The Things I Hated About Myself Were What He Found Most Attractive

It’s so strange that sometimes the very things you dislike about yourself are what others find beautiful and interesting. That’s what happened with a guy I dated and it taught me a lot about those so-called flaws I thought I had.

  1. I tried to hide what I hated about myself. From long before meeting this guy, I always tried to hide the fact that I didn’t like my body and I’d straighten my hair to within an inch of its life because I hated the fact that hair is naturally curly. It took a lot of work and I didn’t even realize how stressful it was to feel insecure all the freaking time.
  2. A guy I dated pointed out one of my flaws. On my second date with this guy, we decided to go for a walk when it started to drizzle. I tried to shield my hair so that it wouldn’t puff out and become curly but he noticed it. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I was so insecure about my hair that this made me want to run away from him. Whenever someone saw my hair in its natural state, I felt so ugly. My insecurity was really holding me back.
  3. He actually complimented it. Instead of criticizing my locks the way I was always hating on them, he told me that my hair was beautiful. He even said it actually looked better curly than straight. It was weird hearing him compliment one of the things that I disliked about myself but it felt amazing.
  4. It made me see things differently. It was quite liberating to realize that maybe, just maybe, the things I hated about myself actually weren’t so bad. Maybe I was just making them much more dramatic and negative than they needed to be. Sure, I might dislike that I don’t have super-straight hair or big boobs, but they’re not actually flaws. Why should I give them a negative label? They’re not something to be ashamed about and they can actually be beautiful. Beauty comes in so many different forms.
  5. I wasted so much time on things that didn’t truly matter. I’ve come to realize that I was probably holding onto my flaws and worrying about them so much because of toxic people in the past who’d made me feel terrible about them. For example, the ex who wanted to buy me a boob job really messed with my self-confidence. I dumped him but sadly didn’t dump the emotional baggage from his comments.
  6. The real flaw is my self-hatred. Finally being around someone who loved what I considered to be my flaws (small breasts included), I realized that the real problem wasn’t having flaws, per se, but the way they were bringing down my self-confidence. I was allowing my negative thoughts about them to bring me down and make me insecure.
  7. I finally felt worthy of love. It’s amazing how being loved by someone made me see worth in myself instead of things that I thought could be improved. It’s just sad that it took someone else to make me come to that realization. I should’ve been able to love myself unconditionally without needing a guy to point out my great qualities.
  8. His positive attitude rubbed off on me. This guy showed me that all the negative traits I thought I had actually had a really positive spin on them. This was even the case for personality traits. For example, instead of trying to hide my anxiety or feel ashamed by it, I could see the value it had brought to my life. The truth was, it really did help me at times. For example, sometimes it was like a stress detector, informing me that I was allowing too much drama into my life and had to look after myself.
  9. There’s power in embracing “flaws.” He didn’t magically take away my negative feelings about the qualities I disliked about myself—no one has that power—but he did help me realize the beauty in embracing what I consider to be flaws. It’s so freeing! When I can accept my hair, height, and whatever else I wish was different about myself, those things no longer have dark, restraining power over me.
  10. My “flaws” make me unique. Some days I’m actually glad I have qualities that set me apart from the crowd. They might not be beautiful according to my definition, but they definitely give me an edge. I’ve started saying “uniqueness” instead of “flaws.” It’s so much more positive and filled with self-love. There are enough things in the world to feel bad about. My body and personality shouldn’t be two of them. I should be lifting myself up instead of bringing myself down! The most important thing to remember is that I’m worthy of love from myself and others no matter what.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.