Perfectly Doesn’t Mean Perfect | Teen Ink

Perfectly Doesn’t Mean Perfect

May 24, 2022
By SandyJo14 BRONZE, Scottsbluff, Nebraska
SandyJo14 BRONZE, Scottsbluff, Nebraska
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“You’re not going to become the size of a house, right?” My dad’s words encased my brain like a prison.

My parents would share uncomfortable comments like this on a daily basis. I didn’t understand, I had always been chubby similar to them, and I didn’t know anything was wrong. All I knew was that I wasn’t up to their standards. I don’t know if these comments came from internal resentment towards themselves or if they just hated each other. Along with my parents, it felt like I always had adults shaming me behind my back. I never understood what was so special about me to cause others to talk about me so often.

The worst part was that their negativity caused me to hate myself and my body.

I could never look in a mirror and be happy. I constantly criticized myself and the way I looked. I would analyze every detail of an outfit to guarantee it was what people would find flattering. In my head, I had this idea of perfection. I would try clothes on and then go into panic attacks if they didn’t fit “perfectly” or what I had been taught was “perfectly.” I was always scared of what clothes looked like, questions raced through my head with every new outfit: Does this shirt fit my shoulders correctly? Can you see my stomach? or What can I wear under this to make it flattering? I spent my elementary, middle, and beginning of high school years terrified of how my body looked. I was scared I didn’t look good enough to others or that people were talking behind my back. These thoughts petrified me and made me wonder if I was good enough for people. 

It took a breakup and a pandemic to realize that I could love myself and block out the negativity surrounding myself and my body. 

Without these two instances, I wouldn’t have the positive mindset I have today. As much as my breakup hurt while I was going through it, it helped me understand that I was capable of loving myself. I didn’t need to rely on someone else to show me my worth, it made me want to develop self-love. Simultaneously, the pandemic shut down the world a month later. Through the pandemic, I did hours of research online and found out that there is so much positivity in our world. I found so many different women who were unapologetically themselves, no matter how they looked. They helped me realize that I need to love myself because if I’m first in my own book, it doesn’t matter what others think of me. The pandemic allowed me to figure out who I truly am: someone who’s beautiful inside and out, unapologetically loud, genuinely hilarious, and doesn’t care what others have to say about me. It took a long time to find that truth. 

Proudly, now I can say I show this confidence daily. I have embraced my true self through a positive mindset, surrounding myself with supportive and positive friends, and finding clothes that I feel comfortable and cute in. People’s words affect me from time to time but I’ve just learned to either push past or confront my fears of people's words head-on. The idea of “perfectly” has changed significantly in my life. Perfectly truly doesn’t mean perfect. My knowledge of love is stronger than any idea of perfection I’ve ever known. It takes time to know yourself rather than the default of self-hatred. Take your time and learn to love yourself because you’re worth it. 

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