As materialistic as it may be, growing up, I always dreamed of making something of myself as beautiful as the bronzed glamour, glitz, and beauty that are embodied by the Victoria's Secret Angels.
It's mortifying to admit, but I still remember being 6 years old in my bedroom wearing my Barbie hot pink crop top (bless my parents' hearts for letting me own that piece of clothing) and strutting around in it, feeling nothing short of fabulous.
Then I grew up, and what I started to see when saw my own reflection became anything but that little girl who could throw on a crop top and feel invincible.
I became this woman who saw my reflection as an image of flaws all around. To compensate feeling this way, I started hiding behind my hair and my clothes.
I started telling myself that this of idea of beauty was is all I could ever be worth in this world.
Now cue the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
Maybe I'm a masochist for watching this grand and annual show, considering what I see in myself when I look in the mirror. But oh, the show is just so stunning from start to finish.
Don't get me wrong; despite how I feel about my own self-image, I really do appreciate the show for its entire production.
Between the models, the intricate angel wings and decadent lingerie, it truly is a sight to see.
But it's hard to watch this and not feel so inferior.
I'd be the biggest hypocrite if I sat here and told you I didn't have that mindset right now. But hey, I'm working on it.
And If nothing else, all I ask is that if the person I've described myself to be is someone you can relate with, consider this:
It's not who we are that's holding us back; it's what we think we're not.
Every time I see a bad photo of myself, or I leave the house feeling less than perfect, which is a typical occurrence, that feeling sets me up for the rest of my day.
It's like when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you're instantly starting off on the wrong foot.
When I see myself with my hair falling flat and a stature that would be a Kardashian's worst nightmare, it's hard not to worry what others will think of me.
But you know what? Anyone who sees and thinks anything less of the person we are is and should remain irrelevant.
And chances are, we're the only ones seeing ourselves in such a low place.
But I get that it happens. Some days don't go the way we want. Sometimes, we see ourselves and hate what's looking right back at us.
But we need to learn how to see that whatever is "wrong" about ourselves will never outweigh all the things that make us right in this world.
While we can't control everything in our lives, we can get a grip over all the good that's right in front of us, not just the bad.
Validation and reassurance are not one in the same.
Last year after watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, it took a guy who I didn't think knew I existed calling me beautiful for me to consider that I could appear that way to someone.
At the time, this compliment left me on a high.
This guy called me beautiful, therefore, it had to somewhat be true. But here's what's so wrong about that mentality: It took him calling me beautiful for me to consider it.
We need to learn how to look ourselves in the eye and see that; because that's what's truly going to give us the reassurance in the long run. And I know how cliché it is to tell you to love yourself and to find yourself beautiful.
But I also know how challenging it is when we truly are our own worst critics.
Yet solely building ourselves up based on other people's compliments will never give us the full validation we're looking for.
I'm not saying kiss your own reflection, but it's a matter of finding validation in ourselves, not just seeking it and gaining it from someone else.
Think of where you come from, everything you've accomplished and everything you are.
We are our parents and our parents parents and so on, so forth.
And how heart-wrenchingly beautiful is that? We all come from somewhere.
Maybe we don't look like Adriana Lima, but considering the long line of history you may or may not know the full extent of, I promise you that the story of your life is something pretty and absolutely worth telling.
After all, we live life every single day raw, unscripted and unedited. We will see the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in this life, and we willget through them.
Maybe they won't be followed by musical performances from celebrities and million dollar underwear, but the journey we will go on will sure be something to see.
And I could go on and on about why our body image, our self-value and our lives should not be something to be compared and contrasted to from those stunning women who have worked their whole lives for that hour-long televised fashion show.
But in all seriousness, when those women spent their entire careers working on looking the way they do, how could we even compare ourselves?
It's their job to look like that.
We don't all have to look like that, and that's okay.
But what's not okay is telling ourselves not fitting the mold makes us any less of a person.
Because at the end of the day, while I think the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is worth all its glory, darling I know for a fact, so are you.