I have been watching a lot of videos recently in an attempt to gain confidence and stop thinking about how others perceive me. I want to see myself for all that I am. I am beginning to recognise that there is beauty here. I have read some interesting thoughts recently about how putting make up on is a form of self harm. It said: “Destroying my face with make up because nothing seems real not even this body of mine. I’ve let myself down. This to me is a way of self harm. Harming the image of me which is fuelled by the likes of popularity.” Until I was eighteen, I smothered myself in make up everyday to cover the acne. I straightened my beautiful curly hair and had hair extensions just to fit the ideal image of the perfection that is white hair. I dressed a certain way and would fraudulently enhance my body and features. This was the only way I could ever consider myself beautiful.

Now, I look in the mirror sometimes. I look at my eyes or my curls or my tanned skin. I realise that despite growing up in this country, I do not need to be white to be beautiful. I realise that parts of me, other people would want and admire. I still straighten my hair and put make up on occasionally, but I try to make a point to myself that it is not necessary. I do not need it to be able to step outside confidently. I can be fearlessly me, with all that I have been given. It feels amazing. It is all natural. I do not want to be anyone but me. I do not want to be fraudulent. I should not be told I need to look or dress a certain way to fit in or be happy.

This year, I took my body back. I became more me than I ever have before. I realised the beauty. I opened my eyes up to so much more and this world around me is so damn beautiful. I realised that advertising, marketing and all that you feed yourself everyday is beyond important. So I began to treat my body better. I put my mind first. It is of upmost importance. Mental health over every damn thing. So it does not matter if I look a state, I can continue to smile. I have fed myself so much positivity. I have watched more videos on the beauty found within black features, rather than watching British or American television which only depicts white perfection. I take care of myself. What goes into my body and how I treat it, from eating to exercise has changed. It is not to look a certain way, but because I like how it feels.

There is so much beauty here. I am a whole, complete, perfectly designed person. I am human and that is beyond beautiful. This life is so beautiful. I feel proud now. I can finally appreciate this skin and this hair and these eyes, because they are mine. They are unlike any other. I appreciate other people and their features and I see beauty everywhere, because it is radiating from me and in me. That empowerment is incredible. The strength I am able to feel through how I think of myself. I gain so much confidence every day and I grow as a person. I become more complete without a need for approval and validation. I become more me. I place a lot of value on a life, especially this one. I hope everyone is able to do the same. There is no need to harm your body, whether it be through physical violence, eating disorders or even putting on make up, because there is beauty everywhere in every single human.


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