By: Larissa | June 19, 2015 | (42) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a weekly discussion post of all things bookish (though sometimes not-so-bookish)

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Throughout your life, you’re gonna have a whole lot of haters. So why be one to yourself too? STOP the self-hate and START loving yourselves, y’all. No prince in shining armor is going to notice how much you’re hurting and how “beautifully broken” you are and rescue you. You have to be your own hero in this story.

And you should love you some you. I’ve been having a kick ass week, so when I got up for some coffee this morning I was feeling great about myself. Like the ‘flip your hair, strut to some Blondie truly feeling great about myself’. And I heard something that made me pretty sad. A group of like ten years olds (I’m estimating) passed me by and I overheard “I just wish I was pretty, you know?” Of course she was beyond gorgeous and it just really impacted me  that girls that young are already falling prey to societal pressures on beauty perpetuated by the media. I would have totally stopped what I was doing in the moment but alas, I was already late for work and and the girls were long gone when I got my coffee. Ooops.

So I suppose this post is me attempting to reach out to any girls out there who feel discouraged and self hatred towards themselves. This post is that 10 year old girl who is already experiencing the unrealistic, unfair, narrow and frankly arbitrary standards of beauty that exist in our society. This post is something I wish I could have not only read when I was younger, but read and truly have comprehended. This post is a list of things I think were/are imperative into finding my own general happiness, confidence and generally being at peace with myself.

– Here’s a lil secret – no one is going to be what ‘society’ wants. The skinny girls, while they’re portrayed as the essence of beauty, aren’t what society wants. The curvy girls that are hailed as the real women, aren’t what society wants. NO ONE will ever be the perfect image of a woman, because that perfect woman doesn’t exist. The people dictating beauty don’t know what the want, although it’s pretty obvious they want to create a beast women will chase after their entire lives. Don’t let society rule you. It ain’t easy, and you don’t have to feel like Beyonce every minute of everyday. Even she doesn’t feel amazing every minute of everyday, and you can’t be expected to. You’re a Goddess, but you’re also human. You can have a shit day, just don’t let your bad days become an constant.

– Love your sisters, your fellow females. Everyone is beautiful – and no one has it easy. I’ve already stressed that there is no perfect image, and no one will ever be what some people believe is beautiful. The skinny girl doesn’t have it easy, the curvy girl doesn’t have it easy, the girl who doesn’t even think she counts as a body type doesn’t have it easy. Hell, there are more then two extremes of body types. Its easy to call someone a skinny bitch or fat. I get it. But how the hell do you expect to be loved and accepted when you won’t give that to someone else? The biggest roadblock in our movement is each other, and if we all got together positively and supported each other, we’d be further along. Every girl deserves to feel beautiful, because she is beautiful. If you see someone getting knocked down, speak out. I know its not easy, but YOU have to help your sisters out.

– Relationships are super cool. I love me some me, and I quite enjoy my boyfriend. You have every right to love your boyfriend, your girlfriend and especially your cat. I just want you to remember that you aren’t beautiful because a guy or girl tells you that you are. If your partner helps you find your self confidence, that’s AMAZING. But your beauty doesn’t hinder on relationships, and please don’t feel you have to date someone to feel beautiful. I’ve seen too many girls lose themselves in relationships because they feel that’s the only way to be pretty.

And for all the girls who are feeling shitty because they haven’t dated yet – don’t! I didn’t really date until quite recently year, and I have friends who have yet to. It has nothing to do with you, and you are no less beautiful than that girl who has been dating for eons. Furthermore, I find it imperative to understand that not everybody needs/wants to date.

ALSO IF YOUR PARTNER MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE ANY LESS OF A GODDESS, GET RID OF THEM.

I’m not talking about strictly abuse, because that’s a topic that deserves its own set. If he/she doesn’t make you feel special, and if they make little digs, or always put themselves first – anything that takes away your Goddess status, don’t stay with them. Relationships when you’re my age aren’t as serious as if you’re twenty nine and engaged. ESPECIALLY when you’re in highschool, there is no reason for you to be with someone you don’t like. You’re not dating that guy to marry him, so don’t treat your relationship like a marriage. You are #1, and the most important relationship you should have is the one with yourself.

