I’ve been working on this project with other bloggers on their journey to discovering true beauty. Today, I thought I let you read their words and understand their stories. I have times where I had to take a step back and reflect. Check out the beautiful bloggers stories they are truly amazing.
By Diane Ruff
It took me approximately 26 years to realize my beauty. I remember washing my face one morning and smiling. I felt so beautiful at that moment. Yes, I was still trying to lose weight and I was EXTREMELY single, but I knew at that moment that I was an amazing person - inside and out. I was so proud of myself because it took a lot of embarrassing moments, tears and hatred to get to this place.
I was Bullied
Before entering middle school, I remember attending a party. This was, of course, a typical party with early 2000s music and party food until I overheard a conversation between two older girls. “Where is the ugly girl with the glasses?” One of the girls looked over and saw me and said, “Oh, there she is.” My heart dropped as the girls laughed. This was the first time that I had heard that I was ugly. After that party, I felt as if that was what everyone thought of me. Before that point, I had never compared myself to other women or picked apart my appearance. This mindset continued through the rest of high school and college causing me to be insecure personally, socially and academically.
Even though I was not thought of as the traditional pretty girl, I was still able to maneuver through life as not putting all of my worth into how I looked. I ended up graduating high school and college, I was able to be a sustainable adult, and eventually, I even found love. S for the girls the party, I have no idea how their life went but their words did not change the purpose of my life.
I was Insecure with my Skin Color and Hair
I recall sitting at a table during lunch while a group of guys talked about their preferences in women. I thought nothing of the conversation until one of the boys stated that he did not find dark women attractive. He then looked at me and stated, “no offense”. I was very confused but not at the fact that he wasn't into me specifically but considering that he was a dark-skinned man, how could he not find his own complexion beautiful? Similarly to me being called ugly, this was the first time I had heard that my skin tone was not attractive. This led to me using creams to lighten my skin tone and actively staying out of the sun in fear of getting too dark.
Realizing that melanin was so beautiful changed my life. I embraced my color in every aspect of it. From my thick and coarse hair to the red undertones in my skin, I am so proud of being a black woman.
I Hated My Body
Growing up I had always been active. I danced and ran track/field, but the transition into college halted my physical activities. As the weight began to pack on, I tried to be positive about it, especially considering that being “thick” was attractive in the black community. I struggled many years on fad diets and Even to this day, I struggle with my weight, but I am now patient knowing that losing weight takes time and patience. I have also grown to love my curves and I know that even the flaws like my gap or my combination skin are something to be proud.
I Didn't Appreciate My Other Qualities
I was a dork. I had big glasses, read a lot and had a weird sense of humor. I remember teachers being very fond of me, but the popular crowd not so much. What I didn't realize about myself was that I was funny, witty, and smart. I am also incredibly loyal and quite creative in writing. These are the components of my personality that make me truly beautiful. The fact that I am giving and I love fearlessly or that I can’t seem to resist petting a kitten or puppy makes me downright beautiful.
All in all, it was a very long journey to get where I am with finding my beauty and truth be told, I am still working on it every day. It is very true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what isn't mentioned is that the “beholder” should always be you sis. Always.