Stop taking photos of yourselves. Selfies. Whatever they are called.
If you keep up at the rate that you are going, you will have one million pictures of yourself by the time you are twenty four!
That is a lot of you.
Too much of you.
Too much looking at yourself.
Too much doing your hair, spending hours on your makeup, dressing just right. Too much getting that perfect angle so your nose doesn't look too big, that break out doesn't show, the bangs hang just right, the lips pursed just so. Too much posing-the legs crossed so you look thinner, the hips jutted out, the stomach sucked in, the chest out, chin down. The angle, don't forget the angle is everything-one wrong move and your stomach, oh no! All for a photo!
Too much scrutiny, way too much pressure! What will others think of this one particular picture (out of the thousands they've already seen)? "Is it sexy enough that I'll get enough 'likes'? Do I look my best ever? Are my eyelashes long enough, my lips full enough, my thighs skinny enough, my complexion flawless?"
Stop thinking about you, you, you.
Here's what you need to know:
The people who love you, truly love you, love you in person.
That means they know what you look like in real life. They've seen you without makeup, they've seen what your hair looks like when you first wake up. They can pick you out of a crowd of one hundred girls just by the way you swing your arms when you walk, the slightest difference in your posture. They don't have a favorite side, angle or pose. They love your real smile-the smile you use when the camera isn't on you and there is a big difference. Their hearts fill with love for you when you walk in the door. Their heart breaks with yours when something hurtful happens to you. They don't scrutinize your appearance, they care about how you are feeling inside.
And they love it the most when you aren't trying so hard to be someone else they don't even know. They love you because you are unique-they love most especially what makes you different.
And do you know when you look your best?
When you are caring for others.
When you are listening to your grandfather talk about something that doesn't really interest you. When you are reading a book to your little brother again, or trying to decipher your toddler cousin's gibberish. When you are having an honest conversation with your parents and your eyes sparkle, when you are sharing funny stories of your friends, or what happened at work and your smile crinkles your eyes. When your face lights up instantly when you see someone you love. When you take the time to brighten the cashier's day or give a stranger a compliment, or lend a shoulder to cry on, or are friendly to shy classmate.
See, this is you...
you not thinking about you.
You are doing, sharing, learning, helping, listening to SOMEONE ELSE.
Girls, this is the key to beauty.
This is the KEY TO BEAUTY.
These are the girls real men fall in love with (the men worth marrying), these are the girls who find friendships that last a lifetime, these are girls who have the time to discover their talents and gifts and use them for the betterment of mankind, these are the girls that end up with rich fulfilling beautiful lives surrounded by those that love them for who they really are.
Don't spend so much time on your outside that you forget the real you inside, which is the source of your beauty.
Take pictures of yourself having fun with your friends but don't pose, one day you will treasure those memories and wonder where the time went. Take candid photos with your arms around your parents, you will treasure those as well. Make your grandparents take a selfie with you, now you will laugh, but one day you will shed tears over that photo and wish you would have asked them one hundred more questions to learn from their experiences. Take a picture of yourself with your siblings-that photo will make you crack up one day when it happens that you all find yourselves in one house again, suddenly grown up with families of your own.
There is no harm in collecting memories.
But then stop.
Become yourself by doing for others.
Live your life in service to others.
And a magical thing will happen-every day you stop thinking about you, you will become more and more beautiful. Inside and outside. If you don't believe me, just try it.
Start living and stop posing.
The world needs you desperately.