guide to self esteem

Day in, day out, we are constantly told by the media and by society that we are not beautiful enough, that we are not good enough. With women placed on an extremely high pedestal where they only seem to be valued for their bodies and not their brains, it’s no wonder that so many girls lack self-esteem.

The whole day we are bombarded by ads that remind us that we are not the right size, the right shape, the right colour, or the fact that our noses are too big, our eyes too small, our hips too wide, our skin too dark, and so many other things. We are told that we need makeup, no, that we require it to even be considered beautiful, to even step out of the house. It’s no wonder that so many of us struggle with self-esteem issues.

Everywhere we are surrounded by images of people we may know who share their faces and bodies with us on social media, showing us how beautiful they look, so that we are always aspiring to be something we’re not, so that we are constantly not pleased with ourselves. It’s no wonder we begin to loathe ourselves and our bodies; it’s no wonder we have low self-esteem.

As a girl who grew up in the West and among Western ideals of beauty, I am the first to admit my low-esteem. Even as an adult as I consciously try to reject the perfect ideals of beauty that surround me in society, but subconsciously they still slip in so that I am constantly measuring myself up to other people.

We need to stop this.

The media and the world has corrupted our brains to the degree that we think that we are not beautiful unless we are a 6 foot model with a waist the size of a grapefruit. We think that size zero and fair skin are the epitome of beauty. We think that we are not as beautiful as the girls we see on our screens. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

You are beautiful.

I’m going to say this one more time, you are beautiful. The girl in the mirror. Not the girl on your TV screen or laptop screen or phone screen. You.

Learning to love yourself is a difficult and long road. One that is made difficult by all the images of so-called beauty that surround us. But those images aren’t real. You are.

We all need to stop looking at other people and look at ourselves. You are who you are because God made you that way. And He made you beautiful.

Allah made you the way you are and by hating yourself or the way you look, you are insulting Him. Because God doesn’t make mistakes and by drowning yourself in self-loathing you are telling God that you don’t like what He has created.

None of us are perfect and we need to stop trying to attain perfection, since only Allah is perfect.

So the next time you feel a bout of self-loathing hit, take a moment to write down all the things about yourself that you love. Do it on a piece of paper or a sticky so you can stick it on your mirror. Begin each day telling yourself that you’re beautiful. Look at the list often and remind yourself of the attributes about yourself that you love. Own them.

It sounds cheesy and simplistic, but it’s a simple way for all of us to rebuild our self-esteem, one step at a time. Because if you don’t tell yourself you’re beautiful, then society definitely won’t. And if you won’t love yourself, no one else will.

Don’t hate what you see in the mirror and don’t be ungrateful for the way God made you. Love yourself because Allah loves you.

Keep smiling, beautiful girls!

With love.