21 Things We Wish We Could Tell Our Younger Selves
"Your 'nappy' hair and dark skin are not negatives, and in time you will feel like a goddess because of them."
1. For people who are tall:
"Being really tall is a blessing and a curse, but no matter what you're gonna be tall. Accept it, flaunt it, and own it. Everyone else will get over it. We're all perfect the way we were made."
2. For queens in the making:
"Your 'nappy' hair and dark skin are not negatives, and in time you will feel like a goddess because of them. Stop straightening your hair and don't be afraid to play in the sun!"
3. For those struggling with their body image:
"Your body image is not everything, and no matter what Mom says, THAT LITTLE POOCH IN YOUR TUMMY DOES NOT MATTER. Your body is exactly that — yours. Own it. Love it. Take care of it. TAKE CARE OF IT. (Try to) eat well and exercise, but also pamper yourself every so often. Because life is short. Other people's belittling commentary doesn't matter, and you are a strong, courageous, fierce, independent woman in the making."
—Sarah Dovi, Facebook
4. For those in search of the silver lining:
"That feeling terrible about yourself and your body image is stupid. Someone will love you who for who are, you don't need to change for others. Better things are coming, you just need to face the tough times to find your silver lining."
5. For the kid who just needs to enjoy their youth:
"I would tell myself that thigh gaps are overrated. Your legs will grow longer since you'll be taller in a few years. Your boobs look lumpy because you haven't heard of push-up bras yet. Relax and enjoy being 12."
6. For people who need a reinforcing of what's truly normal:
"It's okay to have a little fat there, and a little there too. And there as well. It's all OK and it's all normal."
7. For breaking gender roles:
"Embrace your masculine and feminine traits; don't try to be one or the other. Your body is not too curvy to be masculine, and your facial features are not too masculine to be feminine and beautiful. Embrace androgyny. What you won't be taught is beauty is subjective and everyone's perceptions of it are so vastly different. So relax, don't try to fit in when you're born to stand out."
8. For the value of friendship:
"You don't weigh too much! And weight doesn't matter, anyway. Your grades matter right now, and your two best friends matter (you'll keep them forever! Take care of those friendships, those girls are so important). Boys don't matter either! Don't focus on them or let them hurt you. You'll find the perfect one soon anyways, and it's no one you know (which is the best thing)."
9. For being yourself:
"You can wear your hair, makeup and clothes however you want if you do it with enough confidence. You have a great sense of style and you are beautiful. The only reason these small-minded people are being cruel to you is because they can't stand to see someone who isn't afraid to be so unapologetically themself."
—Libby Pappendick, Facebook
10. For self love:
"The only opinion that matters about your body is your own. No one can dictate how you feel about yourself. Love yourself!! You are who you are for a reason!
"PS: Don't raise your kids in L.A. Growing up there was detrimental enough."
11. For people with full lips:
"One day your dark skin, gap tooth and big lips (things children teased you about) will be what many other people love you for and most importantly what you'll love about yourself."
—Nombuso Ngubane, Facebook
12. For big and curly hair:
"Love the things that make you unique. Love your big curly hair! Embrace your curves and celebrate them!"
13. For finding comfort in clothes:
"One day, sooner than you know, you'll find people who love you, who love you and your curves. You might have moments of insecurities, but one day you'll learn to accept them and you'll even feel comfortable wearing shorts and crop tops."
14. For people with a dark complexion:
"I know you were made fun of for having a darker skin color compared to your peers, I know it hurt and it's okay if you cry. But know that somewhere in the future there will come a time where that will not matter and you will be respected and looked up to for being the person you are today."
15. For people who aren't confident in their weight:
"I wish I could have told my younger self that it was OK to be overweight. That I am not defined by a number. And I can be confident without hiding my body."
16. For those who have been bullied and teased:
"I would tell my 14-year-old self that she is not ugly or disgusting. That she is smart and kind and that all of those people who are making her feel bad about herself right now don't matter and will never be in her life again. And that she will find amazing, great friends who love her for exactly who she is."
—Marina Holmstead, Facebook
17. For people who are influenced by their mothers:
"More than anything I would tell my mother how beautiful she is and to watch what she says around little ears. What a mother says about her own body really reflects on a child's young mind."
18. For kids who are still growing:
"You will not look like a goofy pool noodle forever. You will learn to love your chicken legs. You don't need bigger boobs. You are so cute. Please love yourself."
19. For people who worry about what others think of them:
"Look how you want to look, don't base your appearance off of what others want to see, make yourself happy!"
20. For those underrepresented in the media:
"You are not going to look like all of your white friends growing up, but you will look like the other beautiful, strong, and fiery Puerto Rican women in your family and they can remind you that you're beautiful even though the media hasn't."
21. Finally, for people who have gained weight:
"You'll gain weight and the world won't shatter around you. You'll even love your body despite the number on your scale being higher than it was in high school (but your jeans still fit and you no longer feel like you're going to pass out all the time)."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.