It’s so flattering to get complements, so why don’t girls say “thank you,” and believe the complement is genuine? I’ve even caught myself doing it. “Who is this really?” I thought for sure it was a friend playing a prank on me through a mutual friend’s account. In my defense, what 20 year olds talk like this?

“Your beauty is so rare that an Italian painter summed it up. He said that beauty is the summation of everything working in such a way that nothing is needed to be added, subtracted, or altered. And that is you. You are beauty.”

Incredibly flattering, but you can see how I’d be suspicious. Guys, at least the ones I know, don’t (except for this occurrence) talk like this. Still, why couldn’t I have said “wow, that’s flattering thank you.” So what if it had been a friend playing a joke on me?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” is one of my favorite quotes, but I realize it goes both ways. No one can make you feel beautiful or intelligent without your consent either. So what’s our problem? Instead of looking at ourselves and trying to figure out why we don’t have self confidence, we like to point to “unrealistic expectations of body image.” Umm… I played with Barbies; I never expected my legs to be three times as long as my torso. I assume girls with Bratz dolls don’t expect their heads and eyes will swell to become drastically disproportionate to their body.

I know I’m not the best at accepting complements, but Barbie is not the problem, neither is America’s Next Top Model. Certainly, we need strong role models we can look up to and aspire to be, but we also need a foundation of internal confidence. If we’re always looking outside of ourselves, there will always be someone telling us we’re not good enough.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne

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