Dear Sammi, I never used to be superficial

Dear Sammi,
I never used to be superficial or care too much about my appearance; but lately, I can’t help but obsess over my flaws. I guess being at college makes me compare myself to others more, especially at parties. I don’t have a boyfriend and rarely get confronted by guys, and it hurts my self-esteem sometimes.
I just wish I didn’t put so much into my looks. What I look like shouldn’t matter, and I know that, but I can’t seem to break the negative thoughts I have. “She’s prettier than you,” “you’re too fat,” “you’re too pale.” It is exhausting to live up to my own standards.
How can I stop this self-hatred?
– Self-conscious

Dear Self-conscious,
I think that everyone faces these negative thoughts at some point. I know I do; it’s something I struggle with daily. But what you need to remember is that beauty cannot be simply defined. It all depends on opinion and is way deeper than your outer shell.
One of my favorite quotes:
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” –Steve Furtick
We are our toughest critics. We only see others for their greatest attributes while we define ourselves by our weakest moments and hidden flaws. It’s natural, but it will only tear you off your pedestal if you talk to yourself with words you would never speak to a friend. Be a better friend to yourself. Focus on your strong points and realize that looks will eventually fade and are not the entire package. Once you tell yourself this, you’ll truly start to believe it.
Rather than building yourself based off appearance, build your personality, intelligence, and life experience. These things are much more important.
– Sammi

(Originally posted on Her Campus Rowan)

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