I could honestly go on and on about this topic (… and probably will on Twitter and my comments here) but I feel like this is a good place to stop. I hope at least one single sentence of this discussion will manage to embed itself in your minds the next time darker thoughts take over. And if anybody wants to talk to me at any moment in time – PLEASE DO. I love each and every one of you guys to bits.

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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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42 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (53): Larissa attempts to be a Motivational Speaker

  1. Larissa, you’re AMAZING. <3 <3 <3 Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this post as it completely made my day. I feel choked up to know awesome, beautiful, FABULOUS people like you are out there is in the big bad world of ours. Thanks so much love for brightening up my day and making me feel just that bit more better about myself. <3 <3

    You're the most beautiful loveliest girl in the whole world and I adore everything about you. Keep being amazing you hear me??
    Ella @ Once Upon a Bookish Time recently posted…Farewell May, Hellooo June {birthdays, killer axe books, and sparkly new ideas}My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      <333 you're amazing too Ella and I do hope you realize that. I'm so glad this post was able to strike a chord with you and manage to resonate. I wish you all of the best in terms of finding your own happiness AND GIRL YES SO GLAD TO HAVE ACHIEVED THAT BIT OF BETTERNESS FOR YOU.

      <3333 NOW YOU'RE MAKING ME BLUSH. You better keep being amazing too

  2. AWWWW, this post!!! I SO agree. Society is a fickle, ever-changing thing, and it’s just impossible for us to be what it wants. We should be who we are — and embrace that. <3
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…IN WHICH I ANNOUNCE I’LL BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      <33 I definitely agree that society is constantly changing so therefore we can't be that "ideal" it constantly hails. We do need to just be us and get the point where we are okay with that.

  3. Fantastic post! I’ve been feeling pretty good about myself lately. 🙂
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{From Page to Screen} Avengers: Age of UltronMy Profile

  4. Annie says:

    LARISSA THIS POST IS AMAZING. AND I AM BOOKMARKING IT FOR FUTURE REFERENCE
    Annie recently posted…Winger by Andrew Smith: A Chat Review with Natalie!My Profile

  5. This post is beautiful, Larissa! I agree with you on all of those. There’s time when I have those ugly thoughts, but then I was like “Fuck it, I’m awesome!” xD
    Anyway, this is a great and amazing post. I’m sure it’ll help many people 🙂
    Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought recently posted…Do You Have Any Weird Reading Habit?My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you Tiffany. I definitely am a negative person by nature, so it’s essential for me to have gradually learned how to accept myself for who I am and be proud of it.

      I really, really, really do hope it helps people- even if in a small way

  6. Awww, this post is so beautiful, Larissa. It really saddens me that girls as young as ten (or even younger) are feeling bad about their self-image and in some cases even feeling that they need to date at that age to feel pretty. NO NO NO. I’ve struggled with poor self confidence, but t’s been more about my abilities and not really my looks (although I’m sure every girl is insecure about how they look at least a little). Still, this post is applicable in any situation, and it was really encouraging. We all have to love ourselves for who we are.
    Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination recently posted…Book Lovers: We’re Different, But We’re All Fabulous  (ALSO, I’M LAUNCHING A NEW FEATURE)My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you Ana <33 I agree that it's so truly disheartening to hear these young and ever so impressionable girls falling prey to societal's damaging "image." I feel you on struggling with abilities too, it's definitely not just look based. I completely think it's necessary for us to love our selves

  7. Hannah says:

    This is awesome. I would just add though, that not everybody wants to be with someone, and that you’re not weird for feeling that way either. (At least, that would have been helpful for me to hear a couple of years back!)
    Hannah recently posted…Review: The Invisible Library – Genevieve CogmanMy Profile

  8. LARISSA! Are you sure you’re not a real motivation speaker in your free time? Because this makes me think so. ♥

    What a beautifully written and completely accurate post. I completely agree with everything you’ve said here – it’s so sad that girls who are barely in their double digits are already worrying about how they look. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and it may take a while to realize that, but it will make you so much happier when you do.

    Thank you again for posting this!
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…The Secrets We KeepMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      ZOE <33 Hahahah girl, I promise to you I'm not a motivational speaker. I actually am not the biggest fan of public speaking so you can see how that would be a little problematic for me.

      Thank you so much for your kind words <33 I'm definitely with you that girls are getting younger and younger when it comes to having poor self esteem and it truly is devastating to witness.

