How I Learned to Love My Prominent Features

Wellness

From a young age, I have been extremely aware of the differences between my appearance and the appearances of those around me. In second grade, I noticed that my arms were the hairiest out of all of my female classmates. In fourth grade, I realized that my nose is not small or button-shaped like the noses of others around me. And soon, whether it was my hair or nose, I began hating the features that made me unique. My ethnic features made me feel hideous. I wished that I had dainty, symmetrical features. I wished that I had less hair on my arms and face. I wished that my nose was smaller. In other words, I wished I could change aspects of my appearance to fit my unrealistic definition of beautiful. What I never realized until recently is that these features are not to be despised. Rather, they serve as a reminder of who I come from and my culture and roots. Now, when I look in the mirror, I am not disappointed. Here's how you can begin to see your unique features as nothing beautiful.

Understanding The Beauty Behind Your Unconventionally Beautiful Features

It took many years for me to come to love my nose. At times, I do still get insecure, as I am reminded of the unreachable beauty standards created by society. But, once I am able to remind myself that these beauty standards are impossible and unreasonable, I am able to see the beauty behind my nose. My nose is prominent. My nose is not thin and small. Strive to disassociate dainty features with beautiful. Beauty is subjective.

For instance, I began associating my nose with my boldness. My nose is the feature most people notice first. My nose is striking like a few of my characteristics. Additionally, do not forget that having unique features allows you to embrace and ultimately appreciate your remarkable, distinguished aspects.

Your Insecurities Are Often Not Noticed By Others

There have been multiple occasions where I am inclined to put on a jacket to hide my hairy arms from my peers in class. I quickly tell myself that everyone's eyes are on the hair of my arms. I tell myself that everyone thinks I am disgusting and ugly. I tell myself all sorts of negative thoughts. But, in reality, most people are too busy worrying about their own insecurities, and therefore, do not pay attention to the elements of yourself that you wrongfully perceive as flaws.

While the root of your insecurities will not be eradicated until you resolve your internal issues, take comfort in the fact that those around you usually do not pay too much attention to your "flaws."

No One Else's Opinion Matters

Though people are usually too preoccupied to observe your imperfections, it is incorrect to argue that situations, where you are critiqued, do not occur. There will, inevitably, be people who tell you that your nose is too big. Some may even say that you would look better if part of your appearance was altered. And, it is natural to be offended. It is normal to feel bad about yourself when others cannot seem to accept you for who you are. But, the most important step to coming to love your prominent features is to comprehend that the opinions you have about yourself will always outweigh the thoughts of others.

By far, this can seem like the most difficult step in your journey to embracing your unique features. You will see a change over time. If you are insulted by others' comments, do not judge yourself or become frustrated. Again, it is normal and, in many cases, unavoidable to feel pain when you are criticized for certain features.

Fake It Until You Make It

If it takes lying to yourself to make you realize how beautiful your features are, then, unquestionably, push yourself to do so. When insecure thoughts overtake your mind, take a moment to remind yourself of how beautiful you are, even if you do not mean the compliments you give yourself. Eventually, once you repeat "I am beautiful" and "My features are what make me who I am," you will begin to notice a boost in your self-confidence.

It has taken me a while to value and respect my prominent features that are not accepted by society. Remember, you have control over changing the way you view yourself. And once you do, you will feel like an entirely new person.

Sophene Avedissian
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Sophene Avedissian is a freshman at Westridge School for Girls. She is the author of Stand Tall, a book that highlights women's rights issues, an editor for Polyphony Lit, and a Los Angeles Times High School Insider. During her free time, Sophene enjoys reading, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.