Fruit Bikini, Cat Eye Sunglasses, Brown Wedges, Earrings: All thrifted.
Growing up I had practically the lowest self esteem a young girl could have. I was more than slightly over weight. I had large glasses covering my face. My hair was a long, messy, rat's nest of waves that I had no clue what to do with. And fashion along with having an individual style was the furthest thing from my mind. I grew up wearing ill-fitting jeans and shirts that didn't even cover my stomach, and a grungy sweatshirt thrown over the top. Dirty, kicked up tennis shoes would always be the completion to my everyday looks.
I would look at myself in the mirror and wish with all of my heart that I was beautiful. I wished I was skinny and could wear the clothes that the models in the magazines and the older girls at the high school wore. However, these were just hopeless wishes because I had decided that I would never be beautiful, but an ugly beast for the rest of my life. (I'm not kidding I actually thought this).
Although I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try and approve my appearance, I was so self-conscious of what the people (mainly girls) would think of me. They would gossip. They would stare. They would say mean things about me. I've always been the type of person who can't handle the fact of someone disliking me. So,instead of ever taking the chance to become who I wanted and was destined to be, I hid in the shadows of self-loathing.
Going into my eighth grade year for some reason I had a revelation. I think sometimes it was God's intervention and help that gave me self confidence to become the person I am today. I stopped caring what people thought about me and started wearing what I wanted. Dresses were the first step. Heels that were a half an itch were next. And eventually I learned to straighten my hair. I stopped wanting to be someone else, and instead wanted to be myself. From that point it's where I am today: a hundred times more accepting of myself than I've ever been.
Often there are still times where I look in the mirror and am unhappy with my body. I always somewhat dread swimsuit season because to be honest I don't have a good bikini body, especially after not exercising a bit all winter. But then I snap out of the critic inside of my head and think sensibly. Of course there are going to be parts about my body, face, ect that I don't like. Everyone has little things that bother them. However, I can't let those little imperfections destroy me and make me miserable like they used to. I need to love my body and realize that I am beautifully me and no one else. There are going to be days when I feel self-conscious, but it's important to have enough confidence to be able to take that step forward and have days where you feel like a million bucks, too. I think we all owe that to ourselves.
With much love, Lauren.