Inclusivity is something I’ve always been aware of. See, when you’re born differently you become aware of how the world can be pretty unfair and see it through different eyes. There are just those things that you process differently. It doesn’t matter how you’re different, you just know.
If you didn’t already know, I was born with a facial disfigurement called Cystic Hygroma, which I still have now. It’s super rare and it meant my face was swollen with cysts. Before any surgery, my tongue didn’t fit in my mouth and my left cheek was around 3x the size it should have been. Filled with painful cysts. My tongue still isn’t an average size and I’ll always have cysts in my mouth. Sometimes they swell, especially when I get an infection. Not only did I look different, but I was in a lot of pain as a child and went through a lot.
Growing up, I was constantly stared at. To be honest, I still get it now, (though I do like to think they’re wondering what highlight I have on, not at the fact I’m different). My self-confidence could have absolutely plummeted and I could have grown up hating myself, but I didn’t. I was always proud of who I am and my differences. I’ll never be ‘normal’ or perfect. My flaws do not define me, they only make me stronger.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all easy. I do get days where I just feel as though I don’t fit in or I’m unattractive because I look different. I still get self-conscious of my scar or hate my jaw. There are even days I think less of myself because I’m different, although those days are becoming less occurring. There’s a multitude of things I’d happily change about myself at the drop of a hat but you know, life isn’t like that. We shouldn’t focus on what we want to change about ourselves, just what we LOVE.
And you know what? I love my long, thick hair. My blue eyes, my button nose, my kindness. When I think about it, I have more things I love about myself than I dislike. This is why I jumped at the chance to take part of promoting Boohoo’s All Girls campaign. Promoting self-acceptance and inclusivity. All different types of girls.
If you’re struggling with your self-confidence, no matter what it is or why you’re struggling, I promise it will get better. You really do learn to love yourself, but it’s not an overnight thing. My tip? Stop putting yourself down. The less negativity you think about yourself, the more you start to believe and recognise your worth. Life isn’t about changing yourself and becoming the ideal woman that society tells us to. Life is too short to spend your life constantly wanting to change yourself. We have to love ourselves for who we are, who we were born to be.