When I turned 19 I decided to stop being so cruel to myself. I was tired of being miserable. I found my beauty through photography and self-portraits. I placed them all over my bedroom, where I spent most of my time. I fell in love with the girl in the pictures, and never looked back.
Beauty is in the way you carry yourself. The way you speak and walk. The woman who is sure of herself is beautiful.
I try not to associate beauty with anything or anyone. I know I am beautiful and that is enough. However, a reminder from my close ones once in a while is flattering. Wearing makeup makes me feel pretty, it enhances my beauty. Wearing beautiful clothes also contributes to making me feel good about myself, but again, with or without these things I know I am beautiful.
Women must know they are ENOUGH. They don’t need fixing. They need to celebrate their own kind of beauty. In the words of (Somalian writer) Warsan Shire:”You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, someone not everyone knows how to love.” (The South African Sunday Times, 9 August 2016)
These are words of 23-year-old Lesego “Thickleeonce”Legobane. She is a plus-size model, political science student and Instagram influencer. Thumbs up to her self-acceptance and love for herself. I wish I could feel like her. And sometimes I do. Sometimes I look in the mirror and like what I see. Most of the times, though, I like what I see because I learnt not to look at what I don’t like. Some might call it avoidance, I call it common sense. It does not make me feel any better when I focus on what I don’t like.
Some women don’t like their breasts, their belly or their complexion. I have this long-lasting love-hate relationship with my thighs and knees. From time to time I try on shorts in the safety of my home but I can’t imagine wearing them outside. It is ridiculous because in reality, no one cares about my legs. Only me. I know that there is only one way to deal with it- by accepting them as they are. But as much as I would have liked to, I am not there yet. And I guess that is OK too. We all have something that we are working on. Some of us are further but I don’t believe that anyone has it all sorted out. The difference is what you decide to magnify- your strengths or weaknesses? We are all magnifying something in our life. I learnt to draw attention to what I like, work on what I can change and ignore what can’t be changed. It is not self-acceptance yet but at least I don’t create more negative energy.
” Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t turn out – take another shot.”
So I keep shooting …
Photos by Surekha Photography.