Similar to women in Asia, Middle Eastern women desired the fair skin and petite feminine physique. Society’s focus on beauty created havoc on my self esteem and self image.
I was an olive skinned girl with wavy dark hair. Growing up with three brothers, I attributed their ways of acting, talking and dressing. My fashion sense was horrendous!
Even when I attempted to put a cute outfit together, it would look out of control. I grew up thinking I was ugly, my nose was too big, and my hair was too course and dark. Even if my mom streaked my hair with highlights, it was just a temporary fix until I noticed my true hair color.
On top of being olive skinned, I also inherited my dad’s genes of having thin skin. My dad has beautiful Turkish skin, but for some reason you are able to see his veins clearly and he’s easily prone to stretch marks.
By the age of 12, stretch marks covered by body from my knees and thighs, fat butt to my little breasts. I also started growing hair everywhere and that totally freaked me out! I had never seen a female with hair! I thought maybe hanging out with my brothers was transforming me into a boy for real! A few years down the road I realized that hair was normal.
I was also never the type to explore my body as a child. I know that sounds crazy but true. One day, I was sitting on the potty getting ready to release a number 1, when I decided I wanted to watch my pee in action. As I looked down, I noticed something unusual! OMG what is that! Why does it look like that! I was sure that I was deformed. Everything on my body was deformed! What next? I never told anyone about my odd looking body part. As I got older, I made sure to educate myself on the female anatomy. What a relief it was to find out I was normal.
With all my imperfections, I developed complexes. I became shy and insecure. Every time I saw another girl, I felt unattractive and unworthy. I became a loner and distracted myself with hobbies to keep my mind occupied so I wouldn’t go into a depressed state. I never told anyone about how I felt. I kept it all inside and put on a happy front.
After years of insecurity and hating myself, I came to the realization that I had to stop the viscous cycle of victimization. My constant pity parties were fueling negativity and depression. I had to accept my body and set myself free.
I began to adopt a healthy lifestyle including nutritious eating and moderate exercise. I also began pampering myself more by purchasing flattering attire, getting my hair and nails done, and applying make up.
It has been around 2 years since I began to love my life, and now I can honestly say that I have finally accepted what I cannot change. Switching to a healthy lifestyle of proper eating and exercise, I have learned to look at my body in a different light. It is almost like my new toy. I thank it every day for cooperating and making me feel better. I love every stretch mark, cellulite dimple and scar.
If my suffering and imperfections lead to helping other women realize their true potential beauty, then I am willing to take on even more.
When I used to have my pity parties, my mom would always try to make me feel better, and one day she said something that always stuck with me.
She said “well, maybe god gave you those imperfections for a reason. Maybe he wanted to protect you from the world. Maybe if you had a perfect body, you would have been out there in mini skirts strutting yourself and getting in trouble”
You know what! I totally would have too.. I would’ve been in bikinis showing it all off! Yes I would have… Trying to get as many boys chasing me! But I was an ugly duckling with body acne, and that scenario was farfetched.
So what is the point of all this blabbing? I want you to stop throwing pity parties and start LOVING yourself too.
Here are some techniques you can apply to help you feel better:
* Grab a pen and paper and jot down your imperfections. Write a list of all your imperfections and how you will work to improve or accept them. Then make a list of everything you LOVE about yourself.
I love my nose. Yes, my big Arabic nose. I love it. It gives me character! I just want you to know that it has been a long road of acceptance, but I’m finally here.
* Stay positive. Over 70% of our thoughts are negative, so make an attempt to shift your thinking and convert your thoughts to positive ones about yourself.
* Air it out to a friend or two! This maybe a tough move, but you will feel great soon. I promise! I want you to get undressed (physically or emotionally) and show your imperfections. If you have stretch marks, I want you to show them to your friends.
* Look your best. By looking great, you feel great and in turn you boost your confidence. Try to force yourself to dress up more, curl your hair, apply a little more make up. Even though it’s a little time consuming, you’ll thank yourself to how good you’ll feel.
* Fake it. When you’re feeling down, fake a smile and pretend to be happy. Soon after, your smile will become real.
* Appreciate what you have. It’s really not that bad. Write down a few things that you are thankful to have in your life from your family to your health. This will help you put things in perspective. You will find that most of the time, you have overly exaggerated your situation. The more you are open about your body and issues, the closer you will get to accepting them.
If you have applied the above suggestions and you are still feeling down, then get back on your computer and send me a message.
We are all amazing women and it is never too late to start loving your body and life!