I don’t know about you, but it feels like there is a disparity in the perception of beauty within society, which can leave the rest of us feeling like we somehow don’t measure up to the standard that’s been arbitrarily set.

Seriously. Is it just me, or have you ever felt that the way you are simply isn’t enough? If so, keep reading. This is my take as to where this all started and a quick journey as to how I reconciled my worthiness.

When did you begin to feel the pressure of looking like “her”, whoever “she” is?

For me, it was probably in 7th grade. I took the bus to school and it wasn’t a short drive, so there was plenty of time for admiring the photos in the magazines that other gals had in their bags.

I wasn’t allowed to have magazines, but there was no shortage of them around me. Most all of the gals had them. I remember peering over the shoulder of one of the gals during lunch, observing the incredulous beauty of the models on nearly every page. Even as far back as the 6th grade we were admiring the beauty in secret while at my best friend’s house. From my vantage point, the models exuded absolute perfection that was difficult to ignore.

Teens looking at magazines

As we leafed through those magazines that were not even meant for us as 13 and 14-year old girls, I suddenly found myself feeling “plain”. I wanted to be beautiful. I wanted to wear make-up because the “beautiful” girls did. I wanted to emulate their clothing in some way. The more I thought about what beauty represented, the more inadequate I felt. The more I observed those models, the more unattractive I felt. I yearned to have some quality of what others perceived as beauty, and the more I wanted it, the more I felt I was not enough.

Of course, the kicker is that I never realized I was actually having these thoughts.

Being overweight since adolescence, I was keenly aware that I did not “measure up” to the standard of beauty. At least the idea that as teens we were all idolizing what we saw made it seem so. It was clear that we as young girls were all admiring the beautiful perfection of the bronzed females whose blonde hair glistened in the wind. I often thought silently, “If only I was thin enough, I would be beautiful, too.”

At the heart of it all is love and acceptance, so all of those thoughts of the not-enoughness and inadequacies are tied to wanting to be loved and accepted. But it took years for me to realize this was true.

Young woman looking in mirror

There was also a disparity between what I saw around me versus what I saw in the magazines. Of course, as a 13-year old impressionable girl, I had not yet developed the skills to reason my way to healthy conclusions. I fell into the trap of not accepting myself in my own personal beauty, and it wasn’t until decades later that I would reconcile and define what beauty meant to me.

Today, I relish my own uniqueness.

I know that I am not “less than” anyone else, but this didn’t happen overnight. The fact that I was brought forth on this planet means I am already enough. I have learned to love myself, unconditionally. (And the unconditional part is the true journey!) That part has been the greater portion of my journey – and it’s still a work in progress.

Rebecca + her racquet

Let go of yesterday’s version of you.

What about you? Isn’t it time that you let go of the old definitions of beauty, love and acceptance, and start with appreciating who you’ve become, right now in this moment?

Isn’t it time for you to discover the inner beauty that you’ve known was always there, but you hid it in fear that someone would discover your uniqueness?

There is a Vibrant Rebel inside of each of us. Are you ready to discover who you really are?

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