By Alexa Huerta, Mexico

Throughout all my years of high school, I used to be so ashamed of my red puffy skin because it wasn’t perfect and smooth, I hated my teeth because they were crooked, I hated my hair because it was frizzy, I hated my legs because I felt my knees were all together and made me look weird. All these things really got into my head and many times that people would ask me to hang out I was so afraid they would think I was horrible and straight away I would lie and reply “no thanks I can’t” or “no thanks I’ve got stuff to do”. Even school and daily activities that I used to enjoy got hard because I thought everyone was looking at me and judging me.

I had this idea in my head of the way I should look, of how I should try to achieve the concept of perfection that I had created. I thought that if looked a certain way I would be taken seriously, I would feel pretty, I would learn to love myself, I would be more confident, and every single issue that I had in life would be solved. I felt like I was letting myself down and every single person around me, just for the way I looked (it got really bad I swear).

Then one day something made me open my eyes. I was talking with one of my BFFs “Angie”, and I told her that for many years I was so ashamed of the way I looked, and I was always comparing myself with all these other people (real life and social media). Later in the conversation, she told me “I used to be so ashamed of how my body looked like because even since a young age people would stare at me and that made me uncomfortable”, she explained to me that she did everything in her power to change the way she looked. I sat there thinking “how can my beautiful friend want to change herself? she’s so pretty the way she is” But what I thought really didn’t matter, she was the one that needed to realize that. After a while, Angie told me that after years of trying to change herself, she was coming to terms with accepting her whole self (including body, mind, and soul) that she was going to let things just be and stop worrying about stuff that isn’t in her control.

Ever since that day, my mind couldn’t stop thinking, I started analyzing every single word she told me and things that made me uncomfortable and feel ugly. The reality is, I was comfortable with who I am, it didn’t make me feel weird, I liked the way I looked but I was so ashamed that I wasn’t reaching people’s expectations of the way I should look like. But what people don’t know is that my skin is all red and puffy because I have a skin condition called rosacea and that I have tried many treatments and medications to make it go away but it’s a lifetime thing, they don’t know that my teeth are crooked not because I want to because they came out that way, they don’t know that my knees look a certain way because of my genetics (my mom and grandmother have them that way too), they don’t know that my hair is frizzy because that’s how curly hair works m.

After analyzing all that, I asked myself “why am I so afraid of being myself?” I should even be thankful to my body for taking me through life and fighting every single battle. What I discovered is that every person’s essence will not change as time goes by; your body, your thoughts, your mind, your skin, your environment, everything might change, but who you are never. It doesn’t matter how you look on the outside, every single person is beautiful, it only depends on the eye that’s judging.