Pretty Ugly

Dear Sis,

When I look at the photo above -- all I see is insecurity.

It was taken a few days after Christmas, and I had happily spent the days prior eating whatever I wanted! Therefore, I felt fat and super uncomfortable.

It probably took a hundred takes to get this one shot. All of them in that same outfit, at that same table, with variations of essentially the same pose --- yet, there was only 1 picture that even remotely met my standards.

How. Can. That. Be????

For as long as I can remember, I've had body image issues.

Maybe it's because I was chubby as a kid and was teased for my thickness. Or maybe it's because I had terrible acne all through high school and much of college. It wasn't until my 20s that I found a dermatologist and regimen that worked for me.

It could be because of that church lady who thought it was okay to compare the looks of me and my sister.

One Wednesday evening, Lauren and I had gone to church for children's choir rehearsal. Like normal, we sat next to each other in the choir stand. At some point, one of the chaperone's came over to us, leaned over me and said to my sister, "You are sooooo pretty". She said it with such affection, as if she'd seen a porcelain doll! That same woman then looked at me and said, "Oh... you're pretty too. You're just pretty on the inside."

I still give that woman a mean side eye when I see her.

I was around 9 years old when that happened. It was my first real memory of being criticized for my looks.

Twenty-some years later, the judgment is still there. Only now, it's self-inflicted.

The truth of the matter is: You can lose the weight -- treat yourself to flawless skin -- and still have doubts about what you see in the mirror (or on camera).

If you are anything like me -- I think it's time we put an end to the spread of negative self-imagery.

Here's how we can do it:

1. Find a hype {wo}man

There is nothing like having a friend who will boost you up when you aren't feeling your best. A "yaassssssss, honey!!" goes a LONG way!! So, find someone who understands your uncertainty and will always be in your corner. She's the one you can trust to be compassionate, yet never let you walk out the door with your panty line showing!

2. Speak self-positivity

When you hear those thoughts of pure ugliness creeping into your brain -- shut them OFF. Instead, look at yourself and say out loud "I am SO dope!!" And, when you say it -- MEAN IT. Muster up enough courage to speak louder than those degrading voices in your head.

Together, we can build a community of women unprovoked by low self-esteem. We can overcome even our darkest selves -- and therefore, conquer the world.

Will you join me?

Love you sis,


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