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You are Beautiful

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

By Ebony Little

“You are beautiful!” It’s so easy to say it to my family, children, and friends. It’s even easy to say it to strangers. I often ask myself, why is it so hard to say it to me? I went years believing I wasn’t beautiful. It could be self-esteem issues from when I was in school and teased a lot. I have found that most teenagers go through an awkward stage in their life where they try to figure out who they are. When I was younger, this phase did not skip me. I was so shy that I tried not to bring attention to myself. I found refuge in reading books and writing short stories.

What some people don’t know is that I have Tourette syndrome tics. In high school, I would make a noise that seemed to get worse right before school started each year. I think it was the nervousness of starting a new school year. As one would imagine, the tics bought a lot of unwanted attention to me. The kids would often tease me on the bus and even in class. They didn’t understand that the tics were uncontrollable and could not be stopped. During those years of my life, I worried about my clothes, hair, and that damn tic. Just like most kids my age during that time, I wanted to be liked. But I was not one to put myself out there. In fact, I was not one who opened up immediately. I was more of the sit back and observe first, kind of girl.

Back in the day, I often involved myself in things that pushed me out of my shell. I will never forget that time in high school enrolling in a dance class. Now keep in mind, I’m not the best dancer, but I tried. I had fun learning different dances with the class. One of the major highlights of the class was a dance concert that included my class dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I remember the fun I had learning the dance and performing it in front of a crowd. I will never forget the fast pace of my heartbeat and the nervous excitement that ran through my veins. I tried not to shake or tic, partly because I had to move around, and everyone would notice.

All in all, this grand performance still wasn’t enough to push me completely out of my shell. Other issues kept me from being totally free. I had people constantly in my ear, telling me I was ugly. Anybody who knows me knows I’m very sensitive and often believed the words that were said to me. If it was said that I was ugly, then maybe they were right, especially if multiple people said it.

I walked around for years believing I wasn’t attractive. Even in relationships, I didn’t value myself or feel worthy. I disrespected myself for years because I didn’t feel I deserved anything. I often listened to the harsh words spoken to me in previous relationships and took those words as truth.

I don’t remember telling my mother about the teasing and bullying. She was a single mother who worked hard, so I found other ways to release my pain. The craft of writing was a way for me to release my frustrations. I often wrote my thoughts in my diary and sometimes cried myself to sleep at night.

Later in life, I placed my family as a high priority. I consumed myself with taking care of them and often forgot about taking care of me. One day I looked in the mirror and decided, enough was enough! No longer would I place me as an afterthought. I had a light bulb moment. Why am I listening to what other people say or think about me? The declarations of who I am were birthed. I am BEAUTIFUL! I am WORTHY! I am SMART! I had a new mindset and newfound confidence. Not only that, but I also found clarity and a realization that I wanted out of the relationship I was in at the time. But that’s another story for another day. Trust me; I could write a novel.

I started looking out for me. Okay, so maybe I started shopping for me, shoes here, pants there. I’m a bargain shopper, so sometimes I would buy a whole outfit. I’ve always believed it’s all about how you wear an outfit and accessorize it that makes it pop! There was a time when I sat around in pajamas, when not working, or wore a lot of dark colors. Those days are long gone. Now when you see me, I’m wearing bright, vibrant colors and plenty of accessories.

You know, when a girl has on the right outfit, and their hair is looking right, you can’t tell them anything. They know they look good. That’s me now. There’s NOTHING anybody can say to me to make me ever believe that I’m ugly again. I make sure to remind myself that I am the shit every day! It’s about me appreciating me and loving me, for I am BEAUTIFUL, and so are you!

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