You are beautiful.

Beauty surrounds us at all times, but sometimes it takes removing the filter to see it. We often wrongly believe that it is needed to look a particular way to be pretty and that you need to be good-looking to have any value. However, that is far from the truth.

The United States has been known as a melting pot for a long time. Each person has their own qualities, quirk, body type, and skin color. Each person is unique and beautiful in their way. But unfortunately, this individual beauty is often ignored by the mold set by the media.

Imagine being a little girl or a teenager and picking up a magazine. The first few pages talk about self-love and living who you are in your skin, but as you go through, there are various articles on losing weight, getting clear skin, the best ways of dying your hair, and pictures of multiple models that all look a certain way. As I am sure many girls can agree, not seeing yourself in what is supposedly pretty definitely takes a toll on you.

That toll is of excruciating diets, hundreds of dollars spent on clothes and hair, multiple visits to the gym, and damaged mental health. These are some of the steps people take to get where they think they should be, all of which can severely affect mental and physical health.

People of all genders struggle with self-acceptance and trying to fit the mold. But the mold is impossible to achieve unless you were already born in a certain way, underwent plastic surgery, or sacrificed your health. Even if you get there, the standards will have changed.

The truth is, everyone is beautiful in their way. Whether you meet the standards or not, you’re still beautiful. Love what you see in the mirror every day. In the end, your opinion is the only one that matters when it comes to yourself.