You Don’t Have To Be Beautiful To Matter: Four Undeniable Life Lessons
By Ayesha Reynolds
I. Here’s the thing: You don’t have to be beautiful to matter.
You don’t owe anyone beauty. Your purpose on this planet is not to look good for other people. Be messy, flawed, and unapologetic.
When you look into the mirror and can’t make peace with what’s in front of you, remind yourself: the body is beautiful simply because it exists.
Looks are temporary. They will fade. You were put here to create. Find yourself. Love with all your heart. Love from your soul, and love others.
Your art matters. Your words matter. What you have to do for this world is important. There’s no time to waste being sad about a transient body.
II. When sadness gets too much, let yourself cry.
Leave. Go somewhere. Go anywhere. Drive. Take a book down to the ocean and feel the sun on your skin while you read. Get lost in a forest. Let it hurt. Let your heart feel bruised in your chest.
You are enough.
You are enough.
You are enough.
Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. Even if your mother says that it is. Let her know that it is only human to be weak sometimes.
III. You need to stop caring what people think.
Form your own opinions. Make your own decisions. Ask yourself which thoughts are really your own.
Do something, do anything, for yourself, and only for yourself. Make shitty art. Write shitty poems. You will eventually get better at your craft if you keep working hard at it.
Not everyone is going to like what you have to say, but that doesn’t mean your opinions are invalid.
Kid, put down that phone, and look up. Talk to that stranger on the train with kind eyes, ask him about the book he’s reading and tell him that Keaton Henson’s music is your favourite kind of poetry. There is so much of the world that is just screaming to be seen. So stop drowning out your thoughts, and plug out. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels.
IV. Remember that everything is temporary.
You’ve got to learn how to accept the scars, the half-moons beneath your eyes, and the acne. Accept the sadness, the anger, and the excruciating pain.
Accept it all, because as Pema Chodron said, “nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
And remember, in this world that cares so much about external beauty, no matter what those trashy magazines say, looking good is not as important as you think it is. The body that you have right now won’t look the same in five years. So, stop placing so much worth on the skin you’re in and quit surrounding yourself with people who do.
You are important. Your life is important. The art you create for this world is important, no matter how you look or where you come from. So wake up a little earlier, stop getting drunk so often, and get rid of anything that isn’t serving your soul. Start growing into the person you really want to be. It’s a long road, but it sure as hell is worth it.
Featured image of Ayesha & Shanda, creators of The Girlfriend Manifesto: thegirlfriendmanifesto.com