It really has been that simple. A few months ago, I’m not sure exactly when, I decided that I am pretty. It wasn’t a conscious thing, I only became aware of this decision in hindsight, but the choice to see myself as beautiful rather than searching for the validation from others has definitely changed my life for the better.
I’m a bigger girl. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m more or less the average size of a woman in Australia. But when you consider your usual media-perpetuated ideals of traditional prettiness, I am definitely not it. I have broader shoulders and bigger breasts and the occasional break out of bad skin. I carry some fat on my stomach, I have hips and an ass and there hasn’t been a gap between my things since I was 10 years old. I tie my hair up in summer and I don’t wear make-up on weekends. I wear glasses because I’m blind without them and in winter I can get pretty lax about shaving my legs.
But screw that. I’m pretty. Or maybe pretty isn’t the right word. I decided that I am attractive. Beautiful. Maybe a little bit sexy. I have great hair and lovely eyes and a nice smile, and what’s more, I’m really damn intelligent and generally a good person and I refuse to spend the rest of my life thinking less of myself because off a number on a scale or the size on a tag.
I’m healthy, and I’m more or less happy, and above all of that, I’m worth more than how I look. And if I lose weight or wear make-up or dress a certain way, it’ll be for me, not for anyone else.
I still have days when I feel frumpy or want to do nothing but laze around in sweatpants and eat tater tots, but that’s okay, because have far more days where I wear vintage dresses and sky high heels or knitted sweaters and my favourite Levis and feel like a bombshell. There are nights when I have candlelit bubble baths and wear tshirts and pyjama shorts and eat brownies and feel fantastic about it.
I’m learning to love who I am, to be comfortable in my own skin, and sometimes it doesn’t all work out in my favour, but I can say without doubt that I am a happier person than I was before I decided that I don’t need anyone else to tell me I’m pretty.
I’m goddamn gorgeous. Screw anyone who says otherwise.