So, earlier this year, I made what I would consider a big mistake. Don't worry, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't all that serious. In fact, to anyone else, it wouldn't have meant anything, however to me, it is something that I seriously regret.
Now, this all kind of stems from my own insecurities. When I was younger I never even considered my appearance. When I payed attention to how I looked it was more along the lines of, "I'm wearing a pretty skirt, so I'm gonna spin around like a princess." It never occurred to me that people could be judged for how they looked. I guess I've always been pretty naive. As I got older I suddenly began to notice how much importance everyone seemed to place on looks. And I realized that I had absolutely no concept of how I compared. I didn't know how to figure out where I was supposed to place in a world that suddenly seemed to be about how I looked. In general, I mostly just settled for ordinary. There really wasn't much that would make me stand out for my looks, and as for the flaws I saw, I could generally just pretend that they weren't important to me.
Then, when I got to college, I was definitely going through a time of trying to find my place. I met some really great friends, but I also became friends with a few people who would turn out a little less than great. One friend in particular ended up being partly responsible for what I regret the most out of my freshman year.
I can't entirely blame her for my mistake. The problem was not as much what she did, as how I reacted to it. Now because I have such a confused view of how I see myself, comments about my looks have a tendency to hit pretty hard. Especially when they come from someone who I thought was my friend. One day, we were doing what groups of girls usually end up doing when they are bored, which is try on clothes for completely pointless reasons. I tried on one of this particular friend's dresses only to have her comment that she never though that anyone could make such a "sexy" dress look so childish. These comments continued throughout the next couple of weeks. Comments about how, no guy could ever like me without feeling like a pedophile because I look so young and don't have much of a figure. I know, great friend, right? She basically tried to convince me that the only way I would be attractive would be if I dressed in a more revealing way. Now, yes, she was being cruel and manipulative, but there was no reason that I should have listened to her. Unfortunately, I did. I let her pick out an outfit that was way more revealing than I would ever choose myself. It was not something I was comfortable with and it just wasn't me.
In the long run, this isn't the biggest mistake in the world. What does one outfit matter in the grand scheme of life. It doesn't. And yet, it totally does. Because the one thing that I have always prided myself on is the fact that I know what I believe in and I follow it. I trust in myself, I don't dress to attract attention in order to cover up insecurities. That is not who I want to be. I don't know if I would have noticed if a friend of mine hadn't mentioned that the shirt I was wearing didn't seem like something I would normally wear. In that moment I realized that I had compromised myself in a way that I never wanted to do.
So, where am I now? I don't always know. I still don't always know where I am supposed to fit in on the beauty scale. And, as much as I wish they weren't, a lot of those insecurities are still there. I think a lot of us just have those days when we just don't feel confident. The one thing that I have realized is that whatever I'm feeling or wherever I think that I stand on the beauty scale I cannot accept changing who I am. I know that I need to value myself more than that.
I also realize now that I can't put as much value on what other people say. And all I can say is that I'm trying. I'm still greatly affected by how I think people perceive me. But I am trying to stop that from making the decisions. If I can't completely prevent how I feel because of those comments, I can at least control my reaction to them.
So, I can tell you this. While I may not be able to promise that the girl you are seeing loves every single thing about herself, all of the time, I can promise that I won't be changing any of it.