“I remember when I was younger and I wanted to be beautiful; now I’m older and I want to be intelligent. I want to burn hearts with brilliance and engulf souls with compassion. I want to be loved for my thoughts and nothing else.” -Anonymous
I wasn’t pretty growing up.
I remember in elementary school when boys would tell me I was fat and ugly and had big ears.
I remember going to a wedding in grade 5 and watching as a relative I didn’t know gushed over how adorable my younger brother and sister were. She didn’t even look at me.
I remember during Christmas some many years ago when one of my relatives said to me in a condescending tone, “You know why your cousin works at Hollister? Because she’s pretty.”
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I started wearing makeup in grade 6 because I didn’t want to feel ugly anymore. People made fun of my badly-done, smudged eyeliner – it’s funny now, but it was hurtful back then. I started wearing even more makeup in high school, and people called me “cake face” and other names. I think I just pretended it didn’t hurt and laughed it off.
I’m 20 and a half years old now (today, actually – October 1st is my half birthday) and I couldn’t care less about what people think of how I look. I don’t think I’m beautiful and I don’t care to be. It’s not the most important thing in the world. My ultimate goal in life is to be good at as many things as possible and that’s what I’m currently working on. I want to be intelligent and passionate and that’s what I want people to see. I want to have so much drive and self-confidence that I inspire people to feel the same way about themselves.
This is why I love to write. I’ve gotten messages from people telling me how I’ve inspired them through my writing and it always astounds me. Nothing beats that feeling of putting something good out into the world and making people feel happy about themselves. Except the moment you take the first bite out of a pizza. But yeah. You can’t do much with beauty, but you can do a lot with intelligence. We should all try to achieve something more than just being beautiful (sentence cred to my good friend Shay).
Stay positive, friends.
P.S. if you liked this post, you might like this letter I wrote to my teenage self.
Feature image taken by Shahrzad A.