Let’s face it: teen girls have a lot of expectations deal with when it comes to looking “pretty”, even if it’s just an ordinary school day. It’s tricky to navigate a world where we’re taught to prioritize nice hair over a sleep in, picking out a perfect outfit over eating breakfast or putting a specific amount of make-up on each morning, not too much, not too little.
You’re never going to meet everyone’s standards, and really the most important opinion of you is your own. With this in mind, here are my top 10 tips for becoming even prettier, because a confident gal is always stunning.
- Stop picking apart your appearance in the mirror every day. If you’re going to use one for make-up and hair keep it short and sweet, and don’t keep a mirror in your bedroom if you can help.
- Stop taking selfies if they make you feel gross about yourself. It’s not mandatory.
- Look for the good in other people. It’ll make you more appreciative of the good within yourself. Remember that you’re your own worst critic.
- On that, look for the good in yourself. What are your talents? Your best qualities? Your unique features?
- Focus on the positive. Spend more time thinking about the things you want to learn, do, be and have. Focusing on the good that’s yet to come is always more productive than focusing on whether or not your thighs have gotten bigger or your acne’s gotten worse.
- Actually focus on your school work for goodness’ sake! You’re at school to learn, and you can do that with or without perfect brows. You’re intelligent and funny and beautiful and that doesn’t change depending on whether or not you look perfect.
- Hang out with people that make you feel good about yourself. If your friends give you any reason to feel insecure about your appearance, you need new friends.
- Have fun. People are always prettiest with a smile and a sparkle in their eye, don’t take yourself so seriously.
- Remember you don’t exist to look pretty. You don’t owe it to anyone. You can literally look however you want, it’s all up to you.
- Stop trying to impress people. This one’s massive, honestly. If people don’t value you for you, they’re not people you want around anyway.
You’ll notice none of these recommendations depend on anyone other than yourself. I firmly believe that when you stop worrying about what other people think it frees up so much of your time and headspace.
I used to be someone that did my make-up every day before school (thought there’s no problem with that, as long as it’s your jam and you’re happy) and it took so much time and always put me in a bad mood because I couldn’t get it quite right. I’ve stopped doing that and now I’ve got an extra 20 minutes that I can use for reading, putting extra thought into a healthy school lunch, eating breakfast or sleeping. Not gonna lie, it’s usually for sleeping.
The bottom line isn’t about make-up being evil. It’s about really considering whether certain activities are actually bringing you joy or whether they’re just wasting your time and making you feel worse about yourself. Worst case scenario, fake it til you make it. Pretend you have the best damn self esteem in the world and go conquer. You’ll soon realize everyone’s too caught up in their own insecurities to notice yours.