“I wanted to be deserving of him.*”

Sundays, for me, consist of going to church, eating lunch with the family, and mindlessly flipping through local television while lazing around in my favorite boxer shorts. It was during this relaxed Sunday routine that I came across a local show interviewing one of the country’s most beautiful faces.

It was her mouth that spewed said sentence above and for a minute there, even if I’ve never met her or even shared a conversation with her, my heart broke. In my mind, something was not right in the world. How could such a beautiful girl (seriously, how many women would kill to have her face) be trapped into thinking that she isn’t worthy?

And then I realized, my heart broke because at one point or another, we have been her. I wish I could count the times women have uttered the same sentiments while looking at their reflections. Most of the most broken women I have encountered are also the most beautiful: size zeroes with shining hair and the latest designer bag draped on their arms. Behind the image of perfection, they are constantly looking over their shoulder, wondering if they would be replaced by yet again another Barbie like creature.

My dad once told me in the middle of my many monologues about not being beautiful enough for the most famous jock (in school or in life, you decide) that if beauty was the only basis, Prince Charles wouldn’t have cheated on Diana.

Time and time again, we have encountered women who have been cheated on and women who have been deemed to be not worthy. These women, in the search for a prince and for a love that will last forever, work day and night to make themselves worthy. They diet, they run, they lift weights, they juice, they highlight their hair, they squeeze into bikini bottoms, and most importantly, they lose their sense of selves in the hopes that finally, one day, they will be worthy to be loved by their own version of prince charming.

I know how that feels. I know how it feels to not feel good enough. I know how it feels to not be chosen. If anything, my life’s choices in this area so far have reflected that. I have always been the one not chosen. And the effects of it can be quite demoralising for any women. For a regular woman like me, it’s understandable, but for a magazine cover beauty like the one whose interview I just witnessed, the results were devastating.

And then I realised, it has absolutely nothing to do with how I look, how I speak, or what I joke about. Having a guy “choose me” is not a privilege nor is it a requirement to live a fabulous life. A quote being passed around on Pinterest said, “Anytime you have to prove your worth is the time you have to walk away.”

But impressionable youngsters don’t quite get this. In order for someone else to know your worth, you have to know it yourself. The abused “we accept the love we think we deserve” quote from Perks of Being a Wallflower rings true. When we allow someone to treat us badly, that is what happens.

I used to think that being worthy has everything to do with how I look, my “achievements”, and how I fare against the other “tributes”.

But in truth, it has nothing to do with that. Cheesy as it may seem, the beginning of healthy relationships with others means fully accepting with who I am. By being happy on my own, I have come to realise that I function better in other relationships, most importantly the ones that matter.

I’m not perfect, I still have my moments – this weekend have proven that. However, unlike before, I no longer allow myself to wallow in self-pity. I may not be the beauty queen that is expected to be with him, but I am me. And I am proud to say that even though I can be quirky and weird, I can also be kind, encouraging, and hella funny (okay, that’s probably just me). I’m not a liability and most importantly, one can be assured that I would stay loyal in both the high times and the low times. 

Know that you are worthy as you are. If there’s one thing I could tell girls everywhere it’s this, “you have nothing to prove, it’s not your job to keep him interested or to prove you’re worthy. you have something to give, and most importantly, you are beautiful as you are and one day, without even trying, someone will make you feel that way.” 

So enough with this nonsense that you are not deserving because YOU ARE, period.