The Beauty of Just Being You
Appreciate and embrace the beauty of you with this short exercise in self-acceptance!
Step One: Identify something that you hate about yourself.
It's hard to have healthy self-esteem when other people put you down. If we have not been taught to love ourselves, then we rely too heavily on what others think and say about us. Many of the people we look to boost our self-esteem don’t have the skills to love themselves either, sothere is a good chance that we’re receiving the wrong message.
Make a list of the role models who have helped shape your self- image: your parents, your brothers and sisters, other relatives, and teachers. What negative messages have you heard about yourself that you remember—comments that you have heard regularly and have taken to heart?
Step Two: Identify what's behind the way you feel about it.
Step Three: Decide whether your flaw is modifiable.
For example, if you have flabby arms, you can decide to lift some weights and change your diet: You have a choice because your arms are simply “in transition.”
But if you think you’re too short, there’s only so much you can do about it except putting on heels, choosing particular outfits, and standing upright. But you might have to learn to love your short, little legs just the way they are.
Step Four: Focus on the positive.
Appreciate what you have. Don’t obsess about what you don’t have. You may have a ginormous belly. But think about how awesome your belly is: it shelters all the organs that allow you to digest your favorite food. By breathing through your belly, you can “massage” your spleen, your liver, and other organs—and this makes you feel good. So, it’s a pretty cool belly, thank you very much!
The size of your belly also pushes you to want to exercise—which might never have become your thing otherwise. By running every day, you’ll gain confidence, and you’ll also be proud of yourself. You’ll gain knowledge of running techniques and nutrition. You’ll become more attentive to your body as a whole.
Try to formulate positive sentences: “I’ll do better next time” instead of saying: “I’m bad at this.” Focus on what you love: “I have a nice mouth” instead of: “My nose is ugly.”
I hope this exercise in self-acceptance will help you embrace and love your body and appreciate your outer (and inner!) beauty.
A creator of safe spaces, and an initiator of difficult conversations, M.J. Fievre, B.S. Ed, spent much time building up her Black students, helping them feel comfortable in their skin, and affirming their identities. Her close relationships with parents and students led her to look more closely at how we can balance protecting our child’s innocence with preparing them for the realities of Black life. When―and how―do you approach racism with your children? How do you protect their physical and mental health while also preparing them for a country full of systemic racism? She began to research the issue and speak to school counselors and psychologists to find (and apply!) strategies parents and teachers can use with their children to broach uncomfortable but necessary topics.
M.J. is the author of Badass Black Girl, a daily dose of affirmations for Black Girls
“You'll come away from Badass Black Girl feeling as if you've known the author your entire life, and it's a rare feat for any writer.” ―“Mike, the Poet,” author of Dear Woman and The Boyfriend Book
#1 Gift Idea in Teen & Young Adult Cultural Heritage Biographies, Publishers Weekly Select Title for Young Readers
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Badass Black Girl helps you to:
Build and boost your self-esteem with powerful affirmations
Learn more about yourself through insightful journaling
Become comfortable and confident in your authentic self