felt inferior to others. I thought that I was inherently worthless. Yet, I believed that, in order to deserve happiness, love, and fulfilment, I had to be worthy of them. I had to have worth.
The more beautiful, flawless, wealthy and perfect a person is, the more worth they possess in society’s eyes.
And my unremarkable looks were not good enough, leaving me with a painful worth deficit.
Because not being beautiful made me worth less compared to others. Unworthy of a happy life, undeserving of a loving relationship. And there was nothing I could do about it.
Or so I thought.
How I Finally Started to Love My Body
After these life-changing realizations, I went to work to improve my self-worth and break my mind’s conditioning.
- I must have repeated the affirmations “I am worth” and “I love and approve of myself” thousands of times.
- I ignored my mind’s resistance to the new paradigm and forgave myself when I slipped back into old self-criticising habits for a while. I persevered.
- I kept reminding myself that our commonly accepted concept of beauty was society-imposed, arbitrary, and unfounded.
- My body was a miracle regardless of whether its outer appearance met the criteria. As such, beauty wasn’t a prerequisite for loving it. Or for my worthiness as a person.
- As my mind got used to the new way of thinking, I started to accept my body as a wonderful part of the infinitely worthy being I was. I broke free from the misguided untruths I used to bow to.
- I am in a loving relationship with my body now. We are a team. I listen to its needs and allow it to look after me.
- Every day I thank it for being awesome and serving me so well. When my body changes or is unwell or in pain, I bless it with love instead of cursing it for being weak or letting me down.
I still have the little acne marks, and tan I gained. I might lose them eventually. But they don’t destroy my beauty; they don’t deduct from my worth.
I no longer look in the mirror and see acne, dark color and imperfections. I see a miracle. I see life.
I see worth.
Beauty isn’t restricted to a chosen few who happen to meet the requirements. It is an expression of the marvel of human existence. Beauty is within all of us.
Your body is a miracle. You are worth. And you are Be-You-tiful!