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  • Daizha Lankford

A Beautiful Chaos

Since I was about eight years old, I was always bullied. Bullied for my looks, for my brains, for being a teacher's pet, for being a “goodie goodie”.

There were many times as a young teenager I struggled with this idea that you had to look a certain way, act a certain way, and hang around certain people to be considered beautiful or accepted.

That idea was only magnified as I grew into the young woman I am today, and to be quite honest it is something that I struggle with to this day.

It was pushed into my head, even more, when a few days ago in Target a group of teenagers, who I didn't know, decided to stop my day and call me “ugly-ish”.

I cried for an hour after that, looked in the mirror, and indeed found every reason that I was ugly-ish.

I thought that my teeth weren’t straight enough, my stomach wasn’t flat enough, I wasn’t pretty enough, and my body wasn’t perfect enough.

I let the narrative that so many guys and girls have hammered into my head make me cry once again, as an almost grown woman.

But I realized that I can’t let any of these preconceived notions make me lose the self-confidence that I’ve worked so hard to build. AND TRUST ME in today’s society it is hard to build.

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to conquer this idea that I am not beautiful, not smart enough, and not good enough, I have to embrace my flaws for what they are.

It is clear that I am not perfect, I don't have what society deems as the perfect body, perfect hair, or perfect face.

I don’t wear makeup every day, I like roshe runs and sweatpants more than I like dresses, and if I didn’t feel pressured to shave my legs every week, I probably wouldn’t. (gasp)

My Instagram feed tries to capture the aesthetic that a social media savvy communications major should have, but it fails miserably.

And sometimes, no matter how many times I remind myself that I am indeed a regular schmegular human being, some beautiful, bronzed, long-haired, afro-goddess seems to remind me that I am not.

I say to myself “Daizha, her beauty doesn’t take away from yours, she’s not perfect either.”

Yet, constantly I feel pressured to capture this essence of perfection.

I convince myself that in order to be a masterpiece, I have to be the perfect masterpiece.

No more.

This idea that I am not beautiful is slowly being pushed out of my head, (while simultaneously being shoved back in).

Indeed, I am beautiful. In fact, I am chaotically, frantically, disastrously, beautiful.

My hair is beautiful, my body is beautiful, my life is beautifully chaotic, and it will continue to be so.

I am falling in love with my small ass, and overly curvaceous hips, I am falling in love with the stretch marks and cellulite perched on the back of my thighs, I am falling in love with my crooked smile and thin hair. I am even falling in love with the idea that as an almost 21-year old I still look 14.

I am falling in love with myself because if I don’t, I will fall into a state of depression. And this depression will only be because I couldn't look in the mirror and see myself, instead of seeing a woman that everyone else has forced me to want to be.

So, yeah… as you go back to school, look at someone else’s Instagram picture, outfit, face, body, or beauty… remember that you are beautiful. You may be a mess (like me) or you may have it all together (like seemingly everybody else) but either way you are beautiful.

Embrace it, own it, and relish in the fact that you are not less than anyone or beneath anyone. You are just authentically you, and no one can take that beauty away from you.

Peace & Love-D

#selflove #college

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