“Shaida is the ugliest girl in the 6th grade. I thought she couldn’t get uglier, and then she got glasses.” I remember hearing a classmate say that to someone else. I remember exactly where I was, I even remember what I was wearing. And I remember how I felt like someone had kicked me straight in my chest even though I rolled my eyes, laughed and called him the other word for donkey (these were the BC days).
But I never forgot that moment and the words never left me. From then on, I always felt like the ugliest girl in the 6th grade. I became a wallflower. If you couldn’t notice me, then you couldn’t make fun of me. To be quite honest, I’m quite sure most people couldn’t tell I had such low self esteem. I was always cracking jokes. It was better that way for me. I make fun of me before you can.
After a while those words were so ingrained that even though I didn’t hear those exact words audibly, I would interpret every rejection as “Shaida is the ugliest girl.” Every time I looked in the mirror, every time I realized a guy was only talking to me cause he really wanted me to help him get to my friend, or to get help to pass a class, or to quite frankly just hit it. Or when I got the speech, "you’re such a great friend, you’re my homie, I don’t see you like that". I would think, "of course this is happening to me, because I’m ugly". Even with beautiful pictures on IG, there were still many days I felt very disconnected from the picture of myself and the person I saw everyday. If I was so “beautiful” why did I face so much rejection?
Sigh. I’m not posting this cause it’s fun. It’s really hard to let everyone in my mental space. But I’m hoping that I can help the person that sits alone thinking these thoughts. Because I know now that they’re lies. Even on the days I look in the mirror and don't like what I see, I have to tell myself they're lies.
I’m not rejected. I’m more accepted than I ever dared to imagine because of Christ’s work on the cross. Jesus was rejected by mankind and he is the most beautiful person I will ever know.
Looking in the mirror and acknowledging outward beauty is something that’s great. God knew you and made you exactly the way he wanted to. I’m short cause God wants me to be an adult champion of hide and seek . I’m dark skinned cause God wants to protect me from the sun and fool people into thinking I accessed the fountain of youth. All these things do not compare to the beauty of what God wants to develop inside of each of us. Be gorgeous, be handsome, but be kind, loving, patient, gentle, peaceful, joyful, faithful, good and self-controlled. That’s beauty. That’s truth. That’s great thinking.