I have spoken before about my interest in good skincare and doing the best that I can to take care of my skin. Reading Abigail James' wonderful book, Love Your Skin, I came across a lovely quote from Marilyn Monroe - "I am not beautiful like you. I am beautiful like me." Dwelling on this sentiment, I began to think of variations of beauty that exist, not just in a physical sense, but also in the context of beautiful expressions, spoken words, creative ideas and more. I would love this post to inspire greater discussion of how our relationships with ourselves are being influenced by comparisons to others. Is it possible for each of us to make positive changes in our lives that are not driven by dissatisfaction because we do not look/live/think/behave like somebody else? It is all too easy to dismiss or forget own uniqueness when we are preoccupied with idealising the enviable characteristics of others.
It is somewhat of a relief to see that for each carefully curated Instagram post there is another postulating the idea that 'you are beautiful just the way you are.' However, as someone who has suffered from crippling self-doubt as to her looks, I can assure you that this is not very reassuring advice. Doubtless, there is beauty in each one of us, but I can say from experience that this is something that you have to acknowledge for yourself, in your own time. When we constantly 'compare and despair' the logical solution to change can sometimes seem to be an attempt to be like somebody else. However, I am trying to encourage the idea that bringing about necessary change in your life can be best achieved by caring for, not castigating, yourself. If you feel that you are too self-critical, absolve yourself of any guilt for not being someone else and instead focus on being the 'you' that holds the greatest health and happiness.