Anonymous: For so long, I was a shy, ugly duckling who was bullied by others, but now that I am older, I own who I am, and I am upfront about my feelings. And recently, two years ago to be exact, I had a makeover and it took me from ugly duckling status to gorgeous. I have blue eyes, blonde hair, thick lips, and thick hips. And for some reason, my friends, instead of championing me, call me out over everything. They tell me I look like a thot, that I wear too much makeup and that I’m hiding my true self behind a social media facade.

They say they are concerned about me and that I might not be leading ‘the best’ life. They think I’m fake and not owning who I am. It makes me very sad to hear the things my friends say. I feel let down that my friends aren’t for me or on my side. I feel that they are wanting me to dim my light as well as be less me. They want me to change into someone I’m not and they are upset at me for being who I am. What do you think? Are my friends right?

I am sorry you feel let down and vilified by your friends, but if there’s no enemy within then there’s no enemy without. It doesn’t matter how others view you or how others perceive you, it’s always about how you view yourself. I have a question for you, if you were to gain 50lbs tomorrow and lose your hair from a medical ailment, would you still love yourself? Think long and hard about your answer and be completely honest.

I believe most people would say no, which would point to a conditional love. A conditional love is a love that is based upon the ideologies of how society wants us to be and how society defines beauty. And if we meet society’s standards then we are loved and worthy of being loved but if we don’t then we’re not worthy. Not worthy of the love of others let alone the love that we could and should give ourselves. 

If the answer to the question I posed is no, would the love you have for yourself be unconditional or conditional? Once again, if there’s no enemy within then there’s no enemy without. Meaning that if you were truly secure in yourself and who you are, it wouldn’t matter what anyone said, and you would know for a fact that your friends were wrong. I know it may be hard to hear how your ‘loved ones perceive you but again, the only opinion that matters is yours. So, why are you giving light to the opinions of others?

I don’t mean to come off harsh, but I see it so much nowadays, especially with the invention of Instagram and social media. There’s a false sense of self-worth that pervades our society that is based upon looks and a defined set of standards of what beauty is. Who says you weren’t beautiful before you became “Gorgeous” by society’s definition? 

And you are worthy, you always have been, but not because of your looks. But because you are a powerful Divinely guided spiritual being having an amazing experience. Because you are an amazing being, no matter how society has tried to define you or what box society tries to place you in.

And when we derive our self-worth from our appearance its’ a conditional worth, a conditional love. If we aren’t perfect, perfectly coiffed, perfectly behaved, we aren’t worthy. So, we always have to strive for more. More acceptance and more validation that feeds our ego but not our spirits. So, once again, is the current love you have for yourself conditional or unconditional?

And you might have been “shy and ugly” in the eyes of others, but life is not about loving yourself based upon how others treat you or perceive. Life is all about how you perceive yourself! And if the way you perceive yourself or validate your worth, is based on your looks, you may want to go back to the drawing board and start over. 

And self-love based upon window dressing instead of what lies within is a conditional love, not an unconditional one. We all desire to truly love ourselves, to love every aspect of ourselves, but the path to truly loving one’s self does not begin from changing our outer appearance then loving ourselves. It begins with a love that comes from within, a love that is not based upon looks, money, occupation, accomplishments, the opinions of others or how others treat us.

I have another question for you, if you hadn’t ‘improved’ your looks, would you still speak up and voice your opinion? Is your confidence based upon your looks? Are your looks giving you the ability to speak up and voice your opinion? As you’ve said, you were once shy and I’m just wondering if your current personality came to the forefront once you changed your looks and your looks fell in line with society’s standards. 

Your friends are wrong for name-calling and their manner of telling you their concerns may be off, but if you don’t believe there is any truth to anything they are saying, why are you upset? And honestly, it doesn’t matter what your friends think. Who cares. It’s always about how you feel about yourself. Once again, if there’s no enemy within then there’s no enemy without. Trust and live by that.

Honestly, there’s a reason you are upset, and I believe this situation with your friends is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s something here that isn’t being dealt with or discussed and you have to get to the bottom of it. It’s imperative that you go within and sit with your feelings. Dig deep down and question your actions and your thoughts about your worth and your ability to be loved. Something’s telling me that all is not as it seems when it comes to your self-love and your self-confidence.

No one has the ability or the power to make you doubt yourself unless you give them that power. So, are you or have you given your power away? Did you begin giving your power away whenever you changed your appearance to fit in with society? Did you give your power away to be loved and validated? Did you begin giving your power away when you agreed with your ‘ugly duckling’ status? Did you begin giving your power away when you began behaving in a manner that wasn’t authentically you?

Maybe all that I am saying has no bearing on your life and I’m just reaching, but I don’t think that’s the case. You may want to sit with yourself and what I’ve said and just ponder the questions I’ve broached and your answers. 

More questions that I believe will do you some good are:

  • How do you define beauty?
  • What is beautiful to you?
  • What is beautiful about you?
  • Why are you beautiful?
  • Who told you that you weren’t beautiful before you changed and why did you believe them?
  • Now that you’ve changed, do you love yourself more than you did before the makeover. If so, why?

I know, I know. I’ve given you a lot to think about but it’s all coming from a place of love. Just know that there are people out there who loved you before the makeover and I guarantee you they don’t love you more because you’ve changed your appearance. They love you and will always love you because of what is within your heart. Never forget that! So, good luck pondering all those questions and just know that I’m rooting for you! I wish you well on your journey and good luck with your next steps!

“I was a shy, ugly duckling who was bullied by others…”