  9. THIS ENTIRE POST. THIS. JUST THIS. *hugs this post* This is beyond perfect and wonderful, Larissa, and I totally agree. :’) Self-image is so hard…and, gah, I totally cringe for my 2yrs niece and hope and hope and hope she loves herself because seriously, if you go ANYWHERE, women are always unhappy with their bodies. It’s so sad. And I was recently reading this book (7 Days, it’s called) and it was about the “mean girl” bullying the “fat girl” (ergh, it was cliche and not a good reads, but I digress)…but what made me SO SAD, was the moment the “fat girl” was talking to her mother about her body and how unhappy she was, and how did the mother encourage her??? She said “Aw, darling, look how beautiful you are! You’re so pretty compared to ugly/fat/dumpy/frumpy me!” And I was just reading and thinking, UM NO. THIS IS NOT HOW IT SHOULD BE. How is the 14yrs girl going to love herself when she knows 100% her mother doesn’t love herself. It starts there. We model off our parents, whether unconsciously or not. It was just such a horrible message for a book to send, I was really saddened.
    Anyway. XD I am rambling. xD But I just completely loved this post. You say it, my friend. <3
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Overlooked (But Highly Useful) Life Lessons You Can Learn From BooksMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you Cait <33 lmao I'm sure this post would hug you back if it could. And ugh, I KNOW. Girls are having worse and worse self esteem at younger and younger ages and it's honestly one of the most heartbreaking things to see. Like at 8 you shouldn't be worried about your weight, you should be outside having the time of your eight year old life.

      That book doesn't sound like it would resonate with me in a good way at all. You're completely correct in saying that we pick up on the things our parents put down. It really is so sad that the book is essentially promoting that skewed version of body acceptance.

      It's okay! Hahahaha I don't know if you've noticed but I kinda love to ramble [;

  10. Angel says:

    This is great post Larissa! Thank you for this. 🙂
    Angel recently posted…My Writing JourneyMy Profile

  11. LARISSSSSA YOU ARE JUST THE MOST AMAZING PERSON RIGHT NOW I NEED TO MAGICALLY POOF MYSELF TO CANADA TO HUG YOU! <3

    Thanks so much for this post. I'm one of those people who claim they're fabulous outwardly, but sometimes I wonder to myself why I'm not as perfect as other people are. I'm WAY too skinny (probably about 10 lbs underweight right now) and short, but while I do know that no one's perfect, I still get jealous.

    Right now though, I totally feel like channeling my inner Goddess (holy crap Anastasia Steele's getting into my head) and bringing bravery even beneath my proud EXTERIOR.

    All the huggles for you okay?! <33 You're awesome.
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Weekly Recap #8: Co-Blogging News and Exciting New BooksMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      OMG I WISH YOU ACTUALLY COULD BECAUSE SERIOUSLY I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO EXPRESS HOW MUCH I WANT TO MEET YOU GIRL.

      Yeah, I feel like all of us to have those darker and more negative self esteem issues under the surface and at times they rear their ugly heads. I think jealously, comparison and judgement are the perfect feeders for the negative perceptions one can hold of themselves.

      YASSSSS GIRL. Hahaha, despite that gross Anastasia comparison I still want you to let that inner goddess shine.

  12. “NO ONE will ever be the perfect image of a woman, because that perfect woman doesn’t exist.”

    Preach it, gurl!! I think it’s totally horrible how little girls are growing up being told they have to conform to a certain way to dress, speak, act, and look. It’s not fair to them and their freedom of expression.

    Hun, you WIN at motivational speaking. I’m giving you a standing ovation not that you can see it… but just know it’s happening!!

    I was actually just thinking about beauty. I think everyone is beautiful. Everyone has something about them that makes them beautiful either physically or mentally or personality wise. Everyone is special and wonderful. Lovely post, my dear <3

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, I’m definitely with you. It’s truly unfortunate that society subjects girls who are so young to its unattainable and vicious standards. It definitely harms their self esteem, and most certainly their creativity and individuality.

      Thank you, thank you *bows* Hahaha. Really though I best express myself through words. When I have to actually speak out loud my mind gets jumbled and its pretty messy.

      Beauty is something that really does cross my mind a lot. It’s such a complex and and hot button issue. So much of it is perception and finding confidence.

