Working long hours Monday through Friday, the weekends are my time to relax and unwind. I wear a uniform at work so the weekends are also my time to get dolled up and be cute for no reason at all. Whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or a solo night out at the movies, I get cute simply because “I can”.
After a long day of being out of the house, I stopped by the McDonalds up the street from my apartment, excited to finally eat. I happened to have a really great day and my attitude while ordering was somewhat more “bubbly” than usual. I pull around to the first window and the young lady opens the window and says “Wow! You’re so pretty”. Immediately, I felt my face brighten up. I respond “thank you! So are you”. As I turn my head to pull out my card, I hear her say “I wish”. I felt my heart stop. I couldn’t believe she said that. I turned to her and tried to assure her that she too was beautiful but she kept shaking her head and laughing. I wasn’t laughing. I couldn’t leave with her thinking she wasn’t beautiful. Her skin looked like mine. Her smile? Bright like mine. Her hair? Perfectly laid edges and freshly braided hair. She was beautiful. She was pretty. Why couldn’t she see that?
Ugh, I want to shake her just thinking about it. She turned to give me my card and I looked at her and said “say it”. She pulled off her headset thinking she had misheard me. I looked at her and said “Say it aloud. Say I’m beautiful”. She looked at me and laughed. I smiled but I wasn’t joking. I stayed there and just stared at her, waiting for her to say it. I was hungry but I refused to leave her thinking I’m “beautiful” and she’s not.
She took a deep breath and said “Okay, I’m beautiful”. She looked at me and waited to see what I would say next. I smiled and said “Yes, you are. Believe it”. As I pulled off to the next window, I saw her smiling down at the cash register.
It meant more to me to make her smile, than to receive a compliment from her as soon as I pulled up. She made me happy because I felt her happiness when she smiled. Tomorrow when she looks in the mirror, I hope she remembers to say it aloud. I hope she never again hesitates to say “I’m beautiful” or thank someone when they compliment her beauty. I hope she learns to see herself from her own eyes and not the eyes of others that have hurt or tried to ruin her. Her external beauty speaks for itself. Her internal beauty needs to speak to her even louder. Her voice needs to be the only voice that she hears. The only voice she acknowledges. The only voice that is true.
When women compliment one another, it’s magical. We live in a world where beauty seems to be one dimensional. Small comments go a long way. We all appreciate being told that we look good. It somewhat validates us. However, we need to be our own source of validation. In the most humblest way, when someone compliments us, we need to have somewhat of an “I know” attitude. You know because you tell yourself and remind yourself that you are what you believe you are. Loving yourself takes lots of time and practice. Loving yourself on the days where you don’t feel like loving yourself, takes discipline. It’s important and essential for you to have an image of yourself that doesn’t match what others say they see. Your vision is clearer than their opinions and no one knows you better than you.
You’re beautiful! Say it aloud!