It’s important to tell yourself this, maybe not daily, but frequently.
We all constantly have body images, facial features, eye colors or hair colors that are thrown at us as what’s “acceptable,” which may stop some girls and boys from seeing their true and real beauty.
Sometimes we also tend to be extremely harsh on ourselves or find it hard to accept compliments because, to be honest, a lot of people, or even ourselves, don’t randomly give them out anymore.
Based on a study done by Dove called “The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited”:
4% of women around the world find or consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as “beautiful”
72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful (or “meet” the standards that fit around beautiful)
80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
Lastly, more than half of women globally (54%) agree that when it comes to how they look they are their own worst beauty critics.
I wanted to see this for myself though, so I walked around downtown Atlanta and completed a social experiment, asking mostly females and some men about their thoughts on their beauty.
It was interesting to see that a lot of people didn’t know how to “respond” to compliments because they rarely received them and felt that it was quite awkward.
Or the fact that a lot of people had never been told they were beautiful before, and/or definitely didn’t feel like it.
It was also interesting to see that it was easy for some people to compliment or name three positive things about themselves versus others who felt they didn’t receive compliments as much.
I also discussed the impact of compliments on teens and young adults that I talked to.
“It makes me feel good,” Ella S., 16, states.
“It makes me feel all bubbly inside,” Queenstar M., 16, shares.
“It reassures me that I am pretty,” Kalia J., 16, says.
After doing the social experiment and research, I wanted to think about ways to also build both boys’ and girls’ self-confidence, so that we aren’t just relying on what other people think or overall compliments.
Something, I personally feel helps me, are affirmations.
Yes, I know, right, sounds so cliche, but they do help.
I start them off with “I am” or “I will,” telling myself this every morning or day. Yet this also comes with a positive attitude and maybe not surrounding ourselves with people who tend to touch on your insecurities in a negative light or constantly spread negative energy.
Also, for teens, the majority of us are constantly on our phones, yet a lot of us don’t know that there are apps that send positive messages out throughout the day as notifications on our phones, which can also be used as a simple reminder of something positive for yourself.
Some of these apps are Shine, Think Up or Motivation quotes, which can be easily found in your app stores for free.
Unfortunately, the study done by Dove was reflected throughout the day. But, with the video I created, I wanted to show both the positives and negatives because everyone should feel beautiful, and some were able to speak or show it better than others.
Although we should all grow to have the self-confidence to believe and think about the beauty within the inside and outside of us, it’s also important to spread positivity and love within the spaces we reside.
You are more than beautiful, you, yes, you. So tell yourself this daily if you’d like.
We all face or have insecurities, trust me I do, too, and I know it’s sometimes hard to embrace them. But this also comes from not comparing ourselves to people’s bodies, lifestyles, facial features and more because we each individually all face different problems.
So please, believe in yourself when you tell yourself you’re beautiful. No one is you, and no one can be exactly like you, that’s your beauty.
Ramaya is a student at Atlanta International School who enjoys activism for social justice and listening to H.E.R.
This story was published at VOXATL.org, Atlanta’s home for uncensored teen publishing and self-expression. For more about the nonprofit VOX, visit www.voxatl.org.