I don’t often show my face in photos because I bought into a bullshit story a long time ago that my face wasn’t worthy of being seen. As a kid, I was awkward-looking and often mistaken for a boy. As an adult, a man I had given my world and my worth to looked at me one morning and bluntly said “I didn’t realize when I first met you, how ‘Plain Jane’ you really are.” As if I had somehow tricked him into being with me by putting on some mascara.
How awful it must have been for him to wake up next to my bare-face and realize he’d been so devilishly fooled. He tried to change my wardrobe, flirted with other women in front of me, and told me to put more stock in my personal appearance. He also told me I was worthless, that no one would ever take me seriously in my profession, and I would never make it on my own.
Those stories stick. They made me doubt my worth and for far too long, they made me shut up, sit down, and play small. Unwinding these stories from my bones has been a long and challenging process. But I am here to tell you (and tell myself) that you are worthy of being seen. You are worthy and deserving of healthy love. You are worthy of joy. You are worthy of all the goodness this world has to offer. Your existence here on this earth is vital. You offer something unique that no one else can claim.
Surround yourself with people who see the good in you and remind you of it often. And when you need a reminder yourself, repeat these words like a mantra until you believe them with every cell in your being: I am worthy. I am enough. I deserve to take up space in this world.