Okay, being a teen girl is HARD. I am not too far out of my teenage years to remember the pain I felt every time I looked in the mirror.
I am blessed with the gift of being short, having curly hair, and nearly transparent eyelashes if I don’t wear mascara. I wasn’t born stick thin and I come by my athletic sized quads naturally. I am a free spirit girl who loves to walk barefoot in the country and never felt quite right in the city.
I fought my natural appearance for a long time. I wore high heels to school to appear taller. I woke up early to straighten my hair and slather my face with makeup (hello years of acne). I cursed myself with 6 years of an eating disorder to be skinny like I thought I should have been. And I attended my first semester of college at a school in the city.
Needless to say, I was not myself and I was not the girl God designed me to be all those years during high school and early college.
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
You formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!” Psalm 139:13 The Message
It wasn’t until I hit a low point in college that I realized I was not living true to what God wanted for my life. I was masking myself in the world. I was trying every day to be something I wasn’t.
I didn’t realize how awesome it was to be 5’3” because I can wear shorts without them being immodest. I didn’t appreciate the fact that God gave me the ability to jump out the shower and do nothing with my hair but it still forms beautiful curls. I didn’t realize how I have green eyes that don’t need tons of eye make-up to have them pop. I also wasn’t thanking God for my athletic quads that give me strength. And I definitely didn’t realize that being able to love to sit quietly in nature was something to appreciate rather than having the noise of the city distract me when I seek stillness.
God made each of us to be so unique and so special. Every time we try to change our appearance because we hate the way we look or we think we should look different, it is like a slap in the face to God. Imagine yourself as a little girl playing with your dolls. What if you spent hours making her look beautiful only to have her speak to you when you’re finished and say “I hate everything about myself!” How heartbreaking that would be.
Embrace your natural self. Sure, it’s fun to wear makeup, but what are you intentions behind it? Are you wearing it because it’s fun to try a smoky eye are you wearing it because you hate your eyes? It’s great to work out, I love a good sweaty yoga class as much as I love chai tea; but are you obsessed with being skinny or are you trying to stay healthy? Our intentions are what make the difference. I still straighten my hair before I go camping – otherwise I will have dreadlocks until I get back home and can shower.
You are unique. You are beautiful. God made you perfect and He makes no mistakes. Embrace yourself. It is too exhausting to try and be something you’re not.
PS. As I write them I’m rocking minimal makeup (it took me 3 minutes to do), awesome out-of-control curly hair, and bare feet with toenail polish chipping off. Life is amazing.
Written by: Brittany