Are You Pretty Ugly?

love your life Sep 07, 2020

We have to value ourselves not for what we look like or the things we possess 
but for the women we are.

~Maya Angelou

My mother. An immigrant. The epitome of grace and grit. A young widow who gave up so much in order to put food on the table and raise her children on her own. She taught me so much about resilience, courage and authenticity. Today is her birthday. She's 89 years old.


I had a birthday in August. I'm 66 now. I'll admit, I'm still trying to get over getting older even though given it's inevitability it shouldn't be a surprise that it's actually happening to *gasp* ME. 

I've been thinking a lot about confidence, aging and life. 

I wonder...

Why are women so hard on themselves? 

Is it because over the years the world has beat us up and made us believe we are not enough? And, how would you feel if you owned that you are already enough? 

Most of the time I like being the age I am, but this aging stuff is complex. I still feel like I'm in my 30's, but then realize my children are in their mid-40's. Sometimes when I pass a mirror I'm still surprised that I don't see a younger woman anymore. And, I wish I was still the weight I used to complain about because I'm much heavier now.

Some days I look radiant and others dragged-out and worn-out. Some days I feel invisible. Other days I want to make myself invisible.

Why is self-loathing so common?

When we are young why are we in such a hurry to grow up. When we are grown up do we berate ourselves as a defense mechanism? Have we been taught to make ourselves *smaller* by falling into the obsession of perfectionism *trying to get it perfect* to avoid criticism and failure?

I was brought up to *please* and I would turn myself into a pretzel to be who I thought the world wanted me to be instead of who I already was. I was looking for assurance from others. It wasn't until I was in my fifties that I started to become who I was supposed to be all along.

So many women hold themselves back because they think they've passed their *best-before-date* but that's far from being the case.

There is a lot about aging that scares me. I won't pretend otherwise. Yet, I know aging is not only about decline, but also growth and possibility.

I do know that when I look my personal best I feel personally powerful. When I feel personally powerful I believe in myself and choose to embrace life no matter what challenging times and incredible opportunities await me.

Sure, that takes courage.

I have come to know that when it comes to courage, it's not the circumstance or situation that matters most, it's your willingness to believe in your abilities and to take yourself off the discount rack.

So instead of having a vanity crisis, I've decided to embrace the journey into my next life cycle. I choose to love who I am today. I can't think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself. 

What story are you telling yourself today?

What's a new script you can start telling yourself as you continue to step into the *new older* and your next level?

There will always be someone who can't see your beauty and your worth. Don't let it be you.



I'm very ugly

So don't try to convince me that

I'm a very beautiful person

Because at the end of the day

I hate myself in every single way

And I'm not going to lie to myself by


There is beauty inside me that matters

So rest assured I will remind myself

That I am a worthless, terrible person

And nothing you will say will make me believe 

I still deserve love

Because no matter what

I am no good enough to be loved

And I am in no position to believe that

Beauty does exist within me

Because whenever I look in the mirror 

I always think

Am I as ugly as people say?




Copyright: Helene Oseen 2020 



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