Repeat After Me: You’re pretty

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To say I’d kill for Kendall Jenner’s body is an understatement. I don’t understand how these models look the way that they do and why I can’t look like that, too. 

Every day I see images of over-the-top beautiful people, and I wonder what it is like to look completely beautiful. Why didn’t I get the right genes? Do I look the way I do because I don’t work out enough? Do I need to learn how to do my makeup differently? Am I too much of something, or too little of something else? 

I obsess over why I wasn’t created to fit the picture-perfect image of the models, celebrities and influencers who are at the forefront of our media. I can’t ever figure out why I didn’t turn out the way they did. I look closely at every image, searching for the secret formula for beauty. 

But, in all honesty, it’s not just famous people that I compare my looks to. Everyday people, especially those who pass me on campus, attend the same classes as me and join the same organizations I am in are just as easy to compare myself to. I get so jealous of everyone else. 

And while I usually feel like taking pity on myself, often feeling bad for not being gifted the “right” body or face to fit the standard, I know my frustration actually stems from my lack of self-confidence. 

I don’t remember the last time I felt pretty. 

I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be totally and utterly confident in myself. I constantly pick and point out the flaws I see in my body, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one.  

I have been so wrapped up in comparisons to a point where I can’t even list five things I like about myself. I constantly doubt my looks and style. I slowly feel like I’m withering away from my true personality. 

While I would love to stand on my soapbox and recite an inspirational self-help-styled speech about how everyone is beautiful in their own way, I just don’t feel like that would amount to anything. We all have insecurities, and I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon.  

We are so consumed by social media, advertising and everyday life. As a result, we just can’t help but compare ourselves to each other. I think we’re long past the solution of using inspirational Pinterest quotes to make us feel better. 

So, instead of a cheesy self-confidence hooray, I have a request for you. Compliment someone. Please. Make someone feel good. Even if you always compliment people, really let them know how stunning they appear to you. I’ll start. 

To the person in SLUG who always has the most beautiful outfits, your style is impeccable and I wish I had your creativity. To the person who lives on my floor that I often pass in the hallway, I love the curls in your hair and you wear the cutest dresses. To the person who recently shaved their head on campus, you rock short hair like no one else.  

To my friends, your smiles always light up my day and you are the most gorgeous people in my life. I am so grateful I live in a community filled with such glowing people. I wish each and every one of you knew your self-worth. 

I will admit that sometimes I get too shy to compliment someone. While my compliments in this article aren’t equal to me saying them in person, I hope it’s a start.  

I’m sure that sometime in the future I will start feeling better about my appearance. While I would like that to happen right now, that type of progress is tricky and takes time. As I slowly work to love and accept myself as is, I will show my appreciation for the constant beauty I see in others. Our community could use a little more love, so let’s start giving it out in handfuls. 

Everyone I see at this school is so beautiful. You all have amazing qualities, both physical and personality-wise. Although your appearance is the least interesting and important thing about yourself (I promise you it is), I hope you realize just how many people wish they were you. 

Loving yourself is a difficult journey. So, while you slowly get to that place of self-confidence and self-acceptance, I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re pretty, inside and out.