I Used To Be Jealous Of Conventionally Beautiful Women—Here’s How I Got Over It

It was hard not to compare myself to all the gorgeous women on TV, in magazines, and on social media as I dug my spoon into a pint of ice cream with my pajamas on, bare-faced and with untamed hair. This insecurity was overpowering to the point that I started seeing attractive women as enemies. After years of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to take control.

  1. I stopped seeing other women as competition. I realized that I don’t have to meet a standard set of qualifications to be beautiful. I learned to stop obsessing over my looks and trying to achieve the media’s unrealistic image of female beauty. Instead, I started celebrating other women by appreciating their incredible taste in fashion or their luck in terms of genetics. Just because someone is beautiful doesn’t mean I’m not.
  2. I started taking care of my health. My body is an instrument and I have to take good care of it. I started eating green leafy vegetables, fruits, and I lessened my sugar and dairy intake. By consuming healthy foods, my skin started to look better, my body felt stronger, and my mood began to change. I started enjoying life a lot more simply by virtue of putting nutritious food in my body.
  3. I practiced self-approval. Whenever I notice that I’m feeling desperate for someone else’s approval, praise, likes and retweets, I take a step back and take a breather. I remind myself that other people’s opinions, thoughts, and feelings about my life don’t really matter. This doesn’t mean that I distance myself from people I love, but I have to constantly remind myself that I can love while still valuing myself first and shutting out external negativity. Accepting and loving myself is part of the process of getting over jealousy. Feeling beautiful starts with self-acceptance. I widened my definition of beauty and as a result, I became much more confident.
  4. I surrounded myself with supportive people. I used to have friends who continually pointed out all my flaws. It took a while for me to realize that these “friends” were part of the reason I feel so bad about myself. Once I realized that they weren’t good for me, I said my goodbyes and didn’t look back. Today, I surround myself with family and friends who remind me of what’s good and unique about myself. These trusted few are able to lift me up without dragging other people down.
  5. I gave more genuine compliments. I stopped obsessing over what other women have that I don’t. Instead, I started being happy for these women whenever they get compliments and started celebrating their successes. I became generous in giving compliments and in turn, I started feeling better about myself. I acknowledge that these gorgeous, confident women are on a different path from me but that both of our journeys are valuable and wonderful in their own ways.
  6. I faked it ’til I made it. I started faking my self-confidence. Whenever I met pretty women, I didn’t let my insecurities show. Instead, I held myself high, smiled confidently, and spoke my mind even when I was shriveling inside thinking about all the physical attributes I didn’t have. Eventually, after a while of faking self-confidence, I started gaining it for real and it felt amazing.
  7. I focused on positive thinking. It is so easy to complain about how I look to my family and friends. I used to do it constantly, obsessing over what I didn’t like about my face or my body. One day I realized that it’s unhealthy to keep destroying myself. I made a promise to myself that I would stop being overly critical and start thinking positively. Whenever I think of something I want to complain about, I replace it with what I actually love about myself. I keep a list in my head of all my strengths and positive attributes so I’ll never forget them.
  8. I moved my body regularly. I used to be kinda lazy, but these days I make sure that I exercise at least twice a week. Doing physical activity gives me confidence that stays with me throughout the day. Whenever I’m able to achieve a fitness goal like lifting a weight heavier than before, I feel strong and capable. Plus, exercise releases happy hormones which helps improve my mood significantly.
  9. I focused on myself for once. Instead of fixating on ideal beauty standards, I started focusing on myself. I acknowledged the fact that everyone has an opinion, but I chose to tune them out. I stopped pushing myself to conform into the mold that other people made and I stopped trying to please everyone. I realized that the person I need to worry about satisfying is myself and I’ve never been happier.
Reichell Labadan is a writer by day, reader by night. Rei is also an advocate for women's health and empowerment. Follow her on twitter @reiwrites