I’ve always had this internal determination, ever since I was really young. Every time something would interest me, I would put all my energy and focus into that one thing, whether it be school, or a hobby, or a sport.
Being a girl, there’s obviously a lot of pressure to look a certain way or dress a certain way, and I wasn’t exempt from that. Everyone that has acne knows that feeling when you know you don’t “fit in” to the category of what society expects. It’s a hurt that cuts you deep, especially when it’s something you can’t control and something people just don’t understand.
The moment I felt the pang of “you’re not good enough”, I threw myself into solving this acne problem. I researched every product, every skincare routine, every cause, every drug – anything that would help me to fit in. I changed my hair, my clothes, my makeup. I was determined to be considered society’s version of “beautiful” and I would do anything to get there.
I think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful and take care of your outer appearance, but when it becomes the only thing on your mind, there’s a problem. Acne brought me to this place where I felt so out of place physically that I had to focus all my energy into changing that and, as a result, I neglected the most important part of myself: my heart.
The world has a standard for how you’re supposed to look on the outside, but they hardly ever talk about your heart or your soul. We’re constantly bombarded with physical ideals to the point that we forget how important our inner beauty is. I spent so much time focusing on how I looked on the outside that I didn’t realize how ugly my heart was becoming. And what good is a shell if there’s no pearl?
I’m not going to vow to not think about my outer appearance because I believe that plays a significant role in happiness too, but in this new year, I’m focusing more on who I am as a person, how I treat others, and the atmosphere that I carry.
The legacy you leave is not based on your beauty, but by your intelligence, your kindness, your generosity, and most of all, your love. In those moments when you are doing your makeup, maybe take a few minutes to think about how you can impact someone’s day or how you can show kindness. Wherever you are, whatever you’re going through, you have the power to influence your heart and the atmosphere around you. My hope this year is that I would possess a more beautiful heart and create peace wherever I go.