Beauty to me has always come from within. Being simple and natural makes me feel comfortable in my own skin. Growing up I didn’t always have the same views. As a 13-year-old I would flip through the seventeen magazine wishing I could look and dress more like the white girls. I quickly realized that seventeen wasn't for me when I counted how many women of colour were actually showcased in the magazine. My parents, however always taught me to appreciate my natural features; the long hair, soft curves and sun-kissed skin. The embrace of these natural features made me beautiful.
My emotions have also guided my feelings about beauty. I have had moments when I have felt gorgeous, strong and independent. On the other hand, I have also had days when I have felt small, ugly and afraid. The lack of self-love and interactions with unkind people triggered these unpleasant emotions. How one feels often affects the way they treat others. In my mind, how you treat others is also just a reflection of how you feel about yourself.
As I grew older I understood that these emotions came in waves of self-doubt and self-love. I learned to find the harmony in these waves by embracing my body, my mind, and my naturality. One of the lessons my grandma taught me was to treat others the way you want to be treated. Being gentle and kind can change the way someone connects with you.
For me, beauty is personal. Beauty is from the inside out. Everyone gets to create their own definition.