“You are so ugly,” they would always say to me.

Those words reminded me of my big my nose and my gapped teeth. Seeing people who defined beauty every day, people who are light-skinned and spot free made me believe that indeed beauty is the bane of misery.

One Saturday morning when I was browsing the net, I came across Lifeline and I knew there and then that it was my aid to my beauty woes. My life was at a point of being history.

“Lifeline, how may I help you?” the Lifeline counsellor asked.

“Um, I…” I replied with uncertainty.

I was not sure if I was doing the right thing because all my life I thought I was not normal. Like who on Earth would want to kill herself because she looks different from others?

“Is anybody there?” the counsellor asked.

“I called to…er, I wanted to talk about…uhm,” I replied.

“You can talk to me, you are in safe hands,” assured the counsellor.

“I want to die because I’m bullied because of the way I look. I no longer leave the house. I do not want to be seen anymore, because every time someone calls me a big nose, or small ears. I cry myself to sleep every night because I am afraid to speak up, people will say I’m crazy. I am ugly!” I began to sob over the phone.

“You are beautiful,” the counsellor said.

“Pardon, I am…what?” I asked.

“You are beautiful,” the counsellor repeated.

“But I thought…” I said, shocked.

“You thought what? You are beautiful regardless of what people say to you. You are beautiful just the way you are, in fact say it to yourself: I am beautiful, the counsellor said.

“I am beautiful,” I said.

“Say it louder,” the counsellor said.

“I am beautiful!” I shouted.

“There you go. You are beautiful and not immune to anyone’s opinion. You are beautiful know that, embrace that and be proud of it. Take care,” the counsellor said.

“Thank you so much,” I replied, releasing the phone call.

For days, “You are beautiful” rang in my head. I started to see light at the end of the tunnel. I began to love the way I looked, not going through the day without looking at the mirror. It was a matter of knowing that I cannot change myself. I am beautiful the way I am. I realised that my imperfections are perfect just the way they are and that brought joy to my life.

It made me confident and changed my life in a way that now I am able to walk in the streets without having to hide my nose or my ears.

Even though people mocked me, I discovered not all people are cruel and that changed the way I saw the world and seeing my imperfections as perfect. That changed the way I saw myself. I am beautiful.

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