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to the girl who just wants to be liked

Sweet girl, it breaks me to see you itching for the approval of others. It’s human nature, I know, but their words don’t have the power to define you.


When your confidence is constructed of opinions like bubble-wrap, its pockets of air burst under the weight of criticism. Yes, some may intentionally place pressure out of jealousy or fear. But I promise that most aren’t intentionally malicious. They don’t realize they’re weakening your spirits one needlelike word at a time. “You’re too much” or “you’re not enough.” “Be quieter,” “be better,” “smile,” “stop being so emotional.” Whether the words actually vibrate through the air or your insecurities create sentiment that isn’t there, you alter your mask to better fit the image of the girl you think they want you to be. Soon, even to your own eyes, you’ll be unrecognizable.


Girl, the thing is, it’s not just the people around you who are altering your image with every passing comment. Comparison is killing you. Every time you gaze at someone you admire, you don’t just offer a compliment or high-five. Believing her qualities inherently better than your own, you attempt to force her features on your own face, fabricating a mis-matched collage, a desperate attempt to resemble “the perfect woman”. You can try to take the eyes of this woman, the nose of another, the freckled cheekbones of one more, but the picture you’re forming is fake, and everyone can see the Elmer’s glue dripping.


Or worse, you become the thing you hate as your snide remarks cause that girl’s shoulders to droop a little lower.


And girl, by the way, it’s okay to be sad. Your humor veils the darkness in your eyes like a cheap pair of shades. Shades that might catch the admiring eye of a passer-by but truthfully only tint your vision so the whole world is a lifeless shade of pink. Remove the glasses, love. Show us who you are behind the curtain.


Because who you are is worth revealing. I know it isn’t easy, but girl, only you can take off the disguise. The question is, will you?




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© 2019 by Alyssa Conlee