“Ugh,” she went on. “I hate my breasts. They’re so small and pointless. I hate how short I am, and how there’s that stupid gap between my teeth.” I remember remaining silent and pensive for a moment.
“Really?” I finally questioned.
“Ya, for sure. Why, you like everything about your body?”
I got quiet again and actually gave that question some thought. I had small breasts too. But I was okay with them being small. There were shirts I could wear without looking over the top, and when I wanted, I could get away without wearing a bra. I didn’t have back pain due to large breasts, and because they were small, they were still perky. I liked them just fine. I too had a gap between my teeth, but I thought it gave my smile personality. Plus, during idle time, I loved twisting around my tongue, attempting to fit it between my two front teeth. I wasn’t short, but if I was, I wouldn’t mind that either. There are some benefits to being short. You can wear short skirts and shorts without looking like you’re showcasing miles of legs. Short people tend to appear younger, are seen as cute. There are benefits to being short, there are benefits to being tall, and there are benefits to being the average height of a woman. There are benefits to everything, and instead of finding fault with how I was made, I opted to find the beauty in the Creator’s choices when creating me.
“Yeah. Actually, I do. I like my body and my face.” I said with a smile. I loved my body not because it was perfect…definitely not by societies standards, not even by my own standards. But it was my body. It was the body the Creator designed and blessed me with. So yes, I liked everything about my body. All it’s imperfections as well as all of the things I thought made it beautiful. It was me.
“Wow, well aren’t you vain.” She said as she rolled her eyes at me and turned her attention elsewhere. I am not making this up. I actually wish I was. I wish that someone close to me didn’t see a problem with me because I didn’t see a problem with myself. I am not vain. There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking how you look and who you are. Correction, there is nothing wrong with loving how you look and more importantly, being in love with who you are. That is where I am. I love me. And I do not think there is anything wrong with that. I think there is something more wrong with people who don’t truly love themselves. One of the greatest things in life is love, being able to love others, and I don’t think you can truly love someone if you don’t first love your Creator, and love yourself. So, although for a second, her words made me double check myself… “was I vain?” No! No, I’m not. Vain is when you’re self-obsessed and egocentric. When you think you’re better than others because of how you look. Vain is when you’re regularly taking dozens of selfies and posting it on various social media platforms. When you’re constantly in the mirror…everything is always about how you look. And usually, this is the case because all you have going on for you is how you look. Vanity is not to be confused with high self-esteem. Most of the people who post a million and one pictures of themselves online, don’t have high self esteem. They may think they do, but you aren’t craving dozens of “likes” when your self-esteem is in a positive place. That may be vanity. I am confident, and I am now very aware that to other females, my confidence may translate to vanity. But it really isn’t. My confidence has more to do with my genuine love for the Creator’s works, than it does with myself. It has to do with learning to love and accept me for who I am. We are so often bombarded with images, thoughts, verses and ideas that tell us that there is something wrong with how we were made; that we need to do this and that to be better. Well, sometimes you just need to say ‘screw it’, stare at yourself and find the beauty in every nook and cranny, every curve, edge, blemish, scar, ripple, and stretch mark, and remind yourself that it’s okay to love yourself, both inside and out…and that you are not vain for doing so.