Anonymous, Contributor

Look around, take in the world. Notice the sounds, the breeze, the light, but then notice the people. People are everywhere. They’re in your life, your thoughts, your dreams. Even if you’re reading this completely alone there aren’t people too far off. They’re everywhere, we are everywhere. But somehow there’s no person born the same. There’s no person born as the set standard of “perfect.” Perfect doesn’t exist when it comes to talking about us humans because in one way or another everyone has imperfections. Everyone has those flaws about themselves, the flaws that set them apart. Humans are all different but they’re similar in one specific way, in that everyone has these imperfections. Despite this similarity everyone wishes to erase these flaws.

I’ve always been extremely self-confident of myself. Self- confidence. Just that word alone is extremely powerful, it’s a word that haunts millions of kids every day. I guess that’s another similarity between us humans. We all have these imperfections but we also all hate ourselves for them. I’ve hated myself for my imperfections that may seem little to others but are huge to me. I’ve had the struggle of having curly hair and skin problems since I was born. These flaws persuaded me that I wasn’t good enough. They made me feel ashamed. They made me feel unworthy. They made me feel like I couldn’t be loved. Maybe I should say they make and not made because I still struggle with these thoughts. But things have changed and I have learned that putting myself down has done me absolutely no good.

 Along with physical imperfections I’ve discovered many of my mental imperfections as well. I’m an over-achiever with OCD, which has set me apart from others. I’ve not only been mocked but also set to a certain standard. Sometimes I will get a test grade back just to see that after studying extremely hard and long I only got a 93, which to others is an amazing grade, and I’m not saying it’s horrible, it just doesn’t meet my standard goal. I’ve been made fun of and have had others hate me just for simply being disappointed in what I think is a bad grade. But just because people hate me for having high goals and working hard to achieve them doesn’t mean I have to stop. If anything, it’s taught me to work even harder. I’ve accepted that I’m different. And even though I still question why I act a certain way at times, these mental flaws have shaped me into the person I am today. A hard- working student who hopes to accomplish great things someday. 

Most of this hatred towards my imperfections comes from comparing myself to others. I’m sure that a lot of others can relate with this, especially with social media portraying “perfect” as being tall and skinny with perfectly clear skin and a beautiful face. It’s hard to look at yourself in comparison and not hate yourself for not looking like that. My problem stretches far worse than just social media. I compare myself to everyone. And when I say everyone I mean EVERYONE. My friends, my classmates, and even complete strangers. Humans were born greedy, and I guess you can call it greed to feel so much remorse that these people I see don’t have the same problems as I do. That they don’t have these flaws tearing them apart. But here’s when I learned I’m wrong. Here’s when I started to realize that everyone deals with their own imperfections. Even the most perfect of perfect has their own flaws. Look at celebrities for example. I can name countless stars that have a flaw or two but have found a way to embrace them. There’s Tina Fey with a scar across her face, Cindy Crawford with a mole above her lip, and Lebron James with an abnormal toe. All of them were teenagers who probably wanted nothing more than to be rid of these things. But they found a way to love them, to embrace them, and they’ve shaped them into the people they are today. I’ve learned that even if you can’t always see it everyone has these imperfections, and at one point or another everyone must face their differences and find a way to love and accept them.

Throughout my life I’ve struggled with this hate towards myself. It was hard to fight the inner demons I heard screaming everyday telling me I am not good enough. These demons took a huge toll on me. They poisoned me with stress, embarrassment, hate, and long-lasting torture. It was torturing to feel embarrassed to go out with friends simply because I hated how I looked that day. It was torturing to feel like hiding when I should be having fun. It was torturing to think that I had to wear makeup everyday just to be loved be others. And the funny thing now, is the only thing completely torturing me is how harsh I was on myself. I’ve always been and always will be an extremely stressed girl, but this lack of self-confidence did the most damage. Realizing how much of a fool I was for hating my imperfections has made everything so much easier. I have slain my inner demons. Happiness and positivity has taken over. I feel no more dread to go hang out with friends, no more of that feeling to hide myself away. Even when I’m out with friends I feel so much more relieved not focusing on what I look like every second, instead I’m truly enjoying myself. I’ve learned that my friends and family love me for who I am, imperfections and all. I show up to school looking absolutely gorgeous they’re my friends. I show up to school an absolute mess they’re still my friends. My imperfections are a part of me, there’s absolutely no changing that. The only thing that’s left to do is embrace them.

My mom always used to tell me that I’m beautiful and even though she didn’t know it, most of those times I felt nothing but ugly. Ugly because of my imperfections. But she still called me beautiful, and so did my dad and my grandma and my friends and my sister.  They’ve all called me beautiful more times than I thought of myself like that. They’re the ones that have shown me that hating on myself has done absolutely nothing. They’ve proved to me that love exists even with all my flaws. I love them more than anything and in my eyes, they’re all perfect. To me they’re absolutely flawless. But I know that’s not true, and I know they struggle just as I do. I have so much love for my friends and family, even with all their imperfections so I can most certainly love myself.

Having this hate towards myself, bottled up inside me for so long has taught me things. I’ve learned to be rid of this hate. I’ve learned that we all have these imperfections. I’ve learned that most have this hate towards our imperfections. I’ve learned to believe that we wouldn’t be humans without these imperfections. I’ve learned that with time we all must learn the lesson I’ve learned, that these imperfections are meant to be loved not rejected. After all nobody is perfect.