      Thank you Rachel <33

  13. Valerie says:

    AWWWW LARISSA. YOU ARE A GODDESS. WE ARE ALL GODDESSES. I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING.

    I used to have a boyfriend that didn’t treat me like the goddess I should’ve been treated like, and sometimes I’m sad because I feel like I wasted two years of my life because of that. BUT THEN I THINK “Wait a second Val, I AM AWESOME, and I am so much happier now, and I HAVE MY WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF ME to find someone better”. If I have anything to add to this, it would be to NOT stick with someone just because you’re afraid of being alone or afraid of not having a partner. IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY THEN IT’S NOT WORTH IT.

    <3 <3 <3
    Valerie recently posted…Review: The StoryspinnerMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      YES LET’S HAVE A PARTY TO CELEBRATE THE FACT WE ARE ALL AMAZING GODDESSES <33

      I'm so sorry to hear that Val, but I'm so glad you have managed to find true happiness with somebody who treats you right. And yes girl you have so much time! You owe it to your amazing self to use that time and find that person who truly makes you happy and confident. YOU'RE SO RIGHT

  14. Damn it Larissa! I am crying! First, I find you to be an absolute freaking rock star for being able to see through all the complete BS that is out there in society. You are right- NO ONE is that “perfect” woman- even the woman who SEEM to have it all together… yeah, that’s makeup and money and the media STILL says awful things about them. Such an important message!

    And here’s the part where I ask you the important question: HOW? How do we do it? You’re 18, and somehow, you have your shit together more than I can ever dream of. I know these things you say are true. Logically, deep down, I DO! And mostly, I don’t want my daughter to EVER feel like those 10 year old girls. Ever.

    I want to pour my freaking heart out on your comments section, but I will refrain 😉 Just… know that your post touched me, and made me very aware of how my decisions will impact my daughter- if not now, all too soon. Thank you, my dear <3
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…This Week At Midnight (66)My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Awww girl! Wipe those goddess tears and rise even stronger. And girl thank you so much <33 It truly is all BS that's been continued just to grow and worsen in society. The media always preys on girls' low self esteem and it's honestly fucking sickening.

      Yes, the HOW is always the struggle. It's not easy with all of these ridiculous standards surrounding us and being constantly shoved down our throats by society and the media. Honestly for me?? I still have room to grow, that's for damn sure. I think a lot of it is coming to terms with myself which is based through self discovery, friendships, relationships and most importantly experience. Idk ahhhh. It's hard to pinpoint exactly.

      <333 dude you totally should have haha. I'm so glad this post managed to resonate with you and even more importantly highlighted the impact your view of yourself may have on your daughter.

  15. Larissa, this post is everything. It’s so fantastic, I think there’s something every woman can pick up from this. Female friendships are important and so many people think it’s okay to tear others down for their own confidence. And relationships are not everything, you need to find someone that doesn’t bring you down and that can be your equal who loves and respects you. It makes me so happy that these days there is the feminist movement to eliminate those fake ideals of beauty, but not only to understand it but to also live and believe it. That’s so important. I WANT TO HEAR MORE!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Indulgence Insider #32 – E3 Gaming Highlights & Blogger LoveMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      <3333 Thank you Jeann. If there's honestly one post somebody had to read on this blog, this would be the one I'd force them to read. And yes, seeing girl on girl hate is just so saddening because it is those female friendships are so important. Love and respect is also vital of course.

      I definitely agree! The feminist movement faces so much negative perceptions but in reality it's fighting those nasty standards set in our misogynistic world directly created to attack our love of our self.

  16. Emily says:

    I just love this post to bits.. Well done Larissa, well done! Sometimes I do feel so inadequate because of my size, shape and weight, but I think the most important thing is that we learn to love ourselves for who we are and not place our personal securities on what we look like. Because if people can’t get past our looks, well then that’s their loss, right? I think the trick is being able to love and treasure yourself, and to treat others lovingly and with kindness as well 🙂 And YES to loving others, I totally agree that we need to spread the love to others because we don’t know what they’ve been going through, we can only be kind 😀
    And if you’re boyfriend ain’t don’t treat you like a goddess you are, or love you for you, drop him, right? 😉
    This post is just so on point on so many levels. LOVE IT! <3
    Emily recently posted…The Things We Take For GrantedMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      <333 So glad you enjoyed it Emily. Thank you bunches. I definitely think every woman has felt negatively about themselves in at least some way during their lives, which is quite sad to think about. And yes girl! Finding self acceptance and peace is crucial into becoming happy and confident (: Treating others with love is quite important because it does make it easier to love yourself when you feel that support from others.

