I don’t feel beautiful

Dear Brooke,
I am brand new to Scholars and completed Module 1 of “How to feel better”, but there is a model on a very painful thought that I need help with:

C I am very short-sighted and wear 5-millimeter-thick glasses (I do have contact lenses, but I can’t keep them on all the time)
T I am not beautiful
F Sad and ashamed

I couldn’t fill the last two lines, because I don’t understand why I still feel that way after having taken action to take care of myself.

When I was a teenager and was made fun of at school because of my glasses, I didn’t take care of myself because I thought: “What’s the point of even trying? I will always be ugly whatever I do.” And one other reason I didn’t want to take care of myself is that, among the crowd of people bullying me were very good-looking girls, nicely dressed and wearing make-up. So I thought: “If I start wearing make-up and wearing fancy clothes, I will be just like them, a superficial bitch.” For years, I kept thinking that, well into my 20s. One day, my sister, who was concerned about me and tired of hearing me whining that I had no boyfriend, just “exploded”, and told me point blank: “You are ugly.” As much as the same words hurt me when my former bullies said them, coming from my sister, they didn’t. They just felt like a necessary “kick in the ass” to start taking myself into my own ends. And I did. I started wearing nicer clothes, going to the hairdresser more often, even wearing light make-up occasionally. But I still didn’t feel comfident. I would avoid some shops, thinking things like: “The clothes in there are too pretty for me. I don’t deserve them.” I have a friend who told me this was total BS, and she was right, but then, I started to believe everything she said about fashion as some kind of universal truth and went into debt buying clothes I couldn’t afford.

So one day, after overcoming my debt shame and paying it back, I hired someone to help me choose what type of clothes, fabrics, colors best suit my body and lifestyle. It was a very pleasant afternoon that left me feeling much more comfident about my fashion choices and not dependent of magazine trends, because I feel like I have found my style.

So what’s wrong with me? Why, after taking all this action and doing all this work on myself, do I still feel that I am not beautiful? I don’t want to feel like the most beautiful person on the planet. I just want to shift my thinking to feel good in my own shoes and around the very nice guy I have a huge crush on 😉

Thanks a lot for your help and everything you do! I’m so happy to be here!