Growing up in a house full of girls in Kaduna, Nigeria I thought that only beautiful people got everything that they wanted. Although my definition of beauty was utterly flawed. It was mostly due to the fact that I lived and grew up around siblings who thought that beauty was everything and who mostly verbally abused me because I was not beautiful enough for them. Of course that's all crap right now because I soon came to realize that not only was I beautiful on the outside, the only beauty that truly matters is the beauty that comes from within. Not trying to brag or something, but sister/brother I got more than enough of that too! Why is this post necessary? Who cares anyway? You may be thinking. This is necessary because more people need to know that they don't have to alter their physical appearances to be more beautiful so that they can ultimately marry someone who will make them happy. If physical beauty was all it took to have happy marriages, how would you explain the millions of divorces happening around the world? Better still, how could you explain the millions of marriageable aged single beautiful women around the world? No sir/ma'am, being physically beautiful/attractive is not the deciding factor of happiness and a fulfilling life.
I don't know how this happened to me but going through the things I went through actually made me a better person. It taught me to dig deep because most of the siblings I had around me were not good enough to be my role models. I wanted to look up to people who actually lived the way they preached. I learn better when I watch people lead by example because talk is cheap! That's what many of my siblings and the people I grew up around had. They were like a bunch of empty drums that beat the loudest. For instance, they said that I was not good enough for anything yet, when they needed letters written to their boyfriends, they ran to me to write those letters for them. They said I was not beautiful, yet they were mad when their some of their friends and boyfriends would call me beautiful. I actually eavesdropped once on one of them scolding her boyfriend for telling me that I was beautiful. Her explanation was that it would get into my head. Wait what?! So it is okay to try so hard to break my confidence and destroy my self-esteem but not okay to complement or appreciate my god-given talents? I thought that was ridiculous. I think that moment was pivotal for me. Prior to that moment, I used to feel like I was not good enough for anything. I allowed myself to swallow all of the hate and negativity that was coming to me because there was no way I could stay away from the perpetrators. After I made a conscious effort to embrace myself just as I am and not pay attention to what the haters in my family were saying, I rose above it. I began to see the beauty in me inwardly and outwardly. Instead of trying to bleach my skin like some of them, I embraced my natural ebony skin. Instead of chasing after boys, i spent hours studying and reading. Instead of partying and hanging out all night, doing useless stuff, I spent hours practicing my basketball skills. The older I got the more I saw the need to invest in my inner beauty and knowledge. The so called beautiful ones were going in and out of relationships and getting in fights or getting beat up by their boyfriends. If that was what beauty brought upon women, I said to myself, I didn't want to have anything to do with it.
If physical beauty were everything, then there wouldn't be as many divorces in Hollywood. I chose Hollywood because it is very highly glamorized. Investing more in physical beauty that is fleeting and wrinkles with age is the poorest investment anyone could ever make. More people should invest in the inner beauty that lasts forever. Learn to treat people right, and learn to embrace and love yourself the way that you are, regardless of other people's opinion. Learn to be content with what you have, while working hard for what you need. Learn to make friends with people who care about you unconditionally, not those who come around only when you hit a jackpot. I had to learn to embrace myself when no one else would. I learned to pursue what matters in life when everyone else around depended on someone else to satisfy their needs. I can't believe how much I have learned by myself and how far I have come, just by embracing myself and choosing to do things differently than those around me. It was and hasn't always been easy but being brave and courageous was all I could be. It was either that or succumbing to the stupidity and hate around me. I'm not afraid to be the only one with a different opinion in a group. I don't know who you are reading this, but I want you to know that you are beautiful and worthwhile. Don't believe the lies of those around you telling you that people who look like you can't make it or that you don't deserve to be happy. What you should know is that those voices and people telling you that you are not worthy are the ones who are afraid that they are not worthy. They don't want you to be happy or successful because they can't be or choose not to be. For this reason, try as much as you can to block their negative voices from polluting your mind and limiting the amount of time you spend around them.
Finding love and happiness have a lot to do with your inner beauty; your true beauty. It doesn't matter how you look physically. There is someone special out there for you. When you decide to improve your looks or work on yourself, do it for you. Don't be motivated to look good for a man or woman because they could walk out of your life. Be motivated to improve your lifestyle for yourself because you are a person and you are worth your love and attention. Your happiness should not be dependent on other people. I don't know how I came down to happiness again. Well, my desire is that more women would invest more time in taking care of themselves for themselves instead of someone else. Also, more women should invest more time and energy in the beauty that never fades- inner beauty instead of the physical one. Don't get me wrong, don't be unkempt and nonchalant about your look either. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to balance it up with caring for your heart and soul.