When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?
Imperfections? Blemishes? Scars? Wrinkles?
Is it normal to think you’re not beautiful enough, fit enough, strong enough, good enough? Has social media and celebrities set such high standards that we find ourselves criticizing the smallest of flaws?
For as long as I could remember I have always hated my dark complexion. The proliferation of "light-skinned" models/celebrities in the media makes it difficult for girls like me to believe I was beautiful. Why? The lack of representation of my color in the beauty or showbiz industry made me feel schlocky. Many cultures, including my own (I'm Filipino), obsess over the idea of lighter skin. In fact, lighter skin is considered an essential characteristic of "beauty" in many cultures. Many women (and sometimes even men) obsess to the point of using cosmetics creams and soaps. Unfortunately, the idea that "white is beautiful" has been ingrained in me at such a great young age and silly old me for thinking that skin whitening soap, holding an umbrella while swimming at the beach, or wearing a hoodie 24/7 (including when hiking) would resolve the issue.
It was not until I moved to the states did I come to realize the beauty in diversity. I was exposed to all sorts of women of color from many different cultures. Not only are they beautiful on the outside, but many tell a deeper story that has allowed me to embrace and accept my skin color. More importantly, it has taught me the true meaning of "Dark is Beautiful!."
Insecurities have damaged the way we look at ourselves and this perception can only be fixed once we accept our internal beauty. Then, and only then, will we be able to truly see our selves as beautiful because everyone, no matter the color, the shape or race, is beautiful.
Hello, I'm Grace Anne and I photograph With Love. Over time, I will be documenting stories of all the beautiful women I encounter. Join me on my journey to uncover more stories. Subscribe to my blog!
With love, Grace Anne