Everyone wants to become the best version of themselves, but few actually do it. If you think about it, we are our own worst enemies when it comes to achieving what we truly want and desire. In hopes of relating this matter to you readers; we all have been there before, where we would stare at ourselves in a mirror and just… question why we are the way we are. Never? Anyone? It’s not like we stare with the thought of, “wow, I am so unbelievably hot”, no, but rather, “is this really me? is this really what I want to become?”

Sometimes, whenever I get up from my bed, I always look at myself in the mirror and somewhat envisioned if the image I’m seeing in front of me is really “enough” for me. But then again, that is the nature of being human; we always want what we can’t or in this case, don’t have. We tend to want curly and wavy hair especially when you’re born with a straight healthy looking locks, or we hate our skinny “chopstick” legs and desire those “thick” Beyonce legs. When in reality these are just our own views that are clouded by our insecurities.

I am pretty sure everyone has ever experienced or witnessed someone being body shamed for being how they looked, especially in social media. Even now, we can see how the women we idolized are being targeted in their social media platform for being too “flat chested” or too “thick” for her age, or for having too many beauty marks on her face. Thats the reality we’re living in, you can’t please everybody; with that you can’t exactly “win” against the majority either.

What everyone should realise is that insecurities are natural. For some people insecurities can swallow up their lives. Insecurities have their own way in dimming your light which then if you do not overpower it, you’ll be screaming inaudibly for help when in reality no one can hear you. These feelings are completely normal, but you must not let them overcome you and drown you as the circumstances can be very harmful. Anyone who has ever experienced body shaming can definitely relate to the matter that it can stay with you for a long time. Have you ever experienced this kind of body shaming that just sticks to your bones?

Admit it, we never actually picture what looks different about ourselves until someone else pointed out or comment on anything on “your” body, for instance, “that buck tooth”, “those skinny legs”, “chest are too flat” and so forth. These comments stay with us forever, and it is only going to bother us if we refused to overcome it.

I have one experienced where growing up, one boy in my class made a snarky comment on my lips. To me, my lips are fine. They are just lips, and everyone has one. Sizes never bothered me. Until when I was in primary 3, a boy in my class commented how my lips are “huge”, or that I have “black people lips”. I never understood what he meant, until he started to call me nicknames which elevated to the whole class patronising me by calling me the girl version of “Jay-Z”. Imagine, being a 6 year old and already had to deal with these type of insecurities. Children should not have experienced this at an early age. They should not. It is important for a child to feel loved in however way they were looked. No matter what the circumstances are.

I remember I used to be so self conscious about my lips after that. When in reality my lips are fine. My lips are just like anyone else’s. It only took one comment and the mocking of a “village” to pull me down deep deep in the pool of insecurities. Taking a trip down memory lane, I used to be aware of how I smile, which now I find really sad. As young as 6 and I really felt like I was “not good enough”. No one deserves to feel that way. No one. You do good, you receive good. Thats what I keep telling myself. Do good, people will be good to you. Do good.

I was self conscious until I entered college and was introduced to the world of red lipsticks. I remember I was watching Burlesque at that time and there was this one scene where Cher was putting on this beautiful sultry red lipstick shade on Christina Aguilera’s. From then on, I started to embrace my lips. Slowly, I find myself gravitating towards red coloured lipsticks and obliterate the comments made by my classmates at that time and wholeheartedly embrace my full sized asian lips. Today, my lips are definitely one of my favourite body parts that I will gladly projects to the majority. I play with colours now and helps paint the world by smiling to splash a dash of positivity here and there.

Every once in a while, everyone should start accepting that compliment. Admittedly, I am someone who does not, I repeat, does not know how to accept or react when someone complimented me. One time, I remember my cousin complimented me when she saw me in my baju kurong, a traditional attire my country uses, she went, “wow! you look really nice. This colour really suits you”, and in return, because I was in absolute shock, I went, “um… thanks”, looking almost defensively. I could see the reaction on her face when she heard my reply. That was the last time she ever complimented me to be completely honest. Now, whenever she sees me, she never pay me any compliments, she would just smile and nodded, and I took that as her version of telling me that I look somewhat decent for someone who lacks proper styling techniques.

For someone who always thought of myself as the consolation prize, the second or third best, whenever someone complimented me on how I look or how I look extra beautiful I always dismiss them almost completely. I once went out with a man who always complimented me everyday. It seemed fake at first. I remember the first day we met, he kept throwing me compliments from left to right saying that I was the most beautiful person he’s ever laid eyes on. First of, I literally thought he was just trying to chase points, but after a while, he persisted. At first, it took courage for him to say it out loud, he looked me in the eyes, claiming that it was his first time saying this in front of me and literally just blurted out his flattering remarks. He claims me ever so proudly and I just needed time and more time to truly embrace that as we never really see how others see us.

This made me realise, ladies out there, when you get a compliment, really accept it, and don’t reject it. I did this a lot whenever someone complimented me, because truthfully, I don’t see myself as “beautiful”. In my own eyes, I see myself as normal. But now I know that it only takes one single compliment and it can change your life and your whole perspectives. Truly, beauty is in the eyes of a beholder.