Close your eyes and picture one of your physical attributes you absolutely despise. Do you see it? Is it your feet? Your nose? Or maybe your stomach? Keep that flaw in mind.
Did you know the world is full of imperfect people? Perhaps you did, or maybe you have never realized that fact before. Not one human being on the face of the planet is perfect. No matter how much they pretend to act or look otherwise.
Why, then, do we all suffer from the epidemic of envy? We each wish for someone else's skin color, body type, eyelash length, muscle mass or long legs.
If we were graded on our journey through life, we would all get an A in finding faults within ourselves. And, not only that, but we'd ace finding imperfections within others as well.
So often we judge others based on their appearances. Whether it is on their clothing or their body, we judge them before we even get to know them. We do this just to give our own self-esteem some security. Venomous comments that target people's looks are found on any social media photo, status or video.
What is it about not feeling comfortable within our own skin?
The cruelty of childhood
Since I was a child, I have had the palest and most colorless skin out of all my friends, my family and most strangers I come across. I let this "flaw" control me for many years because I was so embarrassed by my lack of color. Summer was the time I dreaded most because, while everyone would wear shorts and tank tops, I would wear jeans to hide my pasty legs, and I'd hardly ever show off my arms out of fear of being judged.
My friends used my skin color as a source of entertainment. They would all hold up their arms to mine and comment on how much darker they were than I was. I have had countless people identify me as translucent, pasty, pale, ghost-like and - my personal favorite - invisible.
I have tried to get color in my skin from sunbathing. And, at one unfortunate point in high school, I unknowingly turned my legs yellow from a tinted tanning lotion I had used. I had no idea what color I had turned until a few of my friends asked me if I had jaundice.
And finally, the most memorable comment I got about my skin was from an old man who asked me if it was Halloween because my face was so pale. When I told him no, he continued to gawk at me in disbelief and asked me if I was in good health.
As funny and unbelievable as some of my pale-skin stories are, I have heard everything there is to be said about my skin. My self-confidence suffered for many years because of comments and similar situations. How could someone as pale as I feel beautiful and accepted in a world that values tan skin?
The world's standard of beauty
Unfortunately, the world values certain depictions of beauty above all others. Society believes beauty is only found in a certain body type, a certain way of life or a certain style.
With that standard, no one ever wins. There is always something that does not measure up to expectations.
Take your hate for that one thing (or many things) about yourself, throw it away and do not look back.
The reason you were created
When God created us, he made us the way we are for a reason. If we truly believe he made us all in unique shapes and sizes, why do we constantly want what we were not given? When we are down on ourselves, we are indirectly complaining to God for making us the way He did.
There are a million reasons why God created you the way you are. And your "flaws" and "imperfections" are nothing but the attributes that set you apart from others.
The only people who achieve true perfection, are those who are fully comfortable and confident in their own skin - and not because of the amount of exercise they do, the amount of makeup on their face or the amount of likes on their selfies.
Who you are is on the inside. Embrace your differences. See yourself the way that God sees you. You are his precious creation.
Even though my skin is extremely pale and there will always be those who comment on it, I have learned to accept myself for who I am. I am a dear child to my Father, God. He sees me in a way I cannot fully comprehend. Although I am imperfect in every sense of the word, I am perfect in His eyes.
Through imperfection comes humility. And through weakness comes strength. Everything we face during our time on the earth is shaping us into who God expects us to become in the end.
The greatest truth and confidence booster is realizing that even with all wonders and amazing things in this world, God took the time to also create you. You are a unique, beautiful and irreplaceable creation in his eyes.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.