I’m no one special. I hardly have any friends and tend to stay at home. I have had my heart broken as you have – perhaps more.

I am the one you see sitting by herself at lunch or in the movies. I am the one you see walking with her head down blending in with the scenery. I hardly talk to strangers, so you would never know my laugh. I am the one you never think twice about getting to know. I am the fat kid that got teased for not being a size 2. I am the one who was always pitied rather than loved. I am me.

I was always taught that beauty comes from within – that a person with a beautiful soul could out shine that of a beauty queen with a selfish attitude. But society sees it differently. People tend to put beauty above a true heart. Needless to say, I found this out the hard way. For the majority of my life I was told by my own sister that I was ugly. That I would never have a man let alone children. She encouraged me to just to do the world a favor and end my life. And I will admit that I came close to doing just that. With constant rejections and hearing my own family against me, I thought there was no sense in staying.

I was in a dark place for so long….So many times I was told by guys “You have an amazing personality and such an awesome sense of humor, if you would just lose weight I would date you in a heartbeat!” I quickly would come back with “What makes you so sure I would take you?” That’s when it hit me.

I am not perfect – I am me. I will never know the feeling of a beauty queen’s tiara on my head or  having dozens of men want to be with me – I am me. I may be a nerdy geek who prefers to game rather than shop – I am me. I never claim to be perfect – I am me.

And I accept myself just as I am. I have had a rough time trying to overcome my own self esteem, but it finally hits me that as long as I am happy with myself, that’s all that matters. Either accept me as I am or simply walk away. I no longer wish to feel like the one constantly looked over or ignored. I know who I am and I know my own worth. Sure, there are things I wish were different about me but those things MAKE me who I am. And I am me.

When I set up my photo shoot ideas, I was happy Kristen was so willing to help me, even if I needed help finding outfit ideas. She was very understanding and willing to work with me, even with me bringing in props. The morning of my shoot, I went in kind of nervous. Getting my hair and makeup done with such a treat for me as I hardly ever wear anything. Throwing my hair in a ponytail was my usual thing. But Meghan performed a miracle and transformed me into a gorgeous lady.

Once I got into my first outfit, I got into the groove and it was not long until Kristen and I were reading each other’s minds. She was open to any ideas I had and enjoyed my thoughts. She made me feel beautiful as well as heard.

I wanted to do this photo shoot as a way to remind myself that all of my imperfections and issues should be celebrated instead of hidden. I wanted to show other women who feel or ever felt like I did, that we are all beautiful. Beauty does not carry with it a size. We are all beautiful women. And though I may never know you, hold you, or even know your name, please know I accept you as you are.

You are you. And you ARE beautiful no matter what anyone may say or do.

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