Have I had cosmetic surgery? No.

Have I lost weight?
Gained weight?
Discovered a cure for acne?
Found that perfect hairstyle?
Did my moles suddenly change into cute freckles?
Are my arms less hairy?
Did my thread veins suddenly disappear?

No, no and no.

I’m not asking you to be perfect as I sure as hell am not! If you asked any of my friends on Facebook they’d tell you that I’ve certainly aged, my body isn’t as perky as it once was and I’ve definitely found a rogue hair or two in places they shouldn’t be. So why do I like myself more now, than I did when I was younger?

Timehop on Facebook has been incredible for showing me just how much I’ve changed over the years. The pre-Instagram, no edited photos where I would panic when the notification ‘Sasha has tagged you in 22 photos’ would appear. I remember how I would scrutinise myself, how I’d change outfits at least 10 times that night and had grumbled that I looked too big in that dress or not as pretty as friends. Now when those photos reappear, I can’t help but notice that I looked beautiful in that dress and was just as pretty as my friends, it’s just such a shame I notice it now instead of then.

In a world obsessed with fast perfection, a highlight real and edited reality, I sometimes find myself feeling alone with the fact that I feel my most confident without makeup, when I am red-faced and out of breath or when I am conquering something I’m not sure I’m going to be able to complete.

I like myself because my perception of beauty has changed. Beauty to me comes from that inner strength, that strength that pushes you to do another rep when you don’t want to, to look at yourself in the mirror when you might hate what you see but love what you’re doing. That complete vulnerability to let others see that you are trying to make a change, that you are putting yourself out there.

You see beauty, confidence and liking yourself really does come from knowing who you are and what you’re capable of. Makeup, clothes, accessories, surgery, it can all enhance what you have naturally but it won’t change who you are. If you don’t like yourself on the inside then no amount of padding or filling will make you love who you are on the outside.

In conclusion ‘liking yourself’ is simpler than we all thought and far less expensive. The only issue is that it requires you to learn who you are and what you want, to gravitate towards people who help you sparkle and close the door on those who cloud you with smoke. So get out of your comfort zone because nothing exciting ever truly happens from there.

Ask yourself, if the world was blind how attractive would you be? Photo credit Jenna McKone.