Society is constantly trying to tell us we need to change ourselves, and I’m here to tell you that that’s a load of BS.

For a long time, I bought into this idea. I figured that if people said negative things about my appearance or personality that I needed to change to gain their approval. However, thanks to the recent advice of some incredible people, I’ve chosen to stop buying into this nonsense and instead buy into totally and completely being myself.

This past Tuesday I attended Alessia Cara‘s concert at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. I’m a huge fan of Alessia’s music, and at only 20 years old she’s already accomplished so much. One of her songs is titled “Scars To Your Beautiful.” It’s all about body image and how distorted our perceptions of ourselves can become based on what we’ve learned from society over the course of our lives. Before performing the song, Alessia gave a beautiful speech about what it meant to her and what she hoped for the audience to get out of it. My favorite quote from the speech was, “if the world tells you you need to change, then I think it’s about time they change their perspective.” Alessia comes off as a very authentic person which I think is amazing in a world that is filled with so many people trying to be anything but themselves. She doesn’t need crazy hair or makeup teams or fancy clothing to show herself to the world.

Alessia is also partnered with a wonderful organization called I Am That Girl. It was founded by Alexis Jones and is focused around helping women ages 14 to 20 to find self-love and build up and support themselves and those around them. Alexis wrote a book with the same name as her organization and I’m in the process of reading it! Chapter 4 is titled “be unpopular.” It starts with a quote by E.E. Cummings: “Forget conventionalism; forget what the world will say, whether you are in your place or out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, do your best work, looking only to your OWN conscience for approval.” I’ve been working hard to accept this idea because I’ve always thrived on the approval of others, which can be pretty toxic. Now that I’ve started looking inside my own heart for approval, I’ve definitely seen improvements in my level of happiness. It’s not easy to forget some of the beliefs that have been instilled in us since we were toddlers, but it is so worth it.

The world is a much better place when it’s full of authentic, real people. Speak your mind, love yourself fiercely, and wear your favorite shirt even if you’re the only one who likes it – after all, the only person we will definitely be with forever in this life is ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to thrive off our own self love and self acceptance instead of buying into the toxic BS of how the media wants us to believe that we need to look or act a certain away.
You are beautiful just as you are, no matter what anyone else says. Never feel like you need to change yourself for anyone because you are enough.

Like Colleens’s article? Check out more of her articles on The Odyssey Online Self Love Beauty community.

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