I was sitting in the middle of the floor when a student was asking me if I had ever been teased before, for how I looked. I nodded with a coy smile, and replied with ease, “it’s just something that you’re gonna have to get used to. Someone is always going to have something to say.” This was after verbal and physical fights with other students at the camp calling this beautiful young lady, “Blackie” or “Sharpie”. Her mother in full rant about how shocked she was about how often this was happening in her school’s summer camp. I turned to her to reiterate, what honestly was too simple a remark to make, “Fighting isn’t the answer.”I was right of course, physical fighting isn’t the answer. But something should be said for the bullying. It really does have to stop. It’s affecting way too many of our kids.
It wasn’t then at that moment that I remembered what that was like. The teasing, the bullying. Mistaking gym class for a runway, and my new profound knowledge of makeup as an awakening of sorts, as my initial arrival. It broke my heart that she had wanted to the same thing. Her mother wandered off to the kitchen and she continued on, pleading that I show her how to apply makeup, whispering in a low voice. I questioned the point, in her thirteen-year-old mind, she must’ve thought of this as a corrector.
I looked at the girl on the couch and found myself nodding in agreement to everything she had said and found myself telling her what I knew. The truth that had probably been repeated a hundred centuries before me…and honestly feeling useless.
“That God doesn’t make mistakes” “You have to ignore them”
“It doesn’t matter what those girls say”
Nevertheless, determined to leave her with more than cliched sayings. I first jokingly told her how about insecurities and some of the things that intimidated when I was her age. When I was ten I remember genuinely wanting to be lighter and questioned why I had a gap in my teeth but my father and mother hadn’t. As I got older and went on to middle school, I had even “borrowed” my mother’s foundation to achieve that. The kicker here is that my mother was two shades lighter than I was. It was definitely a “mostly ghostly” situation at its worst that day.
The conversation ended with me telling her what God himself said about her.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Solomon 4:7)
I then looked at her and said, “You should demand the same of your friends and if they can’t take you as you are then they don’t deserve to be heard from. The day thankfully ended with a pair of silver earrings, some shopping, and a girl ready to head to camp hopefully feeling better about herself than she had before.
Getting over your beauty insecurity can be hard…and if you’ve been bullied sometimes those moments have the potential to be pretty scarring. My birthday passed last week on the 3rd and it was in remembering this experience that I had noticed the necessity for everyone really being cautious with our thoughts. We have an amazing ability to create connections, stories in our minds and such a power shouldn’t be wasted on fear or regret or on disappointment.
Before I’d find myself genuinely having concerns and in reflection, I was bothered that I still felt like I had not “arrived” yet in some ways. Not necessarily about the same things like my teeth or my skin but about other things. It wasn’t until shortly after that it dawned on me that I had felt the same way about some of those things because I had not done anything to change how I thought. It was my responsibility. I am in control of how I feel.
It’s important for us to get a genuine sense of self. Understanding why you’re different and questioning where your sense of worth comes from. I’m not going to list those things that we compare ourselves with, within our own hearts we know what they are. But God encourages us to take control of our thoughts and I found some inspirational thoughts on the subjects.
- Confident people never think in the realm of “What if” and “If Only” (The necessity of positivity)
- Confidence Avoids Comparison. It stands on it own. (The necessity of understanding your choice)
- Confidence is fearless, positive and takes action.
It’s time to make a change…
On our journey to becoming, we’re transformed and part of that process is appreciating the now spots. The moments in between. Inside of every single one of us is a giant waiting to take hold of the life prepared for us. A life filled with brilliance, fire, and refinement.