Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
oh nevermind;
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked…
You are not as fat as you imagine.

Ja, sure. As if we ever manage to do this. There is always something you want to change. Always something unpretty or too something. I remember in my teenage years (20 years ago), I experienced tremendous self-esteem issues because of comparing and competing and never feeling good enough. Of course, this is the phase of your life where your body starts changing rapidly. Your skin bombs out, you get braces, you gain a lot of weight, you lose a little. You go through hair-colour changes, and you smear your face with makeup to try and feel acceptable.

I hated being a teenager. Not only was I 10 kilos overweight (nobody ever believes me when I tell them this! But it is true.) Being artistic and eccentric and always upstream did not help. I never felt as if I fit in. Apart from my body that filled enough space for two people, that is. So you withdraw yourself. Unfortunately, I could not stick to Luhrmann’s advice at this stage.

When I reached my 20’s, things got a bit better. I lost most of my weight and settled with my signature hair colour – black. I blended in with the other freaks from design school and stopped plastering my face with make-up. Being surrounded by people in the same situation as yourself makes it easier to accept yourself. And this is true. Slowly but surely my mind became comfortable in my body, and much of the self-esteem issues were chucked into the cupboard of bad high school memories.

So yes, I suppose by the time I reach my forties I will be able to look back at photos from my twenties thinking it was not too bad. Sure, I still have issues (and it has nothing* to do with you at all. This is between me and the voices in my head.) At least now, as a working person with some ability to budget, I can sometimes go for a Brazilian Blowout because I still despise the curls. I can invest in a mascara that looks natural and a blemish stick that actually works. I wear what I want and when I want to because I am comfortable now to admit that I hate trends. I don’t see the point of buying stuff I don’t want with money I don’t have to impress people I don’t even like. So yes, I might not be able to tell myself “you looked fabulous” by the time I reach fifty, but hell, at least I can say I was sorta comfortable in my own skin.

I hope you find yourself a position where you are comfortable with most parts of you.

Yours in fabulous flaws,

nogsteedslana_lanaland_lanabreedt

 

 

*When I say my personal issues have nothing to do with you, I mean it. It’s a topic that is not open for discussion, and I don’t want to be pitied either. I am sharing it with you with the best of intentions and hope you can gain a little positivity from it when you realise it’s not just you.

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