      Lol yep! Just drop the dude if he's in any way treating you not like a goddess. Toxic relationships don't help anybody and can cause so many issues.

      <333 thank you

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  18. Larissa, this is one of the best posts I’ve read this week! Every word you said here rings so, so true. We are all beautiful in our imperfections, that’s exactly the beauty of it – we’re all so unique and so different that it’s what sets us apart, and I wish people realized that more and don’t let themselves be subjected to what they think the majority wants or what the media tells them. It’s unhealthy and it only serves for some agenda that would benefit companies who prey on people’s insecurities! Girl, if you end up being an influential life speaker, I’d pay to listen to you talk!
    Faye le Potato recently posted…(VIDEO) Random Things in Motion #21: 5 Books You Should Add To Your Summer Reading ListMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you Faye <33 That's quite the honor. I definitely think beautiful can be interpreted in so many ways and that's what makes it great. What isn't great is society and the media's crazy pressures set out for impossible to reach conformity of beauty. AND YES OMFG GIRL THAT'S WHAT'S TRULY FUCKING GROSS TO ME. Those companies that literally profit from girls having poor self esteem. EW. ew. EW.

      Hahaha awww <33 Maybe I should rethink my career then[;

  19. Jeez this was a fantastic post. i don’t know what your voice sounds like but I was imagining a voice as I read this. It was beautifully written and so alive. THANK YOU!
    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted…Book Review: 5 to 1 – Holly BodgerMy Profile

  20. Johanna Richards says:

    Wow this is such a beautiful post Larissa! I do think we need to see more of these kinds of posts around the blogverse because this put a huge smile on my face. Thank you so much for writing it and yep, you were totally a motivational speaker in another life. :))

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  22. Amber says:

    Usually I can ramble on posts, but what am I supposed to say other than I love this post and that you’re amazing?

    So much of society (or all of it really) is so focused on body image and THEIR standards, it’s easy to lose track of our OWN standards. It’s easy to be harder on ourselves than we deserve. It’s easy to forget that our worth is not based in what society thinks or what anyone else really thinks of us. That’s not where we get our worth, that’s not what makes us beautiful or anything else.

    Personally, I get this crap a lot. It’s hard to accept myself as I am for who I am and think I’m deserving of anything. Then I get reminded that I am a Christian and I do believe that Jesus places in me my worth and that God finds me worthy and important and valuable and He loves me.

    I love what you said about friendships and sticking up for each other, that’s what we need. If you go into a comment section for some of these teen articles on Facebook (Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Nylon, etc.) you see people just really being awful to each other and it’s sad. Though there are those who go against that kind of mean comments.

    Anyway, this was a beautiful post. I loved it.
    Amber recently posted…Everyone Just Breathe In. Breathe Out.My Profile

  23. Holly J says:

    *standing ovation, round of applause* THANK YOU for this post! It is wonderful, and amazing, and so much truth that women, especially young girls, need to know. I love everything you said. I’ve always struggled with my weight and how I look. And I think so much of that has to do with society’s “perfect woman” body images. It’s such a HARMFUL attitude and belief, and it starts in young girls and that’s where it needs to end. And I love what you said about women building each other up, because we do need to do that more often. We need to be positive toward our gender and not let society’s views make us think we have to compete with each other (for jobs, for dates, for friends) to be accepted.

    I could go on all day about this subject, but I won’t. I think you’ve said everything that needed to be said. 🙂 Lovely post, Larissa!
    Holly J recently posted…Read-A-Thon Accepted: Make Me Read ItMy Profile

  24. Thank you for this post, Larissa. We get so busy nowadays, so caught up in all this modern internet stuff (as wonderful as it is most of the time, especially the book community) that preaches this ideal of beauty – which is so far from it isn’t funny – the truth that we sometimes forget to love ourselves and remind the people in our lives to as well. Thanks for helping to spread the message. Hopefully some people take it on board. Fantastic post. <3
    Rachel @ Rachel’s Reading Corner recently posted…ARC Review: MadlyMy Profile

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