No man is an island. I remember hearing this phrase when I was young and not really understanding what was meant by it. Now of course, I am older and more experienced, if not necessarily wiser and I know all too well what it means. We can pretend that we don't care what others think of us, (and in some cases of course we shouldn't), but in the end we are creatures of society and the feedback we get from others help form our view of ourselves throughout our lives. The trick, of course, is learning who to listen to and who to ignore. Somehow, as Julia Roberts character in 'Pretty Woman' says, it's easier to believe the bad things.
Learning to take a compliment with grace and believing it to be true was one of the hardest things for me to learn, especially when it was out of sync with what I believed to be true, with what I had learnt to be true from the feedback I had received. Growing up, I was considered a 'homely' child, a plain Jane and was often called an ugly duckling. I wore ugly national health service glasses. My mother cut my mousy hair short and I was always an unconventional child. Meanwhile my sister, had long flowing golden hair which was admired by all and I was always unfavourably compared with her.
I carried this self image around for many years and it took a long time to change it. Stopping reading womens magazines was a big help as these were images of women who I could never hope to emulate. It may sound stupid but it took me a long time to cotton onto the fact that these women spent hours having professional make-up and hair done and then were favourably lit and photographed and then touched up as well! Well, duh! Have you ever seen a super model without this treatment. She looks human doesn't she? I haven't really read a womans magazine for years. I consider them to be a mezzanine in Dante's Inferno.
Everyone has things about themselves that they would like to change. Some resort to surgery, others learn to live with their flaws. It depends on the person, it depends on the flaw I guess. I have learned to also focus on the things I like about myself. I have nice eyes, I think. An interesting green colour with flecks of hazel and grey around the pupil. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe this. So go and take a look in the mirror :)