It took umpteen years for me to believe that having naturally full lips is pretty dope. Growing up, the neighborhood kids were ruthless...name-calling was just another sport to them, except unlike basketball, soccer or any other game we used to play, the crap never ended. And I never won.
My self-esteem? Shot. I hated looking in the mirror, felt defeated whenever someone would stare and couldn't for the life of me grasp WHY God had to make me this way.
I'll never forget the day I ran home to my mom and asked her why people picked on me. That evening, after being teased yet again, I begged her to take away the pain of being different. I even went to the extreme of asking for lip reduction surgery so that I could finally look — or at least feel — normal. Of course, she told me no...I was just 7 or 8-years-old at the time. But she did continue telling me for years and years that I'm beautiful and that God doesn't make mistakes.
Fast forward to now, and NO ONE CAN TELL ME A DAMN THING. You hear me?! Besides being the proud owner of over 100+ lippies, I'm known to keep one — especially from The Lip Bar — cocked and ready in my purse as a reminder I'm that chick. No fillers needed.
Like so many others who think the same, I'm a firm believer that self-love is a journey and not a destination. It's not something you wake up and proclaim that you've found; it takes lots of patience and practice — both of which I'm learning in my adulthood. I still have tough times, yes, especially given that social media and society at large constantly pushes the idea of perfection onto folks. But, overall, I'm much happy with the progress I've made. My lips (along with every other thing a stranger has deemed a flaw of mine) are AMAZING. And I'm proud of myself that I've reached a point to let hurtful things go and start living abundantly free in the woman I'm becoming.
I hope that everyone finds it within themselves to do the same.