When I was young, I wanted to grow up to be a princess­­ - Princess Jasmine to be exact. Over the years, my BM (beauty models) have changed from across the spectrum, I went from princesses to pop stars. But it wasn't until one day, that I realized that I should rethink who I was trying to idolize. During lunch I had an epiphany, which began when my friends and I began talking about celebrities one of my friends had said, “She’s so pretty, I want to look like her!" In that moment I realised that no matter what I did, I would never come close to looking like that said celebrity. (To do so, I would have to straighten hair regularly and completely change my skin tone.) This began my search to find more women in the media that I could use as my beauty models. At first, it seemed to boost my self-esteem but I was slowly being drawn into another vicious cycle of comparing.

 Regardless of your age, I am sure that at some point you have caught yourself doing it too. Basically, it starts off when you look at someone in a magazine or some glamorous looking person online or even in school, who you deem to be more attractive or more successful than you and you compare them to yourself. Then you might think, "Oh how I wish I had her clothes!" or "I wish I looked like her!" and slowly you may start to forget how truly awesome you are and stop appreciating the skills you have. The next thing you know, all of your energy is being spent trying to outdo this person or trying to be just like them (otherwise known as, “Keeping up with the Joneses”).

I eventually got back to my senses the afternoon my mother told me an important piece of advice, "Don't compare yourself for any reason, to others. You're not them and they're not you, you both have your own paths to follow." As usual, she was correct. Sure, every once and a while you might see someone and think, "I really wish I had (insert name here)'s..." and that's totally fine. It's normal to want things for yourself that someone may already have, because sometimes it may inspire you to do something that helps you to achieve in getting it. However, don't dwell on it for too long and certainly, try not to put yourself down by comparing. Just move on, be happy for what you have and if it's something that you can purchase (like clothing), than try and get it. However, if it's something like someone else's looks, just try to show of your assets and work with you've got. For all you know that same person who you think looks better than you, is thinking the same thing about you.

In the end, that key piece of advice from my mother helped me to find the solution to finding my BM, which ended up being me. The answer was as simple as that, I can't look like anyone else but myself and I can't be anyone else but myself, so my beauty model may as well be me. Sure, I may look to others or magazines for inspiration about looks, outfits, goals, etc. but the number one source of inspiration should definitely come from me. Now I hope that after reading this, you will be your own model (for beauty or anything else) too.