Ugly in your head

I feel ugly. It's all the stress, the junk food, the inactivity, and the fact that my hair is falling at an alarming rate. I got pimples from this new serum I tried out, so I have fresh blemishes on THE side of my face that I worked months to clear up completely. I haven't been religious with suncreen lately so my skin is uneven. 

I look at my old pictures and think, "Why can't I look like that again?" But then I saw a photo I took just yesterday.

I don't look bad. In fact, I look pretty nice! True, it's the lighting, makeup, angle, and a bit of post-processing to adjust the color - but the thing is I already had something good (i.e. myself) to work on. I know that some people treat makeup with disdain, as if it's exclusively something that women wear to cover up their insecurities. That may be true some of the time but for me, I love makeup because it makes me realize - everyday - that I am not ugly at all.

Allow me to explain. I grew up thinking I was ugly, with my curly hair, glasses, blemishes, thick braces, and very dark skin. All the TV commercials would present this girl and all I can think about is how I'm not her and can never be her. Funny story: remember that time when hot oil was all the rage? I remember seeing the commercial as a kid and being SO excited to get the same silky straight hair with "hot oil". I didn't waste time and immediately (after seeing the ad) heat up some cooking oil in a pan. 

I poured the oil in a plastic cup. The cup melted. I hastily abandoned my plan.

That's the kind of influence the magazines and television had on me. When I discovered makeup, it was a completely different world. It opened me up to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the girl on TV with her straight hair, fair skin, and almost-makeupless face is not the only definition of beauty out there. Maybe she would be wearing red lipstick with curly hair. Or maybe bright green eyeshadow with a good tan going.

I started following beauty blogs, getting more into foreign movies and shows since the Internet gave me access to pretty much anything I can think of. I saw all these beauty bloggers experiment with makeup their way; I became acquainted with so many new different faces and body shapes. Slowly but surely, I started to come to terms with my appearance. I realized, simply, that I am not ugly at all. I am beautiful in a way that only I can be.

That doesn't mean that I should be complacent and just let myself go. I should maintain my skin, hair, body to the best of my ability and not just pile on makeup to feel good about myself. I don't go out and think, "Oh I need makeup to feel confident about myself so I will wear a lot." It's more like, "I want to look better than I already do, so I'll wear makeup to enhance what I have."

(And maybe wear crazy eyeshadow and lipsticks just because it's fun!)

So yes, I still feel ugly every once in a while, like I did recently. But that's mostly in my head. :) All I need to do is to take better care of myself and to not let my insecurities get ahead of me.

How do you deal with feeling "ugly"?