Below is a powerful guest post from Crystal on how she grew to see and love herself as perfectly imperfect. With flawless-looking photos of models across the internet, Crystal’s experience of struggling to try to meet an unrealistic standard of beauty may sound familiar.
All of my life I was always trying to be perfect in every way, shape, and form. In my eyes if I was not the best at something then I was the worst. I felt a lot of pressure from a very young age; as the oldest of twelve grandchildren, I always tried to live up to the expectations of others.
I am half Turkish and have always had dark hair, brown eyes, and lots of curves. While I grew to embrace my features, they didn’t meet the standard of beauty I was raised with. I was an 80’s baby and in the 90’s Kate Moss and other blonde, blue eyed, and incredibly skinny models were the standard of beauty at the time. I was none of these things, yet everyone around me seemed to be.
I felt like I did not belong. I turned to drug and alcohol. All of that fear and insecurity disappeared the second I put a drink or substance in my body. I finally fit in somewhere… but with the wrong crowd and wrapped up in the wrong things. The drugs and alcohol worked for a while but quickly turned on me. I was alone and depressed. And I hated myself, even more so than before. It was then that I reached my bottom and desperately needed help. I was lucky enough to get the treatment I needed and the tools to begin my journey in recovery and my new way of life.
Don’t get me wrong I have had red, purple, brown, and highlighted my hair. This for me is a form of self-expression and not trying to fit into some sort of mold that society or anyone else tells me I should fit into. The difference is that today I love myself for exactly who I am – perfectly imperfect. How I look, the number on the scale, what I wear… none of this matters. What matters today is how I treat others, my word, my grace, and love for myself and others.
Crystal Hampton, MS, B.Ed., is a 37-year-old avid writer from South Florida. She loves snuggling with her teacup Yorkie Gator and boyfriend Adam. She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.
We should learn to love and accept ourself then only we can love anything else. I do believe everyone is perfect in their own way. Everyone is special, no one can take their place and role in the society. Don’t get easily influenced by standards that has been set by others. Set your own standards. Anyways nice post and writer is beautiful too 😊
Richa I could not have said it better myself! I truly believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls and that happiness shines through! Thank you for your kind words!
Lovely post by an amazing writer. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you that means a lot! I am grateful to be able to share my story!
Beautiful post by this young woman. I remember growing up in the 1960s kids in my neighborhood and at school would call me The Black Twiggy.
Twiggy was a very famous and very thin model during the 1960s and 1970s. I absolutely hated being called skinny. In my culture weight is a good thing. Most Southern folks refer to slim or thin as being Po’ meaning that you don’t have enough weight on you for the or.
Most Ladies of African descent are full figured. Being too thin is considered a sign of sickness. During the time I worked in an Office my coworkers were always leaving me food, snacks and cans of Ensure which is a food supplement. Finally I began to gain weight in my 40s
I was overjoyed! Now I will never be fat or overweight because both my parents were thin People and the majority of my family slim. Therefore my DNA keeps me petite. Next month February I will turn 60. Glad for the curves I gained during my 40s and 50s.
Thank you for your kind words! One of my best friends struggles with the same thing! She is naturally thin and people are constantly telling her to “eat something” and telling her she is too thin. Telling people they are too think is just as damaging as telling someone they need to lose weight!
Thank you. Women no matter what race or ethnic Group are subject to so much judgement.
We are more than our weight. Much of weight is determined by DNA, Genetics and Yes race. I have many friends who are Japanese. Asians tend to be smaller people. Every ethnic Group is different. So when I order my Halloween costume which are made overseas I must order a size Large.
Wow! So lucky she is able to share her story and help others! Great post!
Anne I am so grateful I am able to share my story and help other women! It truly is a gift!
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Crystal! And thank you for posting it, Christy. I love the perfectly imperfect mantra. It’s so true. I struggle with perfectionism, less than I used to. Part of it was/is being an only child, and I didn’t want to disappoint my parents. But, now, at 30, I’m so happy in my own skin, and being my loud, enthusiastic, goofy self. Thank you!
Thank you so much for sharing your story.
This article is beautiful. Its sad that society has such a toxic effect on us sometimes, teaching us that looks deserve rewards! I’m so happy you were able to end your journey positively
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