Dear teenage Stephanie,
Hi. You’re beautiful.
You may not believe me when I say it. You may not believe anyone who tells you the same. Just know that one day, you’ll understand what it really means to be beautiful.
Beauty isn’t how many pounds of makeup you can layer on your face. It isn’t about having the most expensive and trendy clothes. It really isn’t about how big or how small your body is.
Yes, you’re short, but there’s nothing wrong with being almost five feet tall.
Yes, your skin is so pale that you can’t get a tan from the sun, but that doesn’t mean you need to get a spray tan or use self-tanner. Remember when you used a handful of different tanning lotions that one summer? Yeah, you looked pretty yellow and orange.
But I get it, you just want to have that “glowing from within” look sometimes. Just be sure you use a bronzer and contour shade that fits your skin tone. Because truth be told, your face looks dirty with that bronzer you’re using that’s way too dark for you.
I know you think your nose is flat and wide, but who told you flat and wide were bad nose characteristics? They’re not. Your sense of smell is fine, so stop worrying and start smelling more roses.
I also know you think you look different. Here’s a not-so-secret secret: Almost everyone looks different.
Stop comparing yourself to others, because your body is not at all like your BFF’s body. Stop wondering how that skinny girl stays so skinny, how a curvy girl gets her curves, and how you could do better. You’re doing great! You’re being you. Just keep being you.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t beautiful. You’re beautiful with and without makeup.
You’re beautiful because you’re smart. Never be ashamed of your brain. Some students may make fun of that brain, but don’t take it personally. You know you’re smart. Use that. Use the brain you were given and don’t ever be ashamed of what you know or what you don’t know.
Don’t beat yourself up over not being perfect, because what is perfection?
I have a challenge for you: Love your body the way it is, and strive for what’s achievable.
Don’t “diet.” Eat what you want to eat in smart portions, and get some exercise so your body stays fit.
Remember: One day you’ll think you’re beautiful. One day you’ll realize that you kept putting yourself down for not feeling beautiful.
You ARE beautiful. You’ve always been beautiful. You just can’t see it yet.
All my love,