How I learned to love my prominent features

From an early age, I was acutely aware of the differences between my appearance and the appearances of those around me. In second grade, I noticed that my arms were the hairiest of all my classmates. In fourth grade, I realized that my nose was not small or button-shaped like the noses of others around me. And soon, whether it was my hair or my nose, I started hating the features that made me unique. My ethnic traits made me feel hideous. I wanted to have delicate and symmetrical features. I wish I had less hair on my arms and face. I wish my nose was smaller. In other words, I wished I could change certain aspects of my appearance to match my unrealistic definition of beauty. What I never realized until recently is that these features are not to be looked down upon. On the contrary, they remind me of where I come from, my culture and my roots. Now, when I look in the mirror, I’m not disappointed. Here’s how you can start seeing your unique features as nothing short of beautiful.

Understand the beauty behind your unconventionally beautiful features

It took me many years to come to love my nose. Sometimes I’m still insecure because it reminds me of the unattainable standards of beauty created by society. But, once I am able to remember that these beauty standards are impossible and unreasonable, I can see the beauty behind my nose. My nose is prominent. My nose is neither thin nor small. Strive to separate the delicate features from the beautiful. Beauty is subjective.

For example, I started associating my nose with my boldness. My nose is the feature most people notice first. My nose is striking as are some of my features. Also, remember that having unique characteristics allows you to embrace and ultimately appreciate your remarkable and distinguished aspects.

Your insecurities often go unnoticed by others

There have been several occasions where I have been inclined to put on a jacket to hide my hairy arms from my peers in class. I quickly tell myself that everyone’s eyes are glued to the hair on my arms. I tell myself that everyone thinks I’m disgusting and ugly. I tell myself all kinds of negative thoughts. But, in reality, most people are too busy worrying about their own insecurities and as a result don’t pay attention to the parts of yourself that you mistakenly perceive as flaws.

While the root of your insecurities won’t be eradicated until you resolve your internal issues, take comfort in the fact that those around you don’t usually pay too much attention to your “flaws.”

Nobody else’s opinion matters

Although people are usually too preoccupied to observe your imperfections, it is incorrect to pretend that the situations where you are criticized do not occur. There are bound to be people who will tell you that your nose is too big. Some may even say that you would look better if part of your appearance was changed. And, it’s natural to be offended. It’s normal to feel bad about yourself when others can’t seem to accept you for who you are. But, the most important step in coming to love your highlights is understanding that the opinions you have of yourself will always trump the thoughts of others.

By far, this may seem like the most difficult step on your journey to adopting your unique characteristics. You will see a change over time. If you are insulted by other people’s comments, don’t judge yourself or get frustrated. Again, it is normal and in many cases unavoidable to feel pain when you are blamed for certain characteristics.

pretend until you make it

If it takes lying to yourself to make you realize how beautiful your features are, then, without a doubt, push yourself to do it. When thoughts of insecurity flood your mind, take a moment to remind yourself of how beautiful you are, even if you’re not thinking about the compliments you’re giving yourself. Eventually, once you repeat “I am beautiful” and “My characteristics make me who I am,” you will begin to notice a boost in your self-confidence.

It took me some time to appreciate and respect my salient features which are not accepted by society. Remember that you have control over the evolution of how you perceive yourself. And once you do, you’ll feel like a whole new person.