The little girl you see on the left was so full of life! She was innocent to this cruel society. She tried to find the good in everything not knowing this society would only try its best to break her and change her. I remember as a little girl I was such a positive person, always helping people, and always smiling. Most of that changed once I started elementary school…I was always the smallest and skinniest one in my class. I never really noticed until other girls laughed at me for it but once I hit junior high I noticed quick! Every year I got older I felt myself losing little happy, positive Ashanti. I began to hate myself like I wasn’t even myself! I remember waking up in the morning trying to avoid mirrors because I didn’t wanna see my face at all! I stopped smiling because that only brought attention to my horrible teeth. I never understood why it was so easy for people to pick on me. I tried to be my nicest but that never worked. I was always labeled as weird, crazy, and different. Not knowing that all of those things made me stand out. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t fit in with the crowd, it brought more attention when I tried. “Why is this ugly church girl hanging out with us??” “God doesn’t love you, you’re too ugly!” ” I see why your parents don’t love you, they should put you up for adoption!” Hearing those things everyday only made me hate myself more and others around me. Not to mention I really didn’t have the best family life, I never knew my dad and My mom wasn’t there. I was very thankful for my grandparents because they took me and my brother in but I wanted an actual family. I hated telling everyone I lived with them because it only made people ask more questions and later they only throw it in my face. Heck, even my own family did! I just wanted to feel love. Going into highschool I didn’t really date, I have no interest in boys and they had none in me. I wasn’t even allowed to date! Boyfriends were out! Then came my junior year, I never had a guy show me attention of any affection and this boy just came out of no where and he did everything I thought I needed, not knowing he only lead me deeper into the hole I was already in. I craved loved that I already had from my family, but I thought real love was him. He didn’t make me feel beautiful, he wanted one thing and since I didn’t give it up…He left and went to the next. I dealt with his bull for about a year. Once I finally let go I knew I wanted to start over but I didn’t know how. Where do I start? I remember always going to this cool guy I knew for advice about my old relationship, he always listened to me, he never pressured me, and he did one of the biggest thing I could ever ask.. HE PRAYED WITH ME! At this time I’m actually thinking to myself “This is too good to be true, where did you come from boy?” He made me feel beautiful and the amazing thing about it was he went through the same things I went through. It was almost like we were the same person. Later he became a very influential person in my life, til this day I will always thank him for picking me up and helping bring Ashanti back. I needed him because we helped each other get ourselves back on track with God. I had someone I could tell my darkest secrets too and for some odd reason I felt comfortable. I prayed for god to send someone my way to help me see what was really in me, he was the answer. At this point everything was booming. I began to be happy again, I started loving myself again, I started smiling again. Everything that society stole from me I got it back! Which brings you to the Ashanti you see now, of course this isn’t an in dept story about me but it’s a start with me beginning to open up myself to you. All those things I went through and the wonderful people God placed in my life made me the strong girl you see today. I dont regret anything I went through, it’s a scar that I’m thankful for having. Don’t get me wrong I still deal with learning to love myself but what I’m doing is a start. I did tell y’all I’m learning and growing with you didn’t I? Just because you’re weird and different doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful or handsome. The world hates anything that isn’t like the world, we are not of this world so you know God had to make you special. Yes you’re probably going through these things as we speak and saying “Ashanti whatever, what do you know?” I know that I’m a girl that came from nothing but hate and now I’m creating something beautiful full of love. I know that I am beautiful and one day your journey will lead you to knowing the same. We all need a little dirt to grow right?
P.S. Don’t forget to tell yourself “Love You Self.”