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We have always had this voice inside of us that directs us towards the 'right', but our actions mirror those thoughts. The track of change often gets encumbered by external forces that force us to see the other way around. The influence these external forces have on us has been quite a plight.

How often do we hear people say that 'character' matters more than 'appearance'? How often does external validation end up eviscerating us? We often take a deep dive in a pool of self-doubt and it's often seasonal, it comes and goes. If I had a nickel for every time I've considered myself unattractive or found myself around someone who complaint about it, I should be having quite a lot of bloated jars.

We've all had days we haven't looked our best or even made effort to look presentable. Going to office or college with a bare face without having passed by a random comment about my 'unwell' appearance was a rare scenario. Attending parties or events all dolled up and not having to listen a comment about 'too much makeup' will also be a rare incident. To have to juggle between 'no makeup looks better' and 'a little makeup wouldn't hurt' was a juncture of realization that no matter how I look or what I wear, people will always have something to say and that wouldn't stop no matter what you do.

The fact that everyone would anyway judge you, however you look raised a thought in my head. Not just that, but me encouraging people to love themselves and me not following the same didn’t seem right at times.

It was quite a difficult time during teenage and early adult hood to stay body positive. It's something I'm still struggling with but I believe I have already entered the journey towards self-love which is in fact the major and most important step towards staying neutral to all the comments that will keep levitating around you no matter what. It's when someone you known approaches you with the same concern that you realize that you are not the only one going through this difficulty. They fail to see what you see in them and that realization is what clears the mist about oneself. You often hear them say "I am not beautiful enough", "I have acne and pigmentation", "I am fat!", "I have stretch marks" and what not. But these are things we tell over selves too some days. But when you hear someone you care say this, we do everything we can to reassure them that they are beautiful and they are enough. Can't we be that friend to our self and say all the nice things about us to us?

While we live in a society where the saying 'personality is more important than looks' has often gotten lost amidst other thoughts, we don't always get to know a person's character right away when you see someone. This is when all the judgments are made and then again the voice in our head tells us that "do not judge a book by its cover". This is one big issue that makes us wonder if we should or shouldn't worry about how we look. But above all this there is something else that will shine through a person, and that's confidence. It's how you carry yourself that matters, it is accepting the fact that no matter what people say or think of you, nothing should ever change the truth that us being different is what makes us unique and that is our super power.

Though we often come across 'love yourself' phrase now and then and additionally hear that that's the key to happy life, we all do have those days we just find it extremely difficult to accept us the way we are and as a product of that we sulk about it for hours or even days. I believe the number of times I have told people to love themselves must have certainly outnumbered the times I’ve said that to myself. This is also another factor that comes and goes like the wind. It's heart breaking to see kids and adults being bullied for the way they look and this is exactly why, even when we don't believe in loving ourselves sometimes, we should at least try to pretend like we do believe in us anyways. If we find it disturbing to hear bad comments about our body, skin, hair, dress we wear etc, it must be equally bad for other people to hear the same. The happiness I get when I hear things I always wanted to hear is something that just stays all day and keeps me smiling ear to ear, and so I tell all those great things to myself and I always make an effort to appreciate and encourage other people too. This has been a game changer for me and definitely a feel-good activity.

The fear of not looking ‘good’ in comparison with ‘perfect’ we rate, has got into our minds. Seeing the people around me go through bleak diets and talking about super models and celebrities has totally muddled the ‘right’ in my head. And what is 'beautiful' or 'perfect' mean anyways? Isn't it always subjective? It is always 'in reference' to something. Something you set, or the society sets.

It is really important for children to grow up valuing their whole selves, valuing individuality, diversity and inclusion. Thinking of the way how we look should never hold us back from being who we are and what we want in life.

Realizing that the way you look is just one part of our identity and obsessing over an image is simply pulling us back from being us has put the turmoil to an end. Let’s judge people for the action they do and not for the way they look.

I’m in a journey to overcome this and to unlock my potential in this way.

Are